Sunday, June 23, 2013

Store Eggs in Cool Cellar in Warm Weather, 1943

From the June, 1943, issue of Carolina Co-operator

Eggs should be collected frequently in warm weather and placed in a cool cellar or other place affording a low temperature. Plans for an egg-cooling rack can be obtained from the N.C. Agricultural Extension Service, Raleigh, N.C. (USDA Photo by Forsythe).

Saturday, June 22, 2013

With Labor Shortage, Everyone Picks Cotton, 1942

Most Tar Heel farmers will find it necessary to depend largely on their own efforts, neighborhood labor-swapping, and community work groups in solving their labor problem. In the photo above, a group of Aulander residents, both children and adults, is shown helping a nearby farmer pick his 1942 cotton crop. Similar work crews will be much in evidence at harvest time this year.

Photo in the June, 1943, issue of the Carolina Co-operator. Photo by J.K. Coggin.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Chicken Thieves Sentenced to Cut Wood, 1944

From the June 15, 1944, issue of the Wilmington Star

The judge of a Recorders Court in one of the state’s coastal counties has found an effective method to break up chicken stealing and to add to the national supply of pulpwood. 

Recently, when two Negro men accused of stealing chickens were brought before him and the evidence proved them to be guilty of the charges, the judge sentenced both to work out their fines by cutting pulpwood. The culprit who actually broke the lock on the chicken house door was fined $50 and costs and had to cut 20 cords of wood on his inability to produce the cash. The fellow who only eased the chickens from their perches was required to cut only 15 cords. Both are now definitely better citizens.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Alleghany Home Demonstration Club Rhyme, 1944

Alleghany HD Club Minutes in Rhyme, 1944

‘Twas in the summer of ‘44
When Alleghany County’s need was great
For a H.D. Agent to carry on,
To fulfill the work of our great state.

Our present H.D. Agent came to us,
Our needs and wants were promptly met,
She settled down to do her best,
Even tho it took vim, vigor, and sweat.

H.D. work in Alleghany was very new,
Really just in its infant stage;
Scarcely more than a year could
Be written upon the work’s first page.

During four years of strenuous work,
With our present agent in the lead,
We now boast of sixteen clubs,
The work progressing much indeed.

Our 350 members are very alert,
Eager to accomplish, grasp, and learn,
Willing in every way to cooperate;
The work progressing much indeed.

Speaking now for our outstanding project,
The H.D. Clubs participate in,
It’s the curb market at Roaring Gap,
For every dweller, his kith and kin.

Eight women sold four years ago,
With the project slow to begin,
One hundred thirty two dollars to carry home,
Twas really a meager sum to them.

But things are different down there now,
With 60 women around the stands,
Two days each week they sell them food;
They specialize in their demands.

More than seven thousand dollars in ’47,
Was their toll for being there;
Handicraft and food and flowers,
And other things that they spare.

This year a country hospital is another aim,
Our Clubs are truly and really behind;
We are all pledged to help this out,
In every way that we can find.

So on and on we try to do
Those things to comfort, help, and cheer;
Better homes and living conditions,
Is really our aim from year to year.

And when we pass from here below,
And our race on earth is run,
We trust our redeemer there will greet us,

As a group of women with duty done.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Dehydrate to Help Solve the Home Food Problem, 1943

An electric dehydrating unit like this can be built at home from plans obtainable from the Agricultural Experiment Station, N.C. State College.

“Dehydration Can Help Solve the Home Food Problem” by Ivan D. Jones, Department of Horticulture, Agricultural Experiment Station, North Carolina State College, as published in the June, 1943, issue of Carolina Co-operator.

The American public is becoming food-dehydration conscious. It is generally recognized today that dehydration is an important method of processing many fruits and vegetables to supply the requirements of Army, Navy and lend-lease agencies.

Dehydration will also meet a need on the home food front this year. At this time of greatly increased demand for home preservation of fruits and vegetables the public faces inadequate freezer locker facilities, pressure cooker shortages, container shortages, and limited storage space for processed foods. Home dehydration will help solve these problems.

