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A Farmer Without A Farm



A Farmer Without A Farm
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 4
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.03

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    aquifer, prunes, rainfall, entire, irrigation, region, left, rented, beginning, whatever, picking, girl, farmland, stayed, lasted, packed
     content words:    Claire Demmer, New Mexico, Isadore Joseph Demmer, In Texas, Dust Bowl, Washington State, Lytt Demmer, World War II


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A Farmer Without A Farm
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     In 1936, a nine-year-old girl named Claire Demmer left the only home she had ever known to move with her family and begin a new life in New Mexico. Her father, Isadore Joseph Demmer, had been a cotton farmer in Texas. Isadore dreamed of owning his own farm. He realized that dream when he bought a cotton farm in Shamrock, Texas, in 1925. The Demmer family had two sons, Paul, and Lytt, and a daughter, Claire. In Texas, Mr. Demmer made a fine living from his cotton farm. Then a drought changed all that. A drought is a period of time when there is not enough rainfall to support the crops that need water to grow. In Texas, there was a drought in the 1930's that lasted several years.
 
2     From early1932 to 1936, Isadore tried to keep his cotton farm going without the benefit of rain. It was impossible. The soil was too dry, and the dust storms and "black blizzards" swept the region so often there was nothing left of his crops. In 1932 alone there were fourteen dust storms. By 1936, the number of dust storms had increased to sixty-eight. The area had become known as "The Dust Bowl."
 
3     Mr. Demmer realized he would have to leave his farm. He talked it over with his wife, Lena. There was not much to discuss. They could not sell the farm because there was no one who would buy it. They would simply have to leave. The Demmer family packed up all their personal belongings. They put whatever they could pack into the family car. Then, Isadore and his family simply drove away from their home. They left everything behind except what would fit in the car. Isadore had a friend in Farmington, New Mexico, who promised him a job in construction. Isadore would take any work he could get, so that's where he and his family went. Times were tough, but Isadore never gave up his dream of being a farmer.

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