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Cows Don't Know it's Sunday

Agricultural Life in St. John's

By Hilda Chaulk Murray
Categories: Food Studies, Cultural Studies, Folklore, Labour, Newfoundland And Labrador Studies, Geography, History
Series: Social and Economic Studies
Series Number: 65
Paperback : 9780919666535, 344 pages, April 2002


Before 1950, the greatest number of Newfoundland farmers lived in the St. John's area. They and the townsfolk were interdependent, with the farmers providing meat, poultry, garden and dairy products to the city, while St. John's served as a ready market and a source of cash income. Although many street names serve as reminders of those who once worked the land, and others perpetuate old homesteads, the farmers of St. John's are as unknown today as though they had never been.

Cows Don't Know It's Sunday gives a historical overview of farming and its importance to the economy of Newfoundland, and describes in detail, using the words of more than eighty people who grew up on or near farms, what it was like to farm in and around St. John's in the period within living memory. Farmers worked seven days a week throughout the year. This study of both the work life and social life of the farmers of St. John's is a tribute to the farming families who were the mainstay of the city during the first half of the twentieth century.


"This publication is a detailed account of the agricultural community which existed in and around St. John's in the first half of the twentieth century. ....For those who are interested in extending the study of the farming community in new directions, Murray's work will provide a nice point of reference" 

- Anna Kearney Guigné, Ethnologies