Gardening in the Antebellum South
Adam Hodgson writes in a travel account, “We visited the little dwellings of the Negroes. These generally grouped together round something like a farm – yard; and behind each of them was a little garden, which they cultivate on their own account,” he writes in Remarks During a Journey Through North America In the Years 1819, 1820, and 1821 in a Series of Letters. Hodgson goes on to say, “I was told their provisions were prepared for them, and that twice every day they had as much as they asked for of Indian corn, sweet potato, and broth, with the occasional addition of a little meat. Besides this, they frequently prepare for themselves a little supper from the produce of their garden." Most often slave owners distributed a niggardly amount of rations as a way of reducing their labor cost. Enslaved people kept subsistence gardens to obtain food needed for good nutrition and herbal medicines. Today nutritionist encourage the savvy to drink at least eight glasses of water per day and eat fresh fruit and or vegetables with every meal.