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Provides a woman's-eye view of the real world of a family farm in the Missouri heartland, discussing the never-ending world of crops, livestock, seasonal work, the lack of operating funds, and the land.
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A woman's journal of days on a central Missouri farm reveals a life of incredibly endless work--and of devotion to the land that amounts to modern-day pantheism. Fricke recalls that when she prepared to go to town (Hermann, pop. 2754) looking for a job, her husband proposed that she help on the farm instead. And so, in addition to being a homemaker and mother to two children, the author became a full-time farmhand. Fricke's first job was clipping the tusks and tails of, and vaccinating, one hundred three-day-old piglets. Here, the terror she feels as she reaches beneath a looming 600-pound sow to clutch a nursing piglet is palpable: When she gasps out of the farrowing room five hours later for a job that should have taken one hour, the farmhands are laughing at her. Fricke learns to drive the smallest tractor on the farm and works up to bigger and bigger tractors until she can operate Godzilla--a huge disk (the modern plow) pulled behind an enormous John Deere tractor--then Dino, a grain combine with five-foot wheels that reminds her of a brontosaurus. The dangers of farming--exposure to fertilizers and herbicides, in-close work with machinery, erratic weather--make for high stress, Fricke says. Moreover, the flooding Missouri and torrential rains carry away profits, and, even in bumper seasons, grain prices may drop so low that selling means losing money. A vivid diary of life on the family farm today. (Sixteen b&w photographs--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
After she was widowed, Fricke married a Missouri hog farmer. While family farms traditionally draw a distinction between men's and women's work, she assumed the hired man's tasks when he quit. Despite initial reluctance, she learned to drive the giant tractors (Dino and Godzilla) and handle hogs. This unromanticized account of farm life points out the dangers of modern farming (machinery, chemicals) and the high stress caused by long, hard work days and the inability to control the weather. Fricke notes how the beauty of the countryside is counterpoised with noxious smells and loud noises. Her home is heated solely by wood, but she uses satellite home computer connections to track crop prices. While Fricke describes her farm in greater detail than many readers would want, her book is still an excellent firsthand account of late 20th-century farm life. For a broader overview of farming past and present, Nora Janssen Seton's The Road to My Farm ( LJ 8/93) is a better choice.
- Cheryl Childress, Collegiate Sch. , Richmond, Va.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Soho Pr Inc, 1993. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0939149966
Book Description Soho Press, 1993. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0939149966
Book Description Soho Pr Inc, 1993. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110939149966