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King, Don

About | Abstract


King family's dry land farming, ranching, propane businesses in the Estancia Valley.

Interviewee Don King, male, born in 1930
Date Range 1930-2005
Date & Location September 9, 2004, Bruce King home near Stanley, N.M.
Project Farm and Ranch Folks
Region North Central New Mexico
Number of Tapes 1
Transcribed December 5, 2006
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Tape 1, Side A

The interview begins with a discussion about King's birth and early years, in particular his chores as a child and his responsibilities during World War II. He discusses the family's bean farming business, Indian workers and equipment. The effect of the weather on farming and ranching, drought years, and the use of irrigation wells and how this impacted their bean farming business were discussed.

There is a discussion about the propane business, the different trucks they used, and how cheap fuel was a help to their business endeavors. There is a brief sidelight about the hay hauling business.

King states that the key to their farming and ranching success was that they could sell corn silage through the feedlots.

Tape 1, Side B

The discussion of the propane business continues. King recalls that in the early years they did not make much profit. He states that Alice King [sister-in-law] is actively involved in the business.

The King Family takes pride in the fact that they always leave the land in better shape than they found it. The land is never overgrazed and they have consistently practiced soil conservation measures by planting grass to keep erosion under control. There is a brief discussion about the Soil Bank.

There is a lengthy discussion about the impact of drought in the years from 1950 to the present time. Food preservation methods, especially canning, are discussed. Pulling together was very important. Rather than sell surplus canned goods, the King family gave them to neighbors and those who were in need. There is a brief discussion about food storage systems in those early years including iceboxes. Ice came from the icehouse in Moriarty.