Friday, March 22, 2013

The Book Family Farm :: Circa 1940's

In the early 1940's my Grandpa and Grandma Book were farming on 320 acres of Boone County, Iowa land. My family is lucky because we have a pretty good pictorial history of the family and the farms ... in fact this picture of my grandparents, at what is possibly that Boone County farm, is my computer background. After the passing of my Grandma my uncle was going through lots of different files and found a handful of farming documents that he thought I would find interesting. I'm glad he passed them on to me because they are a cool part of the family history and even encouraging to me as I try my hand at farming.

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One of the coolest things that he found were some "Crop-Acreage Plats" from the years 1941 and 1942. The plats show the 320 acre farm and the crop layout planned (or actual plan used) for that year. What I find so fascinating is the diversity of crops (and livestock) that were being raised on that 320 acre farm. And ... not only was it a diverse amount of crops/livestock, but also as you can see from the picture it looks like they did their best to place crops where the land was best suited for row crops. You can see from the picture that they had just over 250 acres of crops that year.

The 1942 "Crop-Acreage Plat" has the following items listed ...

  • Soybeans
  • Alfalfa
  • Potatoes
  • Hog Pasture 
  • Corn
  • Oats
  • (And the unlabeled areas were pastures and farmyards)

While living at the Boone County farm (the would soon move to Story County) I believe my grandparents raised cattle, a large laying flock, hogs, and of course the crops. That sounds like a farm that would be fun to visit! Just a little piece of farming history for your Friday morning ...

3 comments:

colliefarm said...

It's amazing how diverse farms were back then! Thanks for sharing!

milligansganderhillfarm said...

That was a bigger then average farm for its day. before 1960 the average size farm was only 200 acres. Nice to see old farm pictures.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Funny isn't it ? How those before us, before terms like "diversify, sustainable, locally grown, organic" became popular, knew how to run a farm. It wasn't easy for them either but they had a strong handle on the common sense factor. How fortunate you are to have such records to look back on.

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