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Author: Brandon Gierach

Five Practical Farming Tips That Still Apply Today, Part I

Five Practical Farming Tips That Still Apply Today, Part I

As I read Dr. W.E. Taylor’s book Soil Culture and Modern Farm Methods, I have been simply blown away at the depth of knowledge farmers had access to 100 years ago. One hundred years seems so far in the past that it is easy to assume the information is outdated. But the book contains many practical tips that still apply today. Over the next few blogs, we will discuss 5 of these. 1. The importance of clean, pure, readily available…

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The Surprising Origin of Cheap Meat

The Surprising Origin of Cheap Meat

Today I will continue our look at Dr. W.E. Taylor’s Soil Culture and Modern Farm Methods (1913) by discussing a section highlighting issues of supply and demand in agriculture in the 1910s. Taylor’s book was also the subject of two prior posts: The Best Kept Secret to Successful Farming, Part I and Part II. With the increase of production of corn in the early 1900s due to better technology and understanding of farming techniques, the price of corn dropped by nearly 50%. This…

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The Best Kept Secret to Successful Farming, Part II

The Best Kept Secret to Successful Farming, Part II

In The Best Kept Secret to Successful Farming, Part I, I examined W.E. Taylor’s book, Soil Culture and Modern Farming Methods (1913). In it, Taylor implores American farmers to use manure as a primary source of soil fertility maintenance. So where does the United States find itself today? Farming as it once was is essentially gone, replaced by automated dairies and self-driving, GPS-guided tractors on mega farms rather than family farms. There has also been an increasing separation of stock-raising…

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The Best Kept Secret to Successful Farming, Part I

The Best Kept Secret to Successful Farming, Part I

It is an obvious oversimplification to say that the world has changed substantially over the past 100 years. With the dawn of the Internet and the boom of the information and technological age, there are many aspects of our life today that would be unrecognizable to someone living in the 1910s. This idea of advancement of society can make it easy to be dismissive of the past and view it as irrelevant and outdated. It may be a different time,…

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Connect to Plymouth’s Farming Past

Connect to Plymouth’s Farming Past

One of the joys of spending time at the Plymouth Historical Society is the city’s rich farming history. There are many artifacts and documents that help us peer into the past life of Plymouth. Not that long ago, Plymouth was a community that required family farms to survive. Now, Plymouth is a bustling suburb of the culturally rich city of Minneapolis. Those fields are replaced by a much more urban setting with shopping centers, business districts, and a scattering of…

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Object Spotlight: The Yuba Bulletin

Object Spotlight: The Yuba Bulletin

It is hard to even fathom what construction and farming work must have been like over 100 years ago. As I write this, I can hear many construction vehicles reworking Fernbrook Lane right outside of Plymouth’s Old Town Hall, home to the Historical Society. One hundred years ago, similar projects likely would have required the use of horses. The mass use of large machinery was only in its infancy in the 1910s as highlighted by our object spotlight for this…

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Reasons to Study Your Family History

Reasons to Study Your Family History

A high school classmate of mine repeatedly told people his family history traced back to both Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln. He shared this fact so much that peers began referring to him by a nickname, “Winston.” He very well could be related to those two famous historical figures. There is a theory that there are only six degrees of separation between any living human being. Why would historical connections be any different? In my recent studies of the Creelman…

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A Minor Change Makes All The Difference

A Minor Change Makes All The Difference

Throughout the history of the United States, pioneers of the Western frontier faced the problem of natives already living on the land they were settling. Plymouth’s history is full of stories and documents that talk about this important historical issue. A huge challenge for any historical society is to make sure all perspectives are given a fair chance. Here in Plymouth, there are a plethora of documents that speak of the settlers’ experiences, but few that give the perspective of…

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