“Gardens Should Be Started” by Jane S. McKimmon, State Agent and Assistant Director, North Carolina Extension Service, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the February, 1937 issue of the Carolina Co-Operator
With the advent of the warm sunny days and the colorful seed catalogues, the impulse to get out with “green things agrowing” is irresistible.
It is the little garden behind the house that enables the woman to get away from indoor worries and makes her think of her garden as a “lovesome spot.”
If she is to do the cultivating, her garden should be anchored where only a step or two is necessary when plants are needing attention or when the time is just right for sowing seed or for gathering the daily supply of vegetables.
With the man it is different. If ploughing, planting, and cultivation are turned over to him, he usually finds it more convenient to plant a row or two of tomatoes, beans, corn, or cabbage out in the cotton or tobacco patch where he can plough or cultivate them when he cultivates his crops and this type of gardening is very efficient.
If every farmer in North Carolina would do just this and be sure that he added the turnips, collards, kale, or onions for green things in the fall and winter, he would be growing the vegetables that would protect his family from many diseases caused by lack of variety in the food they eat.
Greens Give Red Blood
Turnip salad, collards, cabbage, tomatoes, and all the pods, tubers, and roots such as peas, beans, beets, potatoes, and carrots do many wonderful things for our bodies. They furnish iron and phosphorus for good red blood, lime, and other things for bones and teeth, starch for fat and energy, and protein for muscle building.
Neither can we be in good condition without the various vitamins which green vegetables contain, and the roughage and laxative juices of green leaves and tubers aid greatly in the prevention of constipation. Even the cow knows that green things are good for her, and it is well for us that she browses on sprouts, buds, shoots, and the grasses of the pasture and turns over to us the vitamins and minerals she thus stores away in her milk.
If every person who has the land would grow a garden and learn how to prepare and serve the vegetables they grow, our doctors’ bills would be cut in half and we would be able to boast of the brawn of our men as well as the acreage of our crops.
Gardens Pay Good Returns
Gardens make bigger returns for the money invested than any other farm operation. Oh no, all the returns are not in money. Far from it. Most of them are in health returns for the family. A Negro farmer in Alamance County said:
“My family has had more to eat this year than we have had since we have been housekeeping, and we have lived better than ever. We raised the vegetables and chickens for the family, and the cow furnished the milk. We have had plenty of everything except money, but we know now that when you have a plenty of everything around you, it doesn’t take much money.”
Some of us, I know, are going to be only lettuce and radish gardeners, the kind who get enthusiastic in the cool days of spring and plant the seed that show quickest results. The first hot day usually sees this gardener’s hand plough and hoe laid aside, but the man who will stick to his job and grow plenty of summer vegetables will not only have them for daily use but will be able to can a big part of his food supply for winter.
New Use for Old Furniture in Chatham County
In the general clearing out of rubbish and unused things in Chatham kitchens and barns, many beautiful pieces of old furniture were brought to light.
As one scorer said, “We found a corner cabinet over a hundred years old and a carved day bed you would give your eyeballs for.”
But these valuable things are not going out of those families to which they belong. The refinished day bed will have the place of honor in the living room and will be covered with an old blue hand-woven coverlet made many years ago by members of the family. Old mantels, wide old floor boards and other things of beauty and memory will abide in their old setting we hope. Perhaps something of what has been contributed by all the people who have used these furnishings and have lived in these homes will abide there also.
Who Is the Well-Dressed Woman?
The well-dressed woman knows her possibilities. She knows her good points and her bad ones, and she has learned to cover up her defects and to bring out her good points.
She looks well to her lines if she is to make the most of every inch of her height, and she must know what to do to minimize her too generous flesh if she keeps up with her stream-lined sisters.
The farm woman along with her town contemporary is learning what a good appearance will do for her and she is putting what she learned into effect.
The home agent in McDowell County says:
“I hear this from interested women everywhere: ‘I am glad that I know how to make my old dress and hat into a 1937 model and that a fresh collar and a new scarf will do wonders toward bringing me up to date.’ Women call it pepping up the old clothes.
“Chicken or pigeon feathers which have been dipped in shellac and used on hats rival in smartness the best store accessories and it was good to see how a feather on the hat brings a smile to the face of the wearer.”