From an Agricultural Extension Service county plan, 1950
Carteret County farm people, like many North Carolinians, spend most of their net income for food, yet still suffer from deficiencies. A survey made in the county shows that diets are deficient in Vitamins A and C, milk, and garden products. If an adequate home food supply were produced, a balanced diet could be obtained at a saving of $1,700 per year to the average family.
A good food production plan should be based on producing as much food as needed for good health.
The following should be considered in planning an adequate home food supply program:
--Gardens: five-tenths of an acre of garden space per family of five should be planted based on the basis of one-tenth acre per person.
--Homegrown fruits and nuts: The following are considered adequate for a family of five: 100 strawberry plants, 10 boysenberry plants, 2 Stewart pecan trees, 2 pear trees, apples and peaches, and figs.
--One and preferably two cows giving milk, freshening at different times.
--100 chicks of which 35 to 40 are kept for layers.
--100 pounds of pork and 100 pounds of beef and lamb per person. Seafood may be substituted for one-third of the meat requirement.
--Proper food conservation equipment and suitable storage space for canned, frozen, dried foods, root vegetables and other foods; home freezers are considered desirable.
--Put up the following per person each year: 23 to 25 quarts of green and yellow fruits and vegetables; 20 to 25 quarts of vitamin C-rich foods like tomatoes; 100 pounds of potatoes; 23 to 25 quarts of other vegetables; 23 to 25 quarts of fruits and fruit juices; 15 to 20 quarts (or 75 pounds) of meats, 8 to 10 pints of jellies, jams, or preserves, three quarts of pickles and relish, and 4 quarts of brined kraut and cucumbers.
Great strides have been made in home improvements in Carteret. Nearly all homes have electricity, electric or gas stoves and a washing machine, and many refrigerators and freezers are in use. However, few homes are entirely satisfactory. Only about 50 percent have running water and even less have bathroom facilities.
The farm people of Carteret County have realized for a long time that many improvements could be made in the agricultural program of the county.
According to the 1945 Farm Census, there were 1,085 farms in Carteret County, consisting of 60,928 acres with 19,925 acres being devoted to cropland. In 1950 there were 614 farms with 57,015 acres of farmland and a reduction to 15,436 acres in crop production. During this period of only five years, the average size farm increased from 56.2 acres to 92.9 acres. People are purchasing additional tracts of land as well as clearing more land in order to increase the size and efficiency of their farming operations.
The total farm income for this county is $3.5 million. Tobacco is the principal cash crop; truck crops rank second toward the total farm income, and livestock places third. Forestry accounts for 73 per cent of the farmland but contributes only 2 per cent of the income.
During recent years, with the gradual increase in improved permanent pastures, hay and temporary grazing crops, and the great need for more diversified farming, there has been an upward trend in our livestock population.
Most of the 614 farms in the county are small and are operated on a part-time basis. The additional income is received either from fishing, employment at services bases, or other public work throughout the county. The short distances and favorable salaries offered at the service bases, compared to the high production costs and longer hours of farm work, has caused many of our rural people to seek non-farm employment.