Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Harold Patterson, June 5, 1991

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Patterson's family / growing up on the farm

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Partial Transcript: Okay. This is June 5th, and this is Elizabeth Albert interviewing Mr. Harold Patterson at Southeast Community College.

Segment Synopsis: Patterson talks about his grandparents and parents, where they came from, and the work that they did. His father died in the coal mines when Patterson was very young, and his mother remarried. He talks about the different crops and animals that his family raised on the farm.

Keywords: Apples; Coal companies; Coal miners; Farming; Fathers; Gardens; Grandfathers; Grandmothers; Grandparents; Hired help; Housewives; Inheritance; Land; Leasing; Logging; Men; Milk cows; Mothers; Parents; Stepfathers; Teaching; Trees; Women; Working

Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Families.; Family farms; Farms, small.

00:11:20 - Chores, education, and career / raising corn and sorghum cane

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Partial Transcript: How did, how did that work with both of your parents employed and still farming, what were the, how did that work, was it just during certain seasons that they would devote most of their time to farming or how, how did that time allocation go?

Segment Synopsis: Patterson talks about the chores that he did when he was still living with his parents. He talks about his education and career. He talks about raising sorghum cane and corn.

Keywords: Cattle; Chores; College; Construction; Corn; Farming; Financial aid; Gardens; Goals; Half-sisters; High school; Horses; Plowing; School; Sorghum; Teaching; Tractors

Subjects: Agriculture--Appalachian Region; Agriculture--Kentucky; Education, Higher--Kentucky; Family farms

00:18:38 - Making molasses and maple syrup / raising a garden and grandfather's farm

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Partial Transcript: How do you, um, well how many acres of sorghum did you have to make profit like that?

Segment Synopsis: Patterson describes the process of making molasses and explains why it is difficult to make a profit from molasses. He also explains how to make maple syrup. He talks about raising a garden and helping out on his grandfather's farm.

Keywords: Animals; Canning; Cattle; Corn; Cousins; Gardens; Grandfathers; Grapes; Harvesting; Hogs; Maple syrup; Molasses; Neighbors; Peaches; Plows; Sap; Sorghum cane; Tractors; Uncles; Vegetables

Subjects: Agriculture--Appalachian Region; Agriculture--Kentucky; Family farms; Farms, small.; Gardening--Appalachian Region; Livestock--Appalachian region

00:29:37 - More about growing up on the farm / housing and farm buildings

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Partial Transcript: I was gonna ask you about, um, about that kind of thing where family or neighbors or whoever he-- were there certain times of year when that would happen or was it pretty much paid labor?

Segment Synopsis: Patterson talks about the people who would help out in harvesting. He talks about playing with his cousins growing up. He talks about the buildings that were on his grandfather's farm and the house where he grew up. He talks about refrigeration and using spring water to keep dairy cool.

Keywords: Barns; Baseball; Bedrooms; Bottom land; Chicken houses; Cousins; Dairy; Family; Fishing; Grandfathers; Grandmothers; Grandparents; Harvest; Heating; Helping; Hired help; Horses; Iceboxes; Land; Mountain land; Neighbors; Refrigeration; Smokehouses; Visiting; Water; Wells

Subjects: Agriculture--Appalachian Region; Agriculture--Kentucky; Families.; Family farms; Farms, small.; Housing

00:46:05 - Medical care and home remedies / organic gardening and selling produce

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Partial Transcript: Yeah I wanted to ask you about other kinds of, um, farming accidents or other kinds of things that happened on the farm or health care when, for as early as you can remember, do you remember what, was there a local doctor, or, and did people get hurt?

Segment Synopsis: Patterson talks about medical care and home remedies from when he was growing up. He describes the process of making cough syrup out of whiskey and sugar. He talks about gardening organically and selling cornmeal.

Keywords: Cattle; Compost; Corn; Cornmeal; Cough syrup; Doctors; Fertilizer; Gardens; Highways; Home remedies; Manure; Medical care; Moving; Pesticides; Retirement; Sickness; Whiskey; Wine

Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Livestock--Appalachian region; Medical care--Kentucky; Medicine, Rural

00:57:47 - Farming equipment, making corn meal, and maple trees

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Partial Transcript: It's interesting, a lot of people have, have talked about, oh it was so hard when they were young and, and then, but they end up enjoying doing that, you know they kind of go full circle it seems.

Segment Synopsis: Patterson talks about how he enjoys gardening. He talks about the farm equipment he has, and talks about grinding cornmeal. He talks about the maple trees where he gets the sap for maple syrup.

Keywords: Family; Farm equipment; Farming; Food; Harvesting; Maple syrup; Maple trees; Pickers; Plows; Produce; Tillers; Tractors

Subjects: Agriculture--Kentucky; Farms, small.; Gardening--Appalachian Region

01:05:01 - Farming lifestyle, economy, and obstacles

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Partial Transcript: I just wanna finish up by asking you about, um, your own family, your own kids, how many kids do you have and?

Segment Synopsis: Patterson talks about his son. He talks about why he feels that people don't farm as much as they could, and the obstacles in trying to get the agriculture industry going. He talks about the market that is available for fresh, organic produce.

Keywords: Children; Co-ops; Farming; Gardens; Highways; Labor; Land; Lifestyle; Organic; Produce; Selling; Sons; Tomatoes; Working

Subjects: Agriculture--Economic aspects; Families.; Family farms; Farms, small.; Gardening--Appalachian Region