In my old-fashioned way, I sometimes wonder what would happen to this mountain country if every home from the Owsley County line, from the Breathitt, Leslie, Knott, Letcher, and Harlan County lines were to start a new way of living by pledging themselves to plant every available acre in some kind of crop. In addition to this bold move, they could install a good cow in the barn, raise chickens, hogs, a few sheep, and go back to planting cane for molasses. They could further add to their craziness by drying beans and apples, raising enough potatoes to feed their families, instead of buying thousands of bags annually that are raised in all corners of the United States.
By raising crops they would cut down on feed bills and their supply of good, whole milk, cream and butter would cost them only a fraction of what it does now.
This could not be done by the so-called "Ol Folks" alone. If the crazy venture is to succeed it would have to be a family plan, whereby the oncoming generation would drop some of the hot rod and "Jenny-Barn" activities and offer their help. It COULD be done without much expense, IF the youngsters joined in the plan. Jobs in the mines, in stores, on railroads and other positions that are now "paying" jobs could be carried on as usual. Very few people work more than eight hours daily for their pay envelopes. That leaves 16 good God-given hours for recreation and sleep. Five of these hours could be spent by the entire family working the farm, repairing fences, diggin' Taters, even pulling fodder for Old Dobbin. Some of the youngsters may blush when they approach Old Bess in preparation of persuading her "to give down her milk, but they would get used to it. 1957