Before discussing home dehydration in detail, let us take a general view of this processing method.

No Save-All Method
Dehydration is not a magic method which will mysteriously and satisfactorily preserve all fruits and vegetables for indefinite periods of time. Neither will all dehydration products, upon the addition of water, regain the appearance, flavor and texture of the fresh product from which they were preserved.

Dehydration does not improve the quality of the produce so processed. Fruits and vegetables of high quality harvested at the peak of maturity must be chosen for dehydration if high quality products are to be obtained.
Dehydrated foods must be carefully and properly packaged if they are to retain their quality during storage.

Finally, in the strictest sense, dehydration is more than just the drying of fruits and vegetables. It is the drying of such produce under controlled conditions of heat, humidity, and air-flow. It is accomplished by means of units in which artificial heat is employed and which are equipped with fans to circulate the air, thereby greatly speeding up the drying process. This shortening of the drying time favors improved appearance, flavor, and nutritive value of the products so dehydrated.

Home drying of fruits and vegetables is generally done on trays or frames suitably suspended or placed in the sun. As indicated previously, products preserved by the controlled and more rapid process of dehydration are somewhat superior in quality to similar slowly dried products. For this reason the home dehydration is to be preferred, where possible, to the more simple home drying of fruits and vegetables.

Home dehydration is generally carried out in cabinets fitted with 4 to 12 trays and which will hold from 10 to 25 pounds of the prepared fresh produce. Heat is supplied by some suitable electric heater such as heating elements or large light bulbs. The air is circulated in the cabinet by means of a household or other suitable small electric fan.

Although a large number of fruits and vegetables may be dehydrated, it is practical to preserve in the home only a limited number by this method.

Tomatoes do not reconstitute or refresh well after dehydration. Accordingly, this method of preservation is not generally employed for this crop.

Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, and turnips may be readily and satisfactorily dehydrated. However, such processing is impractical in the home. These vegetables may be satisfactorily stored in the fresh state in storage houses, pits, and mounds for long periods of time and home dehydration is not recommended.

Methods of Storage
Dehydrated carrots and cabbage keep well in storage for only short periods of time when packaged in the home. Large quantities of these two vegetables are dehydrated commercially for use by the armed forces or for lend-lease purposes. However, the commercially dehydrated carrots and cabbages are packed in hermetically sealed tin cans in which the air has been replaced by an atmosphere of carbon dioxide or nitrogen gas. Such packaging is not feasible in the home and for this reason the home dehydration of these vegetables is not recommended.

Vegetables for which home dehydration preservation is particularly recommended include snap beans, English and field peas, lima beans and corn. These are classed as non-acid vegetables and, generally, for their canning in a pressure cooker is recommended. This year the supply of available pressure cookers will be very inadequate to meet the needs of the canning public.

Fruits which may be satisfactorily dehydrated include apples, peaches, pears, and figs.

The dehydration process may be broken down into four principal steps. These are:

--Preparation, such as washing, trimming and subdividing if necessary;
--Pretreatment, such as the blanching or pre-cooking of vegetables and the sulfuring of fruits;
--Inspection and packaging.

The preparation of the fresh fruits and vegetables for dehydration is similar to that required for preparation for canning. Produce of high table quality should be selected. Over-maturity and lack of freshness reduce the quality of most fruits and vegetables. For this reason the produce should be prepared for dehydration as soon after harvest as possible.

The packages suitable for packing dehydrated products must be not only air tight and waterproof but insect and rodent proof. Glass jars fitted with good rubber rings and well sealed are ideal home containers. It is undesirable to expose dehydrated products repeatedly to the moisture and oxygen of the air as the result of frequent opening of jars containing a supply of dehydrated products. For this reason the use of small jars is recommended. If jars are used, they should be stored in cabinets or rooms from which intense daylight is excluded.

