- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - Canada, Province / Territory - OntarioContinent - North America, Country - Canada, Province / Territory - Quebec
- Category Furnishings
- Sub-category Furniture
- Department History
- Museum CMH
- Earliest 1801/01/01
- Latest 1860/12/31
- Materials Pine
- Measurements Height 87.6 cm, Width 182.8 cm, Depth 53.3 cm
- Caption The Farmer's Wife
The kitchen, occupying as much as half the ground floor of the farmhouse, is the centre of domestic life. Here, at a large stone fireplace or cast iron stove, the farmer's wife cooks the meals. A wooden table doubles as a counter for preparing food and as the place where the family sits down to eat, and gather at the end of the day. Many of the wife's domestic chores follow an unceasing daily routine geared to the family's needs. Water for cooking is drawn from an outside well and brought into the house in pails, firewood is carried in, the chickens are fed, the cows are milked morning and evening, and the vegetable garden is tended. All the while she must look after her youngest children, and ensure that the family's clothes and the house are kept clean. Twice a year, in the spring and in the fall, she thoroughly cleans the house from top to bottom.
Many domestic chores, whether repeated daily or occurring seasonally, such as making fruit preserves from wild berries and preparing soap from the boiled fats of butchered animals, help maintain the family and reduce its dependence on purchases. But the farmer's wife also makes a direct contribution to household income through at least two of her activities. Between April and November when milking is carried out, she separates the cream and churns it to make butter that is sold at market. During the winter months, she weaves and sews a variety of goods both for household use and for sale.