Another Account of East Texas Farming

Early Massey Family household circa 1890s

G.M.C. Massey (standing, middle left) with family, East Texas circa 1890s

Our guest blogger, my grandfather, G.M.C. Massey, writes more of his farming days in rural East Texas in the early 20th Century.

A month later we went in there and planted the old time speckled peas, and they came up, and was very promising till the June drought, and when we wanted to lay by our corn; We could not do as we had planned, we Just took a 24 inch sweep and run out the middles, and then we took a Planter and planted another row of peas in between the corn, and the peas Making the rows of peas between the corn rows, and then in September the rains set in and the peas wrapped up the corn, and they produced the most peas that I had ever seen grow on that much land,

And we gathered both of my 14 foot corn bins full; and then I guess that you could not be able to tell whether there had been any peas picked, and after I had gathered 60 bushels of sorry corn, having about 65 head of hogs, Pigs, and all I just turned them in and let them gather the rest of the peas; And when they were through; you would not have been able to recognize the hogs if you had not seen them from the time that I had put them in there; then I had 11 acres that I had had in oats, and when they were off I flat-broke that 11 acres, and planted it in June corn, And peas, and the bud worms had eaten up the corn And the peas lapped in the middle of the 7 foot rows and they were perfectly filled with peas, and I turned these same hogs into this field, and when they had got the run of this field I finished them on Peanuts that I had grown there that year, and I kept four of them for my own use, and they 1,000 pounds of meat, and I loaded 26 of them on a wagon and carted them off to Winnsboro to the market, and had 35 shoats and pigs to sell to the men that needed some to feed the scraps to and then the same stock hogs that had produced that 60 that I had raised that year.

Well as soon as the hogs got through with the peas that growed in the corn I flat broke the whole field and sowed oats on it, and when they were off I planted the whole field to Peas, and as soon as I had mowed that field, I sowed the field to oats again, and I never had such a good pasture, and I stocked the pasture for the winter, and sowed it again to peas, and when they were harvested we let the volunteer oats run for a pasture and in the Spring I planted half to corn, and half to cotton, and I wanted to see what I Had accomplished in the few years of care for it and it’s welfare.

And we made 40 bushels of corn to the Acre, and 12 bales of cotton from the 15 acres So my Father-in-law was as well surprised as I wanted him to be, and he said that There was no telling what I could accomplish If I had had good land to start with, but my son that has visited the farm lately tells me that there are now signs of clay all over the place, Of course 45 years of negligence on a farm will tell on it as much as care on the other side.

About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
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