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Gardening Alabama Style to Fend off the Recession

A handful of southerners went through the Depression without the need for government relief. One was civil rights leader Ralph David Abernathy, who recalled his childhood as the son of an independent black farmer in Marengo County, Alabama, about ninety miles southwest of Montgomery. At this time of the year as a child he and his family would be busy in the family subsistence garden planting “corn, beets, tomatoes, black-eyed peas, beans, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, okra, collard greens, turnips, mustard greens,” and the family orchard “peaches, plums, pears, figs, and apples.” Consequently, Ralph Abernathy recalls, “Everything I learned about the Great Depression was from a college textbook.” Peaches are in season. Some folks grow them in their yard and you can also get them on the cheap now at many local farmers markets. I came across a website that provides “three ways to enjoy ripe local peaches on the BBQ.” Now that’s really thinking outside the box and a great example of soul food: inexpensive great tasting food made easily with what you have on hand in abundance.

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