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Gardening in a Dust Bowl title image

Benson County Fair poster 1928
Benson County Fair Poster, Minnewauken, ND 1928
SHSND# 1071-1
As the rains returned, her garden crops multiplied. In 1940, Lil canned 400 jars of vegetables and fruits which she stored on shelves in the cellar. Her fruits included chokecherries, plums, and buffaloberries, even though rain meant more cash income for the young family and she was able to purchase fruit such as peaches, plums and pears to can (pp. 42, 62, 84)

Like most other gardeners, Foell used Paris Green to prevent damage from potato beetles. It had an arsenic base, so she had to be careful about keeping it away from the children. It came as a white powder which she stored in quart jars. She mixed it with equal parts white flour to “make it last longer.” She pounded nails into the lids of the jars to shake the dust onto each potato vine. (p. 60)

Foell continued gardening after her children grew up and left home. It was part of the routine of her life and kept her connected to the land. (p. 124).

It is interesting to read and compare two paragraphs written by each of these women about the feeling they experienced when picking chokecherries.

I loved the quiet, the smell, the sound of the birds and the hope that just maybe I would see a deer if I got out early enough. (Foell, p. 61)

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