The Ideal Farm Home III

In the third and final installment of the Ideal Farm Home Contest, emphasis is placed on the size and functionality of a farm kitchen. As more and more men and women moved to the cities for employment during the 1920s apartments with small kitchenettes were being built. Wise farm women knew that that style of kitchen would never do for them. Important farm improvements were also listed such as good fences and neatly painted outbuildings. These ladies definitely understood what an ideal farm home was whether they had one or not. There is also a shout-out to the top eight prize winners of the competition. Happy Reading!

~Elaine

Part III

As the living room is considered to be the heart of the home, the kitchen is the farm woman’s workshop and greater stress was laid by our friends upon having the kitchen well planned than upon any other one feature, as it is through efficiency here that the farm woman saves time and strength for the greater task of homemaking. Our readers say that the kitchenette of the city apartment is not practical for the farm home. The farm kitchen must be roomy enough to prepare food for more than the immediate family circle but not be so large that there is great lost motion in daily meals-getting. The kitchen must be sufficiently compact so that one person can do the work most of the time in these days when help is so hard to find and large enough so that more than one can work there in comfort when there’s a “gang” to feed. And they say – these sensible, wide-awake women – that their kitchens must be attractive, pleasant, cozy, comfortable, cheery. The walls must be finished in harmonious colors; the woodwork must be so finished that it will be easy to keep clean; the floors must be easy to clean and comfortable to stand on (good linoleum is in favor). The working space must be planned to fit the particular need and sink, tables, shelves, stoves of a height to fit the woman who works. The work units must be grouped to save steps. There must be windows over sink and work table so that the workers can see the beauty of sky and grove, garden and orchard, distant hills, while her hands are employed.

Yes! They know what they need, farm women do, and, as the years go by, their fine, sturdy idealism and practical common sense are bringing better conditions about, not only in farm homes but in farm communities.

  • PLENTY of lights and lights where they are needed – in the kitchen over sink and stove and worktable; in the living room at the places where people want to read; in the closets and at the heads of the beds.
  • A dumb waiter from the kitchen to the basement; a dumb waiter to be enclosed in screen and lowered with its load of food to save many trips up and down the basement steps. Stairs that are wide and with low “risers”; also, wide stairways.
  • Running water – hard and soft; hot and cold.
  • Houses mouse and rat proof.
  • Good chimneys, for fire protection.
  • Plenty of reading matter.
  • Good pictures; music.
  • Plenty of closets, rods for hangers, shelves for hats and shoes.
  • Window seats, with drawers, chests or cupboards beneath for toys, magazines, sewing materials.
  • Good fences in good condition for “good fences make good neighbors.”
  • Buildings well painted and the painting kept up, for both economy and appearance.
  • Electricity, from power line or individual farm plant.
  • Built-in ironing board, in good light.
  • Power for washing machine, separator, vacuum cleaner, iron and so forth.
  • Clothes chute.
  • Lift to attic for taking up seed corn, trunks and so forth.
  • Place indoors to dry clothes in bad weather.
  • Closet for brooms, dust mops and so forth, some want such a cleaning closet on each floor.
  • Cross ventilation in bedrooms.
  • Porch upstairs for airing bedding.
  • Good outbuildings, kept in good repair.
  • Good water supply inside and out.
  • Rocker in kitchen with something to read nearby.
  • A location chosen with reference to good school, church, roads, community and marketing facilities.
  • Workbench or workroom for the men folks.
  • Full length mirrors in bedroom or sewing room.
  • Shower in washroom where men can take a quick shower when they come from fields.
  • Storage space for canned fruits and vegetables and also for root vegetables, apples and so forth.
  • Wood box and icebox that can be filled from outside.
  • Central heating plant.
  • Fireplace.
  • Radio both for business and pleasure.
  • Cupboard between kitchen and dining room, with door or slide that can be used at mealtimes and with long drawer that slides both ways.
  • The house wired for electricity even when service cannot be installed immediately.
  • Medicine cabinet in bathroom; if bathroom is on second floor, a second cabinet in washroom or kitchen for emergency and first-aid supplies.
  • Work table on castors in the middle of the kitchen.
  • Fire extinguishers.
  • Bathtub built in because easier to clean around it.
  • Playroom for children – several mentioned gymnasium in basement.
  • Smooth woodwork – no crevices nor grooves to be cleaned.
  • House that can grow with family.
  • House located and planned with reference to prevailing wind – either for protection from them or to take advantage of them in summer.
  • House planned for hospitality, not only to individuals but to community.
  • Orchard for home use if not for sale of fruit.
  • Garage under same roof as house.
  • Storage room for supplies bought in large quantities and for farm products.
  • Kitchen built so that windows give good view of farm lot and farm buildings and at least one window looking toward road. FWM

PRIZES AWARDED

The cash prizes were awarded to the following women:

  1. Mrs. Foster Tyler, Licking County, Ohio                                        $50.00
  2. Mrs. J.H. Studley, Kankakee County, Illinois                                $25.00
  3. Mrs. Vera M Elliott, Medina County, Ohio                                     $10.00
  4. Mrs. George H. Sommers, Rice County, Minnesota                    $10.00
  5. Mrs. S.V. Barnes, Nobles County, Minnesota                                $10.00
  6. Mrs. George Leahy, Roberts County, South Dakota                      $5.00
  7. Mrs. Earl Frost, Wayne County, New York                                     $5.00
  8. Mrs. Clifford P. Lawrence, McLean County, Illinois                      $5.00