The main crop was sugar beets which was introduced to the U.S. from eastern Europe. The fields first had to be cleared and leveled for the water to flow from the irrigation canals. Sugar beets are very labor-intensive from start to finish.  In the beginning they were pulled, topped and loaded all by hand into wagons which were then unloaded by hand at the beet dump. The entire family pitched in to work the fields.  Weeding and thinning the beets on hands and knees were performed one row at a time.  The end of the row must have looked a long way off. Besides the cash crop, there was the family garden, livestock, and poultry grown for their own food as well as trade for commodities and household necessities.  As Molly Karst once said, “A pair of two dollar shoes was an extravagance.” Those who made it, worked until they made it. They never gave up!




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