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Monday, June 27, 2016

Husbandry in the Early Days of Virginia #history

§ 70. The families being altogether on country seats, they have their graziers, seedsmen, gardeners, brewers, bakers, butchers and cooks, within themselves. They have plenty and variety of provisions for their table; and as for spicery, and other things that the country don't produce, they have constant supplies of them from England. The gentry pretend to have their victuals dressed, and served up as nicely, as if they were in London.
§ 71. When I come to speak of their cattle, I can't forbear charging my countrymen with exceeding ill husbandry, in not providing sufficiently for them all winter, by which means they starve their young cattle, or at least stint their growth; so that they seldom or never grow so large as they would do, if they were well managed; for the humor is there, if people can but save the lives of their cattle, though they suffer them to be never so poor in the winter, yet they will presently grow fat again in the spring, which they esteem sufficient for their purpose. And this is the occasion, that their beef and mutton are seldom or never so large, or so fat as in England. And yet with the least feeding imaginable, they are put into as good case as can be desired; and it is the same with their hogs.
Source:  The History of Virginia, in Four Parts by Robert Beverley

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