My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Wednesday—I am going again today to a Drafting Committee meeting of the United Nations' Economic and Social Council. The Council is trying very hard to finish its work before the end of June and those of us who have served on the commissions are extremely grateful for the consideration which was given our reports and the efficient way in which the work is being accomplished.

Yesterday my son and daughter-in-law, Elliott and Faye, and I went down to look at one of the most remarkable farming operations which I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. Of course, southern Delaware with its mixture of sandy soil and rich bottomland and its areas of woodland, is an ideal farming country. The fields are broad and flat and without stones. To a New Yorker, it seemed an incredibly rich and easy land on which to farm. Over the whole area, chickens were being raised in great quantities and every farm looked like a satisfactory and prosperous undertaking.

The extent and variety of enterprises on this particular project which we saw, are probably among the reasons for the farm's great success. Perhaps if you had grown up with this operation it would not stagger you as it did me! The dairy farms were beautiful. The fields of peas and beans and other produce seemed endless. The peach orchards, we were told, produced very little this year, because of a hot spell in February which brought out the blossoms too soon! The apple trees were not up to maximum either. I kept wishing that I could have seen these acres of fruit trees in bloom. Near us on the Hudson River, I know of no more beautiful sight than Mr. Henry Morgenthau, Jr's orchards in bloom in the spring. His land is hilly country, however, and you climb up and down to reach the various orchards. In Delaware all is level and where the new orchards are planted, rye grows almost to the tops of the little trees.

This particular undertaking is not just a one-man kingdom, but a family proposition. Sons and daughters, with their families, have an interest in land which is far flung in the state of Delaware. Family holdings also include two chicken farms in Maine.

The world is small, and as we sat on the porch of a delightful house in a beach resort in the late afternoon, after having toured all day, a very pretty young woman commented that she remembered playing with my two younger sons at the Corning place in Albany and coming to the Executive Mansion for parties when they were all in their teens. Another charming girl told me that she had been at Connecticut State College when I had spoken there some years ago. Since then, she had served with the Red Cross in the Pacific and had seen the results of war in the Philippines.

Altogether it was an interesting day. My son and daughter-in-law and I spent the time in our return train trip trying to determine what we could apply, from our new learning, to a very small farming project in New York State!

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL