Name: Farm
Build Date: 1853 thru 1929
Type: Support Buildings
Demolished?: Partially
Current Building #: N/A
Alternate Names: N/A

 

 

 

The farm at the Harrisburg State Hospital allowed for therapeutic labor for the patients, the work was considered wholesome and was supposed to give the patients a sense of purpose. It also helped to cut the cost of operating the hospital. During the early years the majority of the food consumed by the hospital was produced by the farm. Potatoes were a staple food at the hospital. Besides potatoes, corn and wheat were the other two primary crops produced by the farm. The farm also produced enough hay to supply all the farm's needs. Not all crops produced by the farm were consumed at the hospital, excess crops were sold to the community. In 1903 farm expenses, including feed and livestock, totaled $18,392.26, but the income was $21,862.00, a profit of $3,469.74. Among the items sold in 1903 were 4,800 bushels of potatoes, 1,139 bushels of corn, and 39,328 gallons of milk. The farm also produced many other vegetables besides it's primary staple of potatoes, corn, and wheat. Some of these vegetables were squash, onions, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, beans, cabbage, tomatoes, kale, and mushrooms. The farm also produces grapes and raspberries, and had a separate garden for herbs that provided most the kitchens spice needs. At one time the farm produced over $250,000 worth of produce to feed the hospital staff and patients. In 1973 the elimination of peonage law passed, as a result, any patient that worked at the hospital had to be paid. In 1976 farming was discontinued at the hospital.

 

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