Manuscripts/Mixed Material [J. F. Smith]
All slaves were allowed to carry watermelons from the patch to the house any time but were not allowed to burst one in the patch as the birds would take to them and ruin the patch. I have seen the little negroes with melon juice all over their face and the front of their clothes many times and still eating melons.
The peas and beans were planted in large patches or in a sufficient amount so as to be picked when ripe and piled in a large room in the barn on a plank floor and then thrashed out of the hulls with a brushy limb from a small tree or let the slaves tramp them out. Then they were taken outside and poured from a tub or bucket to another, holding the basket high while pouring, letting the wind blow the chaff the broken hulls out of the beans and peas, then they were ready to be cooked. This was done each month or week as they were needed. However the entire field was picked and stored away, peas and beans being separated. The potatoes, cabbage, and turnips were harvested and put in long ricks or piles and logs split and laid against a ridge poll at the top like a house top and corn stalks placed over the cracks and than dirt piled over this fairly deep, just deep enough to shed water and to keep the vegetables from freezing in the winter, this dirt had to be built up after each rain so the vegetables would not got wet, this would keep them all winter. We had to raise what we eat and eat what we raised, as we could not get fresh vegetables from south Texas and other places the year around like we can now, especially when one man had to look out for over one hundred people.