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Haag, Rita / If you look back, it's not that far: memories of Mary Stella Sutter Haag recorded at age 103

Part III: Life as Mrs. Albert Haag,   pp. 36-64 PDF (9.2 MB)

Page 40

was that way all over. There were lotta cases on our farm where
our boys helped on (another) farm and they worked hard too.
Afterwards they needed help, they had to pay for it. Ya, I
remember the same family that we helped out, we had to pay to get
their help. That's too bad. Live and let live, they'd always
say. That's the way. Help together."
In the early years Mary and Albert were farming, they milked
only from April until November. "When we first got married we
went to the factory--the milk we hauled twice a day. And
sometimes it was pretty hot, and you'd have to cool the milk. If
you soured milk they didn't want it."
Of course, they'd keep some for their own use. "In the
morning we got the milk in and we strained it and we cooled it in
cold water and set it in the basement on the floor. Then at
supper, we took some for breakfast the next morning. That's the
way we had to do it."
At one point, their twice daily hauling wasn't necessary
because: "We had a cheesemaker and he boarded at our house for
awhile--he was alone. He took the milk in the morning and then
in the evening he brought the truck back with the whey."
Eventually they got a cooler which was a series of tubes set
in cold water. The milk would run through the tubes and cool
down. World War II helped to modernize the farm, because when
their sons left for service, milking by hand was too much for
Albert and Mary and they got a milking machine.
When it was time to milk, they'd get the lead cow. They
always put a bell on her so she'd be easy to find. "We'd start
her when we went for home and the rest would follow her." The
farm dogs helped too. "The cows didn't like the dog either. Our
dog, he would sometimes pinch them in the leg."
In the winter they'd keep a cow or two, just enough to
supply milk for the family. "They just let the cows dry."
They'd separate the cream and make butter then. Leftover cream
was kept a few days and when enough was stored to make the trip
worthwhile, it was sent to the Mt. Horeb Creamery.
They also kept sows during the colder months and tried to
breed them so that they'd have their young in the spring. With
no milk at that time of year they gave them water instead of
whey. "We fed them good corn and oats, it was lotta work. And

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