Fall – Social and Community Activities
With the fall chill in the air and the days getting shorter, the pace of life on the farm quickened. For most farm families, fall began with the start of school, final crop harvest, and the ripening of apples. Children returned to school taller and stronger after a summer of working in the fields. There were a flurry of fall school activities – programs, sports, and school social events. Some older children often took their first steps toward leaving home by attending high school in town or working outside of the farm, earning money picking corn, for example. Farm families also enjoyed trips to town and activities related to fall harvest and marketing crops and livestock. In the late fall, relatives and neighbors helped each other butcher a hog or cow to provide meat through the winter and these events were as much about talking with neighbors and socializing as about the work at hand. After school, some farm children went fishing or hunting – bringing home deer or squirrels to put additional meat on the dinner table. Others picked fall garden vegetables such as pumpkins and squash or gathered nuts to be used for holiday candy.
Written by Claudia Reinhardt.