Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rech Farm to Table

This entry continues the story of the Rech family in Indiana, as written by Marie Elizabeth Freyling. Earlier entries were posted on the arrival of the Rech family at New Orleans in March 1854 and in Vanderburgh County.

"When neither George (then 19) nor Jacob (then 17) showed any interest in farming, Grandmother Rech traded the farm for a smaller, 18-acre farm in Center Township, Vanderburgh County, Indiana, owned by Peter Bonenberger. George became an apprentice at Molls, wagonmakers in Mechanicsville (later known as Stringtown), and Jacob became an apprentice at blacksmithing at the Martz Blacksmith Shop located across the street from Molls. In addition to George and Jacob, Susanne (age 13), William (age 7) and Carrie (age 6 months) were living with their mother. Mary, who had been working in the homes of neighbors, had married George Kratz, a gardener of Center Township. Elizabeth (age 16) was "living out" (as domestics were referred to in those days).

For awhile, Grandmother [Susanna Euler] Rech managed to produce small crops of wheat, corn, and hay. Later, she rented most of the land and devoted her time to raising and selling chickens and eggs, and fruit and garden produce. These products were taken, once or twice a week, to the early morning outdoor markets in Evansville, on Fourth Street and First Avenue (near the intersection of Market and Pennsylvania Streets). To get a good place to set up a stand on which to display the produce, it was necessary to arrive by six o'clock in the morning!"
Source: U. Southern Indiana Digital Archive, about 1880
The photo above is of the Fourth Street Market, about 1880, and around the time when Susanna Euler Rech would have been selling her produce at the market. This picture comes from the University of Southern Indiana Digital Collection, http://library2.usi.edu:8080/cdm/singleitem/collection/RLIC/id/4528/rec/40.
Source: EVPL Digital Archive, photo dated 1924
The photo above comes from the Evansville Public Library's Digital Archive, showing the Farmer's Market on Fourth Street. (If you have family from Evansville, check out their site).

Our family loves farmer's markets and frequently visit the Del Ray Farmer's Market and the Old Town Alexandria market. We generally receive fruits and vegetables weekly from Washington's Green Grocer, and try to do our part by eating locally.  Our daughter attended farm camp this summer and learned to feed chickens and tend vegetables in the historic gardens. She really enjoyed that, so maybe this was passed down from her 4th great-grandmother Susanna. I hope this will give her some appreciation as she gets older that farmer's markets have a long history in the family.

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