Farm Life: My First Job

My first job was working on our farm, weeding long rows of carrots. We were paid a nickel per row. That's $.05 United States currency. Daddy would not pay us if we pulled too many carrots out by mistake. Those carrots paid some of our bills. We had to be careful because one of the weeds that grew with the carrots looked just like the small carrots. We could tell if it was a carrot by brushing the sandy soil away from the top of the plant root and looking to see if we saw an orange color. If we saw orange, it was a carrot. We learned very quickly to bury the carrots that we accidentally pulled up so that we would not have our pay taken away.

All in all we really enjoyed the work and would race one another to see how many rows of carrots we could complete in a day. That was back in the late 1950s when $.25 would buy five packs of gum or five candy bars. It was like we won the lottery at the end of the week. Of course, most of our earnings went into our piggy banks and we put our money in the bank once or twice a year when the piggy bank got heavy. I was well under the age of ten and felt so grown up to do work on the farm like daddy did.

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