Presentation Explores Gardening During Dust Bowl Years

Published March 24, 2015 at 04:40 pm Kansas Humanities Council Logo

Butler Community College’s Life Enrichment program will host "Grandmother’s Dust Bowl Garden," a presentation by Sara Jane Richter in early April.

The presentation and discussion will be held Tuesday, April 7, at 10 a.m. in the Clifford/Stone Community Room at the Welcome Center on the El Dorado campus. Members of the community are invited to attend the free program. The program is made possible by the Kansas Humanities Council.

During the bleak years of the Dust Bowl, women used their green thumbs and gardening skills to extend their daily menus, earn money, and even beautify their dreary environs. Drawing from first-hand accounts, this talk will explore the vegetables, flowers and medicinal herbs these women cultivated within the harshest conditions during the Great Depression.

Sara Jane Richter is a professor of English at Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell. She has taught many humanities courses on topics ranging from Native American literature, film, American western history, and literature of the American West.

“Plains women during the Great Depression used their ingenuity and their gardens to augment their families’ budgets and create tasty and sometimes unusual dishes, too,” said Richter.

Grandmother’s Dust Bowl Garden is part of the Kansas Humanities Council’s Humanities Speakers Bureau, featuring presentations and discussions that examine our shared human experience — our innovations, culture, heritage and conflicts.

The Kansas Humanities Council conducts and supports community-based programs, serves as a financial resource through an active grant-making program, and encourages Kansans to engage in the civic and cultural life of their communities. For more information about KHC programs contact the Kansas Humanities Council at 785.357.0359 or visit

For more information about Grandmother’s Dust Bowl Garden contact Trisha Walls, Butler Community College Life Enrichment, at 316.218.6355 or email

More articles in the news archive