While the following lists
of available vegetables are quite impressive in their variety, Sam Bowers Hilliard in Hog Meat and Hoecake: Food Supplies in the Old
South, 1840-1860, points out the following southern favorites:
white and sweet potatoes, cowpeas, turnips, squash, several kinds of greens, green corn (often called "roastin' years),
beans, watermelon, cantaloupe, okra, collards, cabbages, green peas, onions, and pumpkins. As mentioned before, a number
of different factors would probably determine which families grew which vegetables, or if they ever got beyond the basics.
In 1845 Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, a German immigrant to Central Texas, sniffed
of the garden vegetables grow abundantly if one takes the pains to plant them. The American is usually too lazy to prepare
a garden. Rather than go to such trouble, he prefers to live on salted meat, bacon, corn, and
coffee, and to deny himself any greenery either for nourishment or for beautifying the home. However
the German settlements are distinguished by their beautiful gardens, vegetables, and flowers."
While doubtlessly true of many, what scattered evidence
exists for antebellum kitchen gardens in letters and diaries would indicate that many "American" families did, indeed,
cultivate a diversity of vegetables once they were securely established on their farms.