A present certain companies are supplying laminated, heat-sealed cellophane bags or other specially prepared containers which are recommended for packaging dehydrated products. Generally such bags must be placed in buckets or cans supplied with close-fitting lids to offer additional protection against air and moisture absorption and against insect and rodent attack. Syrup buckets or lard cans are satisfactory for this purpose. An advantage of this method of packaging is that a quantity just sufficient for a family serving may be placed in a single bag and sealed individually. The removal from the larger metal container results in a minimum exposure for the unused portion of the supply of dehydrated products.

Mechanization to Lighten Burden on N.C. Farms, 1948

By Frank Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Wilmington Star, June 10, 1948

Speaking of mechanization on the farm, Henry Taylor of the Vale Crucis community in Watauga County says that these bulldozers are proving to be a valuable farm implement. In 1940, a freshet washed a number of deep, unsightly holes in the creek bottom pasture near his farm. The flood covered the land with loose stones of all sizes. In fact, it practically ruined two acres of his best pasture. The other day he hired a bulldozer to level the tract, fill up in the holes, and cover or move the stones. He says the improvement in the looks of his place is worth the cost, to say nothing of having the land ready for reseeding to pasture grasses. And so it appears that mechanization is coming steadily and surely to lighten the burden of the North Carolina Farmer.

Lincoln County Produces Finest Wheat in the State, 1948

Farm Comments in Charlotte Observer, Sept. 6, 1948

When Lincoln County was carved out of the famous old Tryon County in 1779 and named for General Benjamin Lincoln, the county was one of the largest in North Carolina. But it was a good county with a fertile soil, heavy hardwood forests, and well drained. Its territory was so desirable therefore, that the original boundaries were whittled down again and again but new counties being formed the parts of the mother county. Now Lincoln is one of the smallest counties in the state with an area of only 179,225 acres of land. 

The soil is productive and the county is regarded as one of the greatest agricultural regions in North Carolina.
Lincoln has the reputation of producing the finest quality of wheat of any section of the state. It is said that Cornwallis stopped at Ramseur’s Mill in the attempt to get some of the good flour made from the wheat of that section for his Army.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cleveland County Ag. Report, June 1949

By F. H. Jeter, Editor, Agricultural Extension Service, N.C. State College, as published in the Charlotte Observer, June 13, 1949

The folks in Cleveland always set great store by their crops of small grain. Two important meetings were held at the outstanding fields, where grain grown by Lee McDaniels of the Bethlehem community and Lloyd Wilson of the Fallston section was inspected. More than 150 neighbors gathered at the McDaniel farm to study the different methods of fertilizing small grain along with the proper seed bed preparation, time of seeding, different varieties, and the results of applying top-dressing material at different times.

The North Carolina Crop Improvement Association is conducting an official variety test in co-operation with Lloyd Wilson. About 75 men gathered to see the difference in yields by the several strains and varieties planted by Mr. Wilson. The growers say that weeds are becoming an increasing menace to grain growing in that area. Many of those who grow small grain on the same field, year after year, find that the weeds almost choke out the growth in a year or so. Particularly do they have trouble with the ragged robin. Some have just about discontinued the production of wheat on their farms because of this weed trouble.

The work of reclaiming good land through the use of dynamite blasting gained headway this season. Over 175 of his neighbors gathered in early May at the farm of C.B. Austell who had a good piece of rich bottom land completely unusable because of poor drainage. Mr. Austell blew a ditch 2,000 feet long and said that this one ditch has reclaimed some of the most fertile land on his farm.

Many of his neighbors have similar situations. C.C. Falls of Lawndale, Route 3, had to blow three ditches to reclaim some rich bottom land standing covered with water. He used 10 sticks of dynamite but said the results were worth the expense.

Paul Davis and A.T. Randle of the Stone Point community have used the blasting method to reclaim good land needing drainage on their farms. Mr. Davis blew a ditch 375 feet long to reclaim a field that was useless to him because the water would stand on it after a rain.

