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Copyright, Kellscraft Studio
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IF the sun shines through the limbs of the apple-trees on Christmas Day, there will be a good crop of fruit next year.
Plant a bean with the eye up, and it will grow straight down through the earth to China.
When you have a kettle of fat pork on the stove that you are trying down into lard, and want to know if it is done, put a match into it. If the match light, the lard is done. If it doesn't light, keep on cooking your lard.
When you have land to clear up, chop the trees and cut the brush "when the sign is in the heart," and you will be sure to kill these growths.
If you have a tree that bears no fruit, put a stone in its first crotch just before blossoming-time. The tree will surely be fruitful after that.
Great was the belief at one time among the farmers in plaster as a fertilizer. Vast quantities were sowed on the land. It was affirmed that its power was such that if you used it in a field next to that of a neighbor who did not, it would draw his manure right over the fence. To-day plaster is a thing of the past, and the farmer questions if he ever got any particular benefit from its use.
There are now few farmers who have a regular habit of soaking their wagon-wheels, but it is not difficult to find those who, when on a journey, take such opportunities as offer themselves along the road to give their wheels a wetting. The object is to make the wood swell, and keep the spokes from rattling and the wheels themselves from tumbling to pieces. On country roads there is once in a while a place where at one side of a bridge that crosses a little brook is a track by which you can drive down and through the water. If you take this side path and ford the stream, you can accomplish three objects, — wet your wheels, water your horse, and soak the horse's hoofs. But the farmer who wants to do the soaking thoroughly stops at every wayside watering trough, and pours a few pailfuls over his wheels.
Years ago a farmer who was going on a long trip would, the night before, sometimes set his wheels in the long log watering-trough in the barnyard, and turn them occasionally to make the soaking complete. In Europe farmers, on the evening before a journey, have been known to throw their wheels into a pond, when one was handy, and leave them over night.
A New England farmer who took this method of soaking the wheels of one of his old wagons had them all carried off by one of the town deacons who thought they had been thrown away.
The general effect on the wheels of this soaking process is to keep them expanding and shrinking. The temporary effect is all right, but in the end decay and decrepitude are hastened.