First, Carver said farmers should plant a garden. He said that a "good garden" can provide half of the family food. When Carver was writing, many poor farmers grew only one crop, cotton, for money. While many of those farmers knew a lot about growing cotton, they didn't know much about growing vegetables or herbs. In "Help for the Hard Times," Carver used simple language to explain how to start a garden, when to plant, and what to plant.
There's no need to buy chemical fertilizers to get the soil ready. Carver said to use what nature provides: leaves, soil from the woods and "muck from the rich swamps." He said to plant potatoes, peas, spinach, as well as other vegetables and herbs in February, and to plant cauliflower, collards, and watermelon in March. By April, most of the garden should be growing and only a few things like cabbage, eggplant and cotton seed need to be planted. Carver also had lots of suggestions for making money. Can you guess what they were?