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  1. Tashanel

    Tashanel Member

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    Farm Life

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Tashanel, Mar 12, 2012.

    Hi guys,
    I have a novel that with farm life background. Living in a remote place, have a horse and cow to make a living. But too bad, i never experience with farm life. I hardly imagine, how the farm life look like.

    I played a lot harvest moon series game, but still find it's kinda unrealistic. So, I'm asking my friend which live in ranch. She gave me photos and the geographic there (somewhere in California she lived). She gave me a clue a little about the distance between houses.

    But, i have a problem. I once watch "Gone with the wind" and see some fancy house. My question is, is it possible or ever any in farm life there a house with dutch colonial type? (Two chimney and two floors)


    My character was tremendous rich! Because father in the family was a doctor and they live in Suriname. So here's another problem, Is there ever have a war in Suriname or something that Suriname involve to? I can't find it in google. Because I'm thinking, when the country was still part of other countries, and its neighboring countries were colonies of other countries too, maybe one day they will attack each other.

    All i know, Suriname was part of Dutch and next to french guiana and british guiana. My time setting was, 1923. Ever the dutch, the french and the british involve in war in that region around 1923? Or it happen before/after 1923?

    Thanks before,
     
  2. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Houses on farms depend totally on when they were built and how much money the farmer had at the time.

    As to the rest, you should be able to find plenty of resources on the history of Suriname. I did a quick google of "Suriname history" and got loads of sites.
     
  3. Tesoro

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    How does one make a living from one horse and one cow?
     
  4. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Subsistence farming?
     
  5. Tashanel

    Tashanel Member

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    Is it normal for dutch colonial type around 1923?

    Well, I'm still studied over it. Some essays and some from wiki. But if someone ever know about this country a lot, and know about war (if there's any), I like to know. Than checked every essays (well 1923 not a fashioned year, which like a gap between WW I and WW 2). That's why isn't easy.

    So here's the detail from my novel:
    End of slavery in 1870 make Netherlands recruited laborer from java.
    MC's family immigrate around 1890 and start a living in suriname. Father of the family, work as a doctor but his wife was a writer.
    The only MC's family neighbor sell his land around 1990 because economic issues. MC's family make that new house as orphanage, and let the before owner to live there.
    MC's family (especially mother of the family), still contact his related from java. Last contact was in 1922, when siti nurbaya book published.
    The story start in 1923.

    To make it dramatic, I want the father of the family have assignment to war. If it's possible, or any related event around 1920's. If not, well he still a doctor that his workplace is very far from his home. (I'm still searching a related event around my refrences)

    So, if anyone have some clue what happened around 1900's (especially (1920's) in suriname (the most topic related to: immigrant-slavery-VOC. But, there's a few information around 1900's era), I'll be glad :D

    The reasons why i choose suriname:
    -cultural related. So it's easy for me, because I understand the origins.
    -Still possible for remote living (well I use google earth to seek uncover land).


    wrong translation. I mean cows and horses. :p you know, ranch type or something :D
     
  6. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    They could have that style in 1923, yes. Normal? There were all variations of that style, and there were all kinds of other styles. Feasible for your story? Well, again, a quick google search showed the architecture to be fairly eclectic, although Georgian seemed to show up more than anything.

    Basically, if you want to set the story in Surname, and you know very little about the place, you're going to have to spend hefty amounts of time finding sources and learning about it. Having a couple questions answered on a forum is not going to do the trick.
     
  7. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you will have to do your own research, since you seem to know so little and need to learn so much about what you want to write... no one here is going to do it for you, nor should they... it's part of the writer's job to learn what you need to know in order for your work to be believable...

    with google available to you, it won't be all that hard... if you want to be a writer, you have to do what writers do... and what they have to do entails a lot of work that isn't just writing... that's just an inescapable fact of writing life...
     
  8. lorilee

    lorilee Member

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    It depends on the style of houses in the area. Where I live (western Canada), the farmhouses of the 1920's were generally hand hewn log construction, mostly one floor. In Ontario, they were made from stone or brick and usually two stories. A Dutch colonial wouldn't likely be found in Wyoming, but probably common in Pennsylvania at the time.

    these are mutually exclusive.

    I grew up on a small farm, about 6 head of cattle, a couple pigs, a few dozen chickens and turkeys and about an acre of garden, plus pasture and hay fields to feed the stock. We basically raised enough to eat. If my grandma wasn't a full time teacher and my dad a mechanic, there wouldn't have been any money for more than the basic necessities, let alone to be considered even middle class.

    If your character is going to be from a well-off farming family, they would have to have large herds of whatever stock is raised in the area, hundreds if not thousands of acres under cultivation and men working for them.

    Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder is a very good depiction of a well off farming family in New York State in the 1870s. Her books On The Banks of Plum Creek and Little Town on the Prairie are from her life, the remote place with one cow and one horse. They'd give you a lot of good information of the type of life your character might lead on the farm.

    Happy writing!
     
  9. Tashanel

    Tashanel Member

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    well, the truth is I don't ask someone to do a research for me. But maybe someone here have experience with farming a lot. There are eight type to collecting information/Research which is:

    1.Observation
    2.Interview
    3. Focus Group Discussion
    4. Participatory Research
    5. Research by picture
    6. Map-rank
    7. Story telling
    8. Oral history

    well I guess, in this research thread it is fine to asking someone experience (which is contain point number 8, 7, 3, 5 or 6) While I can't doing point number 1 and 4. But what I really taking is research with method number 2 or 8 and use this writingforums as my media. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    I do have research before, but till now I can't find something what I looking for. And there still a lot of book I borrow in library and I'm still working on it. The book now I read called "Sejarah Nusantara" that wrote in thousand pages and three series with equal pages. I do patient, because I love to read history. But still, I can't find something what I looking for :)

    This really help. I would think seriously whether using the dutch colonial or not. I read before that dutch colonial construction came after the dutch colonization in America. But in other hand, I do search by Google Earth and can't find dutch colonial building in some plantation area (Hope, found a house that has been passed down from generation to generation, so I could see was current apparently in that area).

    I'd be very happy if it could find similar house like Amityville stand alone in a middle of plantation. Or Scarlet house in Gone with the wind movie.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Aw...yeah maybe you right. I didn't put pig or anything (that doesn't neat) because they can screw your grasses (just because my ego). In my point of view, pig does it and also chicken. :D

    I harrrrrrrddddllyyy to write another animal with that excuse. But my point is, my MC have ranch, barn and anything that pasturing.

    Another references! Thanks!
     
  10. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the trouble is, you're asking for detailed info on farming in a very out of the way part of the world, with a culture that i doubt any here on the forums will have had any experience with...

    that's why i stressed the importance of you doing your own research, since in this case, specifically, the info you get here isn't likely to be relevant to your setting...
     
  11. Tesoro

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ok, that makes sense! :D Good luck with this project, it sounds interesting.
     

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