This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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This interview was conducted by Lucy Segar at The Kress Family Farm in Livingston NY on June 16th 2015. Ruth, sixteen, is the second oldest daughter of Emily and Eric Kress and is one of nine children in the Kress family. She was born in Spencertown, NY and grew up between Spencertown, Hillsdale and Livingston, NY. She is homeschooled with her nine siblings, and helps run their family farm, growing much of their own food, caring for animals, and selling some of what they produce at the Hawthorne Valley Farm Store.
In this interview she discusses: the Kress family history, their current farm, caring for animals, chores and cooking, her love of cooking, making pastries and her boredom/frustration with cooking with only the things they grow and have at home. She also discusses her feelings about homeschooling, Waldorf school, and education in general. She tells stories about their home, their animals, her parents and siblings, church, extras in their family (people they take in and who become part of their family), being outdoors, singing, family traditions, and her ideas about parenting, personalities and what it is like to be sixteen in such a big family. Towards the end of the interview she tells a few stories about beekeeping, talks about her family’s philosophy about sickness, vaccinations and natural medicines.
This interview might be of interest to people who want to learn about farming, organic farming, bee keeping, homesteading, homeschooling, Waldorf education, cooking, health, natural and medicinal plants, children, teenagers, siblings, families, technology free households, and long time Hudson area residents.
Lucy Segar is from Marlboro, VT, but lives in Hudson, NY, where she works as a writer, educator and movement artist. She has an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University and teaches writing at The Fashion Institute of Technology, she also teaches interdisciplinary courses for kids in Hudson at the Hudson Intermediary School and through Kite’s Nest. Lucy attended OHSS in 2015.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”