Life on the farm
Hello, I’m David Hurtubise, a farmer. There’s a lot of work to do now that it’s the end of the summer, but I have my children to help me. I don’t need to clear any more land. I already have enough to support my family. When I cut wood, it’s just for cooking and heating.
I cut wood in the winter because it’s easier to transport it by sliding it over the snow. I also have more time then because in the winter I’m not farming the land.
With my horses to help me, I can work quickly and efficiently. But I have to worry about feeding them, along with all my cows, pigs and other animals.
Actually, my wife usually tends to them. She has a lot of work; she has to take care of the house, the animals, the garden and our ten children.
Still, the work is easier than it once was. There are craftsmen in the village now, including a blacksmith and a carpenter. We no longer have to make everything ourselves.
My father lives with us. We all live together in the house he built and I grew up in. It is the custom here. My father bequeathed his land to me and since then I have been taking care of him. His knowledge is invaluable to me.
I have to get back to work because there’s so much work to do in the fall. We have to harvest the vegetables and put them in the cellar, store the grain in the barn and slaughter the animals so that we’ll have meat for the winter.
We have to get all this done before the first snow falls. This winter, in addition to chopping and stacking wood, I will finish building a dresser and will weave the bottoms of old chairs. Meanwhile, my wife will spin and weave wool.
Author: Léon Robichaud
See also – Traces of the past:
French (If available)