Farming Saved Us
One thing I have noticed in researching the food history of the Great Depression, is that the people who ate the best and survived the best, usually grew their own food. Living on a farm or having relatives or friends that lived on a farm meant that you were able to get food more easily. Many people grew large gardens and canned and preserved everything they could. Sharing any extra food you had with those who were less fortunate was the neighborly thing to do.
America was a lot more rural during that time and that was how many people ended up surviving. Fully 20% of Americans lived on farms during the Great Depression. The popular farm-to-table and eating by the seasons culinary methods that we have nowadays was a way of life for many people during that time.
However, the one event that hurt many farmers the most was the Dust Bowl. Because of drought, poor farming practices and a flooded wheat market, the mid-thirties saw a major dip in a once economically booming American farm culture. Waves of dust, dry top soil and debris blew across the American plains. Many farmers had to finally abandon their farms and head to other states as migrant workers.