Garden and Chickins

Everybody had gardens back then--maters, beans,okra taters, corn---fields of corn--and as Andy Griffith used to say--"and I don't know whut all"---all was preserved by canning-- a hot job. Remember---I do--Mama Fronie and Daddy Ernie bringing in bushel baskets full of veggies--beans, tomatoes, corn--- beans-some were snaps--used as green beans---some shelled--pinto beans---black eyed peas --snaps and peas mixed---corn was blanched-- boiled---cut off the cob-- and canned---boilin water--pressure cookers, mason jars---bunches of jars.

On that big ole porch  at the Hale place--Daddy Ernie screened in a section I guess to keep the flys out and a cooler place to work --- thats where a lot of the shellin n snappin went on.  Can't remember if there was a stove out there but remember all the work involved--today we run to the store--stock up on the veggies that have been preserved by the ton--cans--preservatives ---the stuff we ate back then was all natural and nourishing--and the end result was-- there was nothing that we did not have to eat--- the only thing that mite've been bought was flour---big sacks--corn was stored in a corn bin and then taken to a mill and ground--for a staple food --CORN BREAD. Most farms had storm or root cellers---thats where the canned stuff was kept---a big ole hole in the ground---framed and covered with dirt--with a big ole door---shelves built on the walls---tater bins-- and  spiders----daddy longlegs mostly--n everyonce n a while a snake---usually a bull snake---sometime called a chickin snake.

Chickins---let me tell you about chickins--which everybody had back then---they were nasty birds--free roamin---scratchin in cow piles--eatin bugs---quite comical watchin a chickin chasin a grass hopper---the grass hopper would take off flyin and the chicken rite after it. Not sure what they were eatin when they scratched in a cow pile---undigested feed????---Chickin killin time ---hated it---fun watchin Daddy Ernie wringin their necks---head off n chickin runnin around---remember the sayin--"runnin around like a chickin with its head cut off"--well its true---cause I seen it.--Grammer pffffft. The worst thing was the boilin---the old cast iron wash pot was filled with water--heated by burnin wood--the chickins were dunked in the boilin water and then the feathers were --they say-- easier to pluck off--the boilin water made a smell that would almost gag me. Man I hated that smell.

They had fryers---the ones that went into the  pot---lay-ers for the eggs-- which had to be gathered everyday and mama hens that set eggs to keep the chain goin---and the good old roosters--some were mean and would chase and peck you. The alarm clock of the farm---some were crazy I guess---cause they would crow at nite.