Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What I learned from little house on the prairie

We have really come to enjoy the Little house on the Prairie (LHOP)show and books. I have even bothered to google the people in the stories as it is loosely based on the life of Laura. I remember when I got to the book "Farmer Boy" it seemed so odd to have it placed in the middle of the other little house books. I mean there was nothing about the Ingalls, but it was wonderful. That book teaches more than any of the others, if you want to be a sustainable homestead/farm.

It was talking to my boss one day that it really clicked. We were talking about all the rains in Oklahoma last year and how it destroyed the beautiful wheat crop just before harvest. I felt like I was inside a scene from LHOP, I could just see it, Charles is looking out at the wheat as it is ripening and he is making plans for all the money that it will bring, the week before or a few days before the harvest the rains come. The entire crop, formerly golden and glistening in the sunlight, now broken and unusable. The farmers here suffered the exact same fate and from talking to a few people it is a continuous struggle every 3 years.

I began to look at the life of the Wilders, they had so much success and why wouldn't they, they had their hand in just about everything. There was no room for failure when you diversify. I went to wikipedia and looked up Almonzo Wilder (Laura's husband) and it turns out that he began their married life doing just as Charles (and most farmers today), with a single crop. After years of failure, debt and illness they had to give it up. I think it is fortunate that his family had moved from New York to the Midwest as was able to spend year with them to recuperate.

After the move he began to farm the Wilder way, he diversified and was able to find success. No one is going to get rich off of farming in a hurry, but diversifying ones farm (no matter the size), is the only way to grow it and make it sustainable. Well, I'm off my soap box now, lol. There are still more changes to come around here, we are growing this little operation as we can get the money :)


hsmominmo said...

Excellent post, Janelle!
I was discussing 'Little House' with my sister just yesterday. She was asking me how to make a corncob doll, like laura's first doll.

'Well, there really is no secret,' I told her. 'It's called making-do-with-what-you-have' -- a lesson learned when homesteading, eh?

Loretta said...

What a great post!!! I have to agree ... diversifying is the best way to go. My family loves Little House On The Prairie. We are collecting the series on DVD's & hear our children ask questions about how our lives will be the same/different when we move LOL

Tracy said...

I love all the Little House books that Laura wrote. Do you have to complete set? Farmer Boy is one of my favorites because it describes Almonzo's growing up years. But if you haven't read "The First Four Years" - please do. That describes their first four years of marriage (Laura and Almonzo) and the trials and multiple failures and setbacks they had. You realize life on the prairie was very very hard for them, but they made it through. I find it inspirational.
(I don't think the TV show is very much like Laura's original books, at all, myself)

Janelle said...

I have not gotten to the first four years yet, I am now getting through with the long winter. DH has read them all and we agree with you, the show is not like the books. There are occassionally a couple episodes that are loosely based on events from the book. Though the show did keep the accuracy of the age difference, where the books did not.

Tracy said...

I'm not sure what you mean by the books not "keeping the accuracy of the age difference" - that is kind of confusing to me. Since Laura actually wrote those based on her own life and life experiences, what was 'off' on the age differences?

Janelle said...

In the books she takes a few years off his age to lessen the 10 year age gap. This is possibly the only area where the show is historically accurate over the books.