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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Jessie Lee Carter, May 5, 1980. Interview H-0237. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Raising livestock and tending a garden to feed a mill family

Carter remembers Rose, her family's cream-colored cow. Rose shared a pasture with other mill workers' animals. Carter's family relied on Rose to supply them with milk, hogs for bacon and ham, and their garden for vegetables, some of which Carter's mother canned.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Jessie Lee Carter, May 5, 1980. Interview H-0237. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ALLEN TULLOS:
What would you have for breakfast?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
My mother owned a cow and we had our meat. We owned our own meat. Had a big pasture down there that she raised hogs in. My daddy had hogs, and we'd have sausage and bacon and ham, if we wanted it, and grits and biscuits and butter and syrup and honey, such as that.
ALLEN TULLOS:
And you would keep your cow out in the pasture with everybody else's?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Everybody's cow was in the pasture and you could go get them. They stayed there all day and you could go bring them up at night. You'd milk them in the morning then take them to pasture. You'd go bring them home about six o'clock at night. They had a lock for them. Feed them and milk them.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about the hogs?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Each family had a different pen.
ALLEN TULLOS:
But it was all in the same place?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
All down there in the big old pasture. I don't know how big it is.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did you have a garden?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, yeah, we had a garden. My daddy raised corn, and green beans, and vegetables. So that's the way we done.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did your mother can?
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Oh, yes, she canned. After I got grown and married, why I canned, too. My mother canned. We always had a big garden.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Before we get away from the agriculture, let me ask you: do you know if your family brought this cow with you from Tennessee.
JESSIE LEE CARTER:
Yes, she tied it behind the wagon. She walked all the way. We'd stop and feed him, you know, and milk him, and all. They kept her until she died. And then they got another one. Her name was Rose. She was a cream-colored cow. She give four gallons of milk a day. Two in the morning and two in the evening.