Showing posts from December, 2013

Grist for the Mill - or in This Case, The Slaughter-house

It is Wife Swap time, meaning we watch episodes (from time to time) of Wife Swap. It's a good show in that it [usually] teaches each family to relax a little and meet things more in the middle, instead of being super-neat or super-sloppy, but just normal. By no means do we run around cleaning every day, which is too much; nor do we never, ever, clean but have the house cleaned top to bottom every two weeks. That is normal.
Well, this week, we have the Haigwood family swapping their wife/mother with the wife/mother of the Hess-Webb family. And what an adventure this is...
The Haigwood family, out in the wilds (well, farm) in Massena, Iowa, do not clean their house at all. No exceptions. Not even soapy water and a sponge. I might understand that chemicals are looked upon as poor, for whatever reason, but something - anything - needs to be used to clean the house once in a while. That is rather disgusting and incredibly unsanitary, but this by far not the worst thing about them. No,…

Living in the Old Farmer's Almanac in December 2013

Wow. The end of 2013, beginning of the new year, 2014. Happy Yule! Good luck for the coming year.

Farmer's Calendar
If you are like most gardeners, you probably put your tools away at the end of the growing season and don't think very much about them until they are needed in the spring. But if you take a bit of time during the offseason to maintain and repair your tools, they will be safer and easier to use.

Wooden handles on tools such as shovels and iron rakes may become rough and splintery with weather, use, and age. Often, you can restore them by sanding the surface until it becomes smooth again and then applying linseed oil to protect the wood. Handles with deep are a hazard and should be replaced.

Repair rusted metal tools by cleaning them with steel wool or a wire brush and then wiping on 30-weight motor oil to prevent further rusting.

Chances are, the blades on your prunes, loppers, and hedge shears could use sharpening. USe a fine, flat file to touch them up. Be caref…