Written by F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Wilmington Star, Nov. 5, 1945
Gardens are fine to have on every farm . . . but nothing takes the place of meat.
We found out this year when meat became scarce and the storekeepers from the towns came out and tried to buy every ham and side in country smokehouses. Sometime the owners sold a little too close, and then they could not go to town as usual and buy fatback and other meat such as was needed.
It is a good idea not to let that happen again. A supply of home-raised meat adequate for the family the year around is a possibility on every farm and it is essential for a well-balanced diet. It makes for happiness in the farm family. Every North Carolina farm can and should be self-supporting and self-sufficient from the standpoint of preparing and furnishing its own meat and, by handling, it is possible to have home-cured, canned or frozen meats available throughout the whole year. This can be done at a saving under what the farm family ordinarily will have to pay for such meat in the food stores or butcher shops.
Dr. D.E. Brady, meat specialist, says there is no great mystery about having a home supply of meat. One needs only to master a few principles or directions and if these are followed, every farm home can have its home meat supply. Certainly, we should never again be caught with a shortage of all kinds of cured pork. It was really pitiful this past summer to see farm folks in North Carolina, especially in the eastern part of the state, going from store to store and from town to town, losing time and hunting in vain for fatback and lard. It was not to be had. I blame the OPA for much of that condition because the low ceiling price on hogs and the high price of feed made it almost impossible for the farmer to feed out hogs at a profit. It paid him better to sell out his animals rather than feed them with high-priced corn and other feed. Even so, that should not have caused us to sell out our herds so low that we who can grow the animals on or own farms did not have enough meat for our own use.
Right now, the farmers of this state are busily engaged in building back their swine herds and it is a good thing. Every farm should be self-supporting insofar as its supply of ham, bacon, lard and other cured pork products are concerned. With the coming of electricity to all farm homes, it will soon be possible also to have fresh meat the year around. This means fresh beef, chickens, and other kind of meat kept in deep freeze units run by electricity.
At any rate it is time for all of us to be thinking of our supplies of cured pork for this winter. The Extension Service has printed by very readable little bulletin, Extension Circular No. 262, “The Farm Pork Supply,” in which the author, D.E. Brady, tells exactly how to cure pork products for home use. The publication tells of the equipment necessary for butchering on the farm, how to butcher a hog, how to cut up the carcass, and gives recipes for rendering lard and curing the meat. There are step by step pictures which explain what the text has to say so that is should be hard to make a mistake.
A number of farmers have been requesting this bulletin recently, and I present the present supply will go fast. Therefore, if any of you wish to have a copy, we shall be glad to mail it to you on your request. Ask for Extension Circular No. 262, “The Farm Pork Supply” and the bulletin will be put in the mail the same day that your request is received.