"The Woman’s Touch or What Club Work Means to N.C. Farm Women" by Jane S. McKimmon, State Home Demonstration Agent and Assistant Director of Extension, N.C. State College, in the March, 1938, issue of Carolina Co-operator
Household Accounting Simplified
A simple system of recording the income and the outgo might solve the problem of household accounting for many farm families.
Mrs. Russell Tesh of Tabernacle Club, Guilford County, has kept family accounts ever since she became a home demonstration club member in 1934 and she keeps them in a simple manner.
One sheet of letter paper used on both sides is sufficient for a month’s account and at the end it is filed in a loose-leaf note book. Three columns are ruled off on the monthly sheet, headed: Sold, Spent, and Benevolences. The sheet is kept in the kitchen cabinet where it is handy for frequent entries.
Just after washing the dinner dishes is the most convenient time for jotting down items for the past 24 hours and the time spent at this task averages about two hours per month.
In the three years Mrs. Tesh has been keeping accounts for a family of three she has discovered and practically eliminated several leaks. Her son’s candy bill had diminished appreciably. Recreation dollars are spent in a wiser way, and she has found that it doesn’t look so well if one person’s name appears much oftener than the others in the "spent" column.
"The thing I like best about keeping accounts," says Mrs. Tesh, "is that it settles so many arguments and answers so many questions. We can look over the records of what we sold and what we bought and know pretty well what came in and what went out and the record of any undertaking will show whether it was paid or not, and we can generally discover why."
Marketing the Surplus
A rather surprising result of producing the family’s food supply is the cash income accruing from the surpluses of vegetables, poultry, butter, and other foods.
Many North Carolina farm women have seized the opportunity of adding to their cash income by marketing the food surpluses on the weekly home demonstration markets or in other ways, and last year they reported total gross sales of more than $600,000.
In the past four months Mrs. Dan Green, who is the wife of a tenant farmer, has sold $196.55 worth of vegetables and other things on the Farm Woman’s Curb Market in Rockingham.
Records are being kept on production of her poultry flock by Mrs. D.J. Dobson of Marion, Route 4, McDowell County, and she will endeavor to increase production this year. Mrs. Dobson made a net profit of $265.87 from a flock of 169 hens last year.
Benefit From Goat’s Milk
Two years ago Mrs. Nora Hopkins of Martin County tried goat’s milk to help her bad stomach trouble. She had found it impossible to keep a cow and goats have solved her problem.
She got in touch with a goat breeder and secured a mother Togenburg goat ad its kid for only $4. Togenburgs are good milkers and as the years went on Mrs. Hopkins found she had not only enough milk for her own needs but she could plan to supplement her income with the milk the growing number of goats were producing. Some of the kids have been slaughtered for meat, and on the whole Mrs. Hopkins feels she has done well to secure a valuable source of food supply which costs her little money and effort to care for.
Her desire now is for enough customers to make her supply of surplus milk bring her in an income.
According to Mrs. Joseph Page of Robeson County, it doesn’t pay to buy cheap, sleazy material for slip covers. She first measured her chairs and sofa and determined how much material it would take. She found that 35 yards of material were required.
She shopped around and found a piece of cotton crash* of an odd, splashy design for 19 cents per yard which had been more expensive and which suited her needs admirably.
The total cost of her slip covers was $8.90, including tape binding, and she was the possessor of beautiful furnishings which would have cost many times that amount had they been purchased form a house-furnishing establishment.
*Cotton crash is a plain-weave fabric of rough, irregular yarns