Home demonstrations, or “Home Dem” parties as they were more apt to be called, were great ways for farm families to not only socialize but to learn new skills. Popular programs for farmer’s wives would have included cooking, canning and sewing. In 1935, a statewide manure conservation program taught farmers how to make the most of their manure. During WWII, there were a variety of “home dem” programs to help with the war effort.
|Crystal Radio Kit|
The radio ushered in a new way to reach farm families. In 1927, radio became available in Cavendish, when WLAK started broadcasting from Bellows Falls. Many farmers made their own “crystal radios, and would use their car batteries to power them. Morning, when a farmer often listened to his radio during milking, was prime time for farm radio programs.
With the arrival of the television age, Across the Fence, a 15 minute program produced by the Extension Service was started. It is the longest running daily farm and home television program in the country and can be seen weekdays at 12:10 pm on WCAX TV or on-line. Programs change daily.
The Cavendish Home Workers Club, which hosted “home dem” parties that farmer’s wives like Mrs. Tiemann would have attended, still exists.
The Tiemanns and their neighbors lived by the motto of “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” To help present day Cavendish residents “live within their means,” Cavendish Connects has launched the Pinterest board Yankee Thrift, that includes a variety of ways to help save money as well as be a friend to the environment.
For more information about the history of the VT Extension service, check out 100 Years of UVM Extension 1913-2013