All the liverstock in Cleveland County has benefitted from the fine pastures. Ted Ledford of Kings Mountain, Route 2, in the Midway section of the county, says that ladino clover and orchard grass can be more than a pasture. He owns about 30 acres of improved pasture but the clover and grass grew so fast this spring that he cows could not keep up with it. So when he saw the orchard grass with 40 inches high and the clover covering the whole earth to a depth of 15 inches, despite his cows grazing there, he very promptly brought out his tractor and mowing machine and converted this extra growth into hay. In his opinion, this 30-acre field is one of the most profitable spots on the farm and he suggests to all Ladino planters that they keep their growth under control so the clover will not die out.

Several farmers are using fescue grass with the Ladino, and Tom Cornwell of Shelby, Route 1, says it is about the best grass that he has ever had on his farm. Paul and Dewey Hawkins seeded five acres of fescue in the fall of 1947, and they say it’s a real help to beef cattle. Two years ago, only four or five men had any fescue, but now it is being grown in all parts of the county. Those who have it say they can begin grazing by March 1, which is early for that section.

While sod crops aid with livestock production and also help to keep the land from washing, Cleveland is still a cotton growing county, one of the best in the state. They made about 63,000 bales on 63,000 acres [mistake in one of the numbers?] last year. When cotton is grown on that rolling countryside, there is some erosion. Most of the farms were already well terraced but much additional terracing was done this year before the cotton crop was planted.

K.W. Carroll of Kings Mountain, Route 1, terraced 40 acres of cotton land; Robert Blanton of Shelby, Route 4, terraced 70 acres; and quite a bit of terracing was done by Gus Evans of Shelby; R.H. Bridges, Shelby, Route 4; and C.C. Owens of Shelby, Route 4.

Cow owners of the county have learned by experience that horns on their milk cows are just as serious as cotton land without terraces. Cows with horns do not permit their herd members to eat in peace, especially when the animals are placed in the lounging barn. Cows with horns are also dangerous to those handling them. So, there was much dehorning throughout the county before the hot weather set in. H.R. Early of Lattimore, Star Route, finished dehorning the remainder of his herd, and all the animals with horns on the farms of Ray Wilson, Ed Carroll, Henry Bingham, and Harold B. Dellinger of the Fallston community were dehorned.

The quality of dairy cattle in the county may be seen by the fact that J.C. Randle of Kings Mountain, Route 2, sold one of his Guernsey bulls to the Southeastern Artificial Breeding Association at Asheville. This animal is one of the best in the state, with a record of high producing daughters. Mr. Randle has 100 acres of cleared land on his farm, with 27 acres in seeded pasture.

Twelve grade “A” dairy barns were built in Cleveland County as the price for processing milk began to decline. Noah Pruett of Casar, Route 1, has a nice herd of Jersey cows and an excellent Ladino pasture. Dairying suits and rolling land of his farm and with the aid of temporary grazing crops, he can produce milk just about as economically as the next man. He is, therefore, getting fixed to stay in the dairy business from now on and will sell only the premium grade “A” product.

Paul Herman of Kings Mountain, Route 2, is building a grade “A” barn for his Jersey herd. He added a metal silo in 1948 and has excellent pastures. Grady Hamrick of Boiling Springs, another enthusiastic Jersey breeder, has just completed a grade “A” barn to be used in connection with the good pastures which he seeded last fall.

Nearly all of these Cleveland dairymen have alfalfa for hay along with the pastures, and many of them are seeding more acres to the hay crop as they add cows. It takes good hay for roughage as well as good grazing to produce milk economically. Plenty of good roughage helps to control bloat when the pastures are lush with spring growth.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Paul Breedlove of Nash County With His Food for Victory Pig, 1943

This farm boy shown on our cover this month is Paul Breedlove, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Breedlove of Nash County. A 4-H Club member, Paul is concentrating on pigs as his food-for-victory project. He sold $200 worth from one brood sow last fall and he hopes to beat this record in 1943. The photo is by Lewis P. Watson of the Extension News Office, N.C. State College.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Henderson's Curb Market

“Henderson’s Curb Market” by Ida Briggs Henderson in the June, 1936 issue of Carolina Co-operator

More and more farm women of the State are finding their curb markets invaluable in marketing their farm produce. This article tells just how one successful curb market is operating.

