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Texas Southern Almanac August 1860

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1 Texas Southern Almanac August 1860 on Mon May 31, 2010 11:04 pm

Copied from the Texas Civilian Yahoo list. Posted August 2007 by Annette Bethke

I thought some of you might like to discuss a little about Texas
agriculture as that was such an integral part of Texas in the 19th Century. So, each month I will post snippets from the Southern Rural Almanac by Thomas Affleck. The copy I have access to is 1860, but I still think it will give you ideas of the seasons, crops, activities and such. It also gives some insight into the slave culture of Texas.

Southern Rural Almanac, 1860, August

The Plantation
…cotton will open freely now...do away with the hands carrying their loaded baskets on their heads. It is an unnecessary addition to their day's works, and frequently causes accidents. At intervals from the 1st to the 20th, sow Turnips…Sow Winter or Egyptian Oats, and Rye…Clover may now be sown in open pastures, or on north hill-sides.

Garden Calendar
Natchez, Central Texas, etc.
This is, perhaps, the most important month of the year in the
kitchen garden. The crop is not only more valuable, both in an
economic and pecuniary view, but the vegetables are of better
quality and endure longer in perfection. If the soil has not been
already put in order, manured and dug or plowed, let no time be lost in preparing. When rainy or dark weather occurs, set out plants of Cabbage, Brocoli [sic], Cauliflower, Kale, Savoys, Brussels sprouts, Celery, Endive, etc…. Sow Turnips at two or three different times during the month; also Mustard…A few Irish Potatoes may be planted…
Plant Sugar Corn for late roasting ears. Melons and Cucumbers for
pickles, a few Snap Beans, Peas, and Broad Beans. Sow Radishes,
Lettuce, Curled and Water Cress, Parsley, Onions, Parsnips, Spinage [sic], Carrots, Leeks, Beets, etc….carrots and parsnips both make growth enough before winter to stand uninjured, and are then and in early spring in perfection; beets should now be sown for a main crop, growing well, and continuing in perfection till midsummer.

The Kitchen Garden in the South
[In this section he discusses laying a garden out, etc. and then
lists the following vegetables and planting instructions]

Artichoke
Asparagus
Beans
Beets
Borecole
Brocoli
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrot
Cauliflower
Celery
Chervil
Colewart or Collard
Corn (Indian)
Cress-Peppergrass and water
Endive
Egg Plant
Garlick
Leek
Lettuce
Melon-Musk and Water
Mustard
Nasturtium or Indian Cress
Okra

Copied from the Texas Civilian Yahoo list. Posted August 2007 by Terre Schill

Interesting Annette - Some of those things i didn't even know could possibly grow in Texas at all, especially being planted in August. Celery for example.
Also the cold weather crops (broccoli and cauliflower for example) I think usually go in a bit later now, don't they?

Does anyone know what "borecole" is? Can't be just a term for broccoli, as that is a separate listing.

Wouldn't we love to know what they did with all those vegetables! All I remember is someone complaining that the few veggies they had access to in Texas were all rotten and boiled to within an inch of disintegration.

Copied from the Texas Civilian Yahoo list. Posted August 2007 by Annette Bethke

Borecole
Dwarf German Greens or Kale; Scotch Kale; Siberian.

Several of the open growing varieties of Cabbage,
classed as Borecole, and known generally as Kale, make
excellent winter greens. They require frost, however,
to make them tender. Sow in July and August,
transplanting the Scotch Kale and treating it in the
same manner as any other winter Cabbage.

As for celery, no it is not an August planting. The
list, I should have clarified, was a listing of the
different crops available and suggested for kitchen
gardens. Celery, according to Affleck, should be sown
from April to last of July; June being the best time
of sowing for fall and winter crop.

Now, just because he puts it in his almanac doesn't
mean everyone planted it. He was a rather opinionated
person and I'm sure he thought everyone should plant
as he suggested, but more than likely it was based on
the tastes of the family. And he had a nursery, so who
knows how much of this was to promote his stock. But
it still gives a good idea of the kinds of things
available.

Copied from the Texas Civilian Yahoo list. Posted August 2007 by Debbie Russell

Reading this info is almost the same info I read on one of the Central Texas Gardeners PBS show web sites. NOW is the time to set out the winter garden here in Central TX. Sow seeds now or in a week and then set out plants about mid Aug. This is a great time to start the garden because we are going in to cooler weather and the nights are getting cooler. The bug population is also less so you don't need to worry about them getting your crop. On a normal year as well rain will be starting to be more plentiful as well. Of course I am not sure what is normal anymore. Every summer since I have been here has been different.
My garden right now is finally producing red tomatoes instead of green ones. I have Early Girls going strong and they should have been removed by now. My Brandywines are also looking great along with beans and squash all should be over with and a new crop started. This was not a good year for corn, too wet and too cold to late. I hope to get some corn because part of the planting came from Arizona and it was bless by an Indian Shaman. Time will tell what the winter garden is going to be like. We have turned over the unsowed area of the garden and will prep it and get it ready for planting in the next week or so. Seeds first then plants. Same as in 1860.
Oh and Celery takes a long time to develop so planting it early is important also you need to have a trench and then pull the soil up around it just like leeks.
And I hate to say it but I know a few folks who still cook their veggies to death.

Copied from the Texas Civilian Yahoo list. Posted August 2007 by Annette Bethke

At this time (1860) Texas was going into that would
last until 1862. None of the diaries though mention
much loss of crop, at least not for the smaller
kitchen gardens. Would they have manually irrigated? I
assume the wells had water as I have not read any
mention of wells running dry.

Copied from the Texas Civilian Yahoo list. Posted August 2007 by Debbie Russell

Not sure on how they irrigated in 1860 but I have seen at the Saur Beckman farm that is turn of the century where they have trenches along the garden rows, then fill the trenches with water from the hose. The plants would then get the water as needed or it would evaporate. I want to think that this was not a new practice come 1900. It is like I garden the way my father gardened and his father gardened etc.
I do not have any proof to back up what I think they did in 1860 but gardening really hasn't changed that much Maybe just the plants have changed. Hybrids and all that.

Copied from the Texas Civilian Yahoo list. Posted August 2007 by Muhley Davis

Terre,
Those types of crops were either pickled in vinegar in stoneware jars or were buried in sand in the root cellar. They would both be needed for the long winter months. Springtime was often called "The starving season" and alot of the first greens we see in the spring were their first fresh foods. Foods such as dandylions, cat tails, settle nettles and such are quite good, and can be served in a variety of ways.....

Quote :
Interesting Annette - Some of those things i didn't even know could possibly grow in Texas at all, especially being planted in August. Celery for example.
Also the cold weather crops (broccoli and cauliflower for example) I think usually go in a bit later now, don't they?

Does anyone know what "borecole" is? Can't be just a term for broccoli, as that is a separate listing.

Wouldn't we love to know what they did with all those vegetables! All I remember is someone complaining that the few veggies they had access to in Texas were all rotten and boiled to within an inch of disintegration.

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