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Gardening in the Antebellum South

Gardening in the Antebellum South

Sweet Potatoe Planting—James Hopkinson’s Plantation, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Sweet Potatoe Planting—James Hopkinson’s Plantation, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

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.

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Fred Opie Show Podcast

A Soul Food Journey From Africa To America, NPR

Fred Opie's New Book! Southern Food and Civil Rights: Feeding the Revolution

The Founding Fathers and Gardens

Colonial Williamsburg Garden History Part 1

Colonial Williamsburg Garden History Part 1

Rhubarb and Poetry

Rhubarb and Poetry