On a recent visit to Hendersonville I was advised to go see the Henderson County Farmer’s Curb Market located on King Street, just one block off of the Main Street. This I found to be one of the most interesting places I have seen in Western North Carolina.  Not only interesting, but profitable, for this market is ranked as one of the leading institutions of its kind in the State vying for first place honors with the curb market of Rocky Mount.

The striking success of this venture has attracted State-wide attention from all who produce and handle crops, and county agents and farmers visit this market to learn the method of conducting it and to see what has contributed to its unprecedented success. Doubtless many unable to visit this market would be interested in learning this manner of its operation, so this article is written for their benefit. The data was secured from Mrs. Robert L. Costner, the courteous and capable manager who has been associated with this undertaking since its inception.

Started 10 Years Ago
The Curb Market, started 10 years ago, shows a record of remarkable growth. Begun as an open-air curb market on May 25, 1926, it first opened for business on the site of the old city hall on Main Street with around a dozen sellers there using the running boards of their cars and trucks as counters on which to display their goods. Some more enterprising ones, however, soon secured tables sheltered by large umbrellas to protect their wares from the wilting rays of the sun or the sudden showers of spring. The board of control for the first market attempt consisted of R.L. Fitzsimmins, chairman; Mrs. A.F. Coleman, Mrs. S.P. Williamson, D.P. Moss, Mrs. Earle Marshall, and Mrs. John Redding; the members of the board accord credit to E.F. Arnold, county agent, and Miss Everett, the home agent. These two conceived the idea and were untiring in their efforts to help the infant market get on its own feet.

The market grew rapidly, enough so that two years later, the institution moved to its present location on King Street. The lot was furnished by the Henderson Masonic Order, and the lumber for the first unit, which was 24’ by 60’, was furnished by a local lumber company. The farmers who expected to benefit by the use of the market gladly contributed free labor. Soon this structure became too small and a second edition was made to bring it up to its present size of 24’ by 100’. The front is entered by wide doors and numerous windows down the length let in bountiful light. A wide sign board across the entire upper front announces that this is the home of the Henderson County Farmers’ Curb Market.

Has Flourished
The market flourished and grew until it warranted being incorporated and rules and regulations made for its operation. O.B. Jones, who has served as county agent since 1927, has labored diligently for the good of this curb market, ably assisted by Mrs. Costner, manager, and the present board of control who are: Mrs. Will Hill, Mrs. S.J. Pittillo, Mrs. Clarence Page, John Lytle, and N.A. Melton. These workers solicited the aid and cooperation of the Chamber of Commerce, the Merchant’s Association, and the Women’s Clubs. The women boost the market and hunt up prospective customers. Through the Merchant’s Association is furnished a daily schedule of food prices which Mrs. Costner has posted on a board and the sellers conform to these prices.

Each seller pays 5 per cent of daily sales for the privileges enjoyed at the market, and as nothing can be displayed except Henderson County produce, there is no sales tax. At the close of the sales session the left over flowers are sent to the hospitals. This is a very generous and gracious gesture on the part of the salesladies, as the display of flowers is splendid. Somehow, flowers and vegetables seem to reach a state of high perfection in the mountain soil of alluvial richness, watered by the heavy dews and clouds of moisture which trail across the high-tops.

Craftsmen are allowed to sell outside the door, as there is no interior space for this purpose, and their wares are strictly of local make. . . buttons carved from fragrant dark hardwoods; lovely hardwood trays, boxes, and other like articles; hand-woven towels, scarves, bed spreads, and bags. Nothing, however, made outside of Henderson County. When market was opened there were only eight stalls! Today 150 line the floor space down each side of the market structure. In center of hall is kept the desk of Mrs. Costner, where she is kept busy making change, passing out bags and twine, and receiving the sale tax at the close of the days’ work.

Each stall is equipped by a table measuring from 3 to 5 feet on which they display their wares with open space beneath in which to store surplus stock. The seller is responsible for his or her individual booth and it is his duty to keep it clean and attractive. And indeed these booths are most attractive. The flowers above mentioned giving glowing beauty to the more prosaic produce.

