Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Appalachian Garden Folklore :Chad Brock Red Bird Mission

















In the mountains of Appalachia it is said to be bad luck to say thank you if you ever receive cuttings or plants as a gift. The plant will not thrive. (I have also heard this said about sneezing. If somebody blesses you, never say thank you. You will kill a fairy. This is just one of many old folklore tells handed down from generation to generation. A lot of these folklores pertain to gardening. This was a way of life for many Appalachians and was taken very seriously. Thier lives depended on thier gardens producing well . Some of these  are just that “tales”. But some seem to work. 

  •  Dreaming of thorns is bad luck.
  • Tomatoes should be planted on Memorial Day.
  • It's good luck to steal herbs. (what?) 
  • A snowy winter portends a good year for crops. 
  • After planting a hill of beans, press the soil with your foot for good luck.
  • Planting peppers when you're mad, makes the peppers grow hotter.
  • If 2 people's hoes hit together, they will work in the same field next year.
  • Trees that bloom twice in one year will have a bad crop.
  • If you spit in your hands when cutting wood-you'll have good luck.
  • Don't plant your garden until the oak leaves are the size of mouse ears.
  • Always plant your potatoes on Good Friday.
  • Plant your greenbeans on Good Friday.
  • Anything planted on the first day of Spring will live.
  • Bury nails around the roots of Hydrangea to make the blooms blue.
  • To keep crows from bothering your garden, kill one and hang it nearby.
  • If you find a horse shoe-you should hang it in the nearest tree for good luck
  • Never say thank you if someone shares their flowers or plant cuttings with you-if you do they will die. (I've heard this one my whole life-and man is it hard not to automatically say thank you when someone gives you plants)





Planting in the Signs,



Planting during the right moon phase is easier than it sounds-basically you plant crops that produce their bounty above ground during the Waxing Moon-the time period between the New Moon and the Full Moon. You plant crops that produce below ground during the Waning Moon-the time period between the Full Moon and the New Moon.
Planting in the right Zodiac Sign is a little more complicated.
The sign of Cancer (Crab) is the best over all for planting-coming in a close second is Scorpio (Scorpion), Pisces (Fishes) is also a good sign to plant under.
On the other end of the spectrum Leo (Lion) is the worst time to plant. Other no no planting signs include: Sagittarius (Archer), and Gemini (Twins).
Once you break it down into the different parts-planting by the signs isn't as hard to understand as I thought it would be-getting the weather to cooperate on the 'perfect' planting day may be a different story. If you Google 'how to plant by the signs' there are tons of links that offer very detailed guidelines

 Old Appalachian Garden Remedies


PLANT FEEDS

Silver Sand and Water-Apparently, a mix of silver sand and water, shaken not stirred and then left to settle, will aid to the strength and vitality of vegetables. Added to the watering can, the silica is the key.

CUTTINGS

Cereal Grain-If you plant a cereal grain underneath a cutting, the germination process, exudes rooting hormone, stimulating the cutting.
COMPANION PLANTING
Garlic: Garlic has long been known to have a beneficial effect when planted near others in order to protect from insect attack.
Wild Garlic-  According to old lore, rabbits refuse to cross a boundary planted with wild garlic or ‘Ransomes’.
LUCKY PLANTS
Black-eyed peas- An extremely drought tolerant plant, this legume is traditionally eaten on New Years day in the Southern States of America and in Jewish households, as a bringer of prosperity and good luck. The Southern tradition dictates the meal should be accompanied by beetroot or spinach, leeks, collard and ham or pork – each ingredient indicating a positive bringer of fortune.
Parsley- A herb whose use has long been hailed, yet whose origins have long become lost, it is thought seeds sown on Good Friday, will bring happiness and fortune

PLANTING STRAWBERRIES
Before planting strawberries, dig in a liberal amount of the leaf litter from a conifer forest. Then, once planted, mulch the strawberries with another helping of the pine leaf litter. The flavor is said to be enhanced.
VEGETABLES
A vegetable garden should follow a strict order of rotation. No two similar vegetables should be planted in the same place on the following years.
Beans with Cabbage-  It makes perfect sense for beans to have a positive effect on the production of a leaf vegetable, purely by the virtue of nitrogen storage in the root structure.

MOON LORE
According to moon phase theory, the best time to rid the garden of weeds is in the moons final quarter before the new moon.
DISCOURAGE INSECTS.
Tomato Spray
Shred leaves and stems of plants and mix with water. Pour over hot water and leave to stand for 6 to 8 hrs. This spray actively discourages animals from landing on plants. It is worth testing to see if it also works on rabbits.
Add 1 cup corn meal per gallon of water let set one week then spray on tomatoes to help with blight.

Field Worker,
Chad Brock

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