Out of the Dust
People Impacting PlacesIn the 1800s people believed that plowing the soil allowed more rain to soak into the prairie sod. The moisture then evaporated, adding humidity and leading to more rainfall. Science of the day supported this belief and so people's belief was that God had destined them to control the land (http://www.kshs.org). However, rainfall is inconsistent. When settlers realized this, some left. Those who stayed tried other methods of watering their crops. Instead of relying solely on rain, farmers practiced irrigation. They took water from rivers and streams, and pumped water from underground.
A severe drought struck the Plains in the 1930s. Strong winds lifted the light, dry soil and blew it over the landscape in terrible dust storms, and the region became known as the Dust Bowl.
Places Impacting People
So, what happened to the people living in the prairie ecosystems during the 1930s? They were of course impacted by their environment...but how?
|A family of farmers moving to California.|
All of the problems started in the early 1930’s. When all this started, people had hard time getting money. Some way’s people could get money were picking crops for farmers, moving to California, and being a farmer.
In the dust bowl, things changed. Children had to start hearing their parents worry about money and food. Children would play with anything they could find. Little kids had to do a lot of work if they lived on a farm, like feeding the animals, and milking the cows. Big kids had to help their parents with the chores like mowing the grass, making clothes, and anything else they could do.
In the dust bowl, people had hard times getting food. Sometimes people with no homes went to public parks and ate there. Some parks had cooking areas where people could build fires. People would share with others and some would bring a kettle for water, and some people brought food to boil. People would eat a potato, hotdog, or meat stew. When they would start eating they had to put a plate over their drink so no dust would get in it.
Farm life started getting very hard! With crops dying and bad soil, farmers could not produce enough food to live on, much less sell. Farmers were unable to pay their share to the landowners. Farmers were forced to leave the land with huge debts they could not pay. The government started to help; they gave seeds, money, and equipment.
Children of the Dust bowl
We will be learning more about the dust bowl, specifically the Children of the Dust Bowl. As you've already read, many families moved away from Dust Bowl areas and tried to relocate to California. What happened to them there? Stay tuned!