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Gardening in a Dust Bowl title image

Girls with harvested apples
Mark Halvorson with an 8lb beet he raised for 4-H,
9-17-1966, SHSND# 0441-041
Children have always been involved in gardening across time, geography, and culture. Generally children have supplied labor for weeding, bug picking, and harvesting. Planting seemed to be a task best left to older teenagers or adults. There are scattered references to child labor in gardens throughout this exhibit including Pioneer Gardens, American Indian Gardening, and Gardening in a Dust Bowl sections. In addition, there are these references:

“Dad and my sister Emma were the gardeners. Mother didn’t enjoy gardening but she did a great deal of field work until the older children were ready to do that work. We younger girls hoed the garden and large patches of watermelon and corn, including popcorn. We ate lots of popcorn in the winter time, corn that we picked and husked and shelled.” Ella Guenther, Dunn County. (Courtin’, p. 80)

Marguerite Frank of Ward County pulled weeds and was paid a penny a row - “long rows” as she noted. She and her brother used the money thus earned to go to the fair. They also shucked (shelled) peas, tipped beans, and washed jars for canning. (Courtin’, p. 91)

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