The sellers pride themselves on the freshness and desirability of their vegetables, and the display of canned goods is one of the finest offered for sale in the entire State. On one counter is shown dozens of varieties of pickles, preserves, jellies, and canned fruits, and all as near perfection as the skill of the farmerettes can make them. They also sell seed and bulbs of flowers, and fine specimens of mountain conifers, rhododendron and boxwood . . . nicely packed ready for transportation, and Mrs. Clostner states that they take mail orders and ship shrubbery.

In summer time the mart is open each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, but during the winter months is only opened for business on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Solving the Critical Labor Shortage in North Carolina, 1943

From the June, 1943, issue of the Carolina Co-operator.

North Carolina farmers are aware of the great need for all-out production of food crops this year. Preliminary reports made by the state USDA War Board indicate that soybean acreage will be increased by 25 percent in North Carolina over last year, poultry by 65 percent, livestock 20 percent, dairying 10 percent, truck crop 10 percent, small grain 10 percent, tobacco 10 percent, peanuts 5 percent, while corn acreage will remain about the same and cotton acreage will be reduced 20 percent.

 Farmers and their entire families are spending long hours trying to meet the wartime demands for agricultural production. They have responded to the call of their government and are literally taking “a risk for America” by stepping up production in spite of the many handicaps and difficulties they face.

Farm Labor Reserves have been drawn on heavily by both the armed forces and defense industries. It was estimated that 10,000 workers left the farms of North Carolina each month during the past year, so that a critical labor situation exists in agriculture throughout the state. The Patterson community in Rowan County organized their farm families into work groups last fall, and all crops were harvested in this manner without loss. Since that time Governor Broughton has appointed a Farm Labor Commission to study the situation and to coordinate the efforts of all agencies seeking to relieve the problem.

Farmers in every neighborhood must work together and solve the problem locally as far as possible. Unless this step is taken, there will be no solution to the farm labor problem in North Carolina. The demands of the armed forces are such that additional trained labor is not available. Dr. I.O. Schaub, director of Extension in North Carolina, reports that 75 counties in the state will take care of their local situation without outside assistance. This will be done through work-sharing and machinery-sharing arrangements similar to the plan used by the Patterson community last year. For example: One farmer who owns the only combine in his neighborhood is short of labor. He has agreed to combine grain for neighbors, and they have agreed to help him in return. With jobs requiring additional labor, arrangements like this can be carried on in hundreds of communities throughout the state this year.

The Extension Service has just been given the responsibility for recruiting, training, and placing farm workers. Farm labor inventories are being made in every county and every effort is being made to locate additional labor to meet critical problems that arise during the year. The vocational agricultural teacher have gone to the city high schools and have secured more than 1,000 non-farm high school boys for work on farms this summer.

The Farm Security Administration is establishing migratory labor camps in the vegetable, strawberry, potato, bean, and peanut areas of the state.

The federal government is importing several thousand workers from Mexico and other places for work in critical harvesting sections of the nation.

The State Office of Civilian Defense reports that people in the towns and cities will volunteer to help save crops so that every possible step is being taken to assure farmers of an adequate labor supply. In addition to these steps, the Selective Service has amended its regulations and essential farm workers are not being called into military service.

The War Manpower Commission, through its job freezing order, will stop the pirating of farm workers into higher paying industrial and defense jobs. The Agricultural Adjustment Administration is presenting information to Selective Service for every farm worker between the ages of 18 and 45, which will enable proper classification of these men. Farmers are studying the tobacco marketing program, and it will be adjusted so that cotton, peanuts, and hay crops can be harvested, and small grains seeded this fall.

North Carolina farmers know that food is a vital weapon and they are going forward with their production plans confidently. They are sparing nothing in their determination to support the boys in the armed forces who are sacrificing all for the preservation of the American way of life. They are not loafing on the job, nor bickering over working conditions, nor waiting for the answer to all their problems. They are calling upon their fellow citizens throughout the state to join them in the production program on the home front and thus assure an early and complete victory for America and her allies.