This poem about crop rotation will make the benefits easy to remember

Alfalfa farming in America
Alfalfa farming in America

The Rotation of Crops

By Sereno Edwards Todd
From The New York Tribune

The rotation system, which good tillers fix,
Embraces five seasons, and sometimes full six.
When one crop succeedeth through many long years,
Each harvest decreaseth, and dwarfeth the ears.

If herds of neat cattle or sheep be thy care,
Then grass in rotation must form a good share.
When corn, barley, clover, and turnips, and wheat,
Comprise the rotation, field peas will be meet.

Ere ploughing and sowing, the tiller should know
What crops the ground liketh the better to grow.
First, break up thy grass land and plant it with corn;
The field, the next season, let barley adorn.

Succeeding the barley, sow buckwheat or oats;
Then harvest a pea crop to nourish your shotes.
Oft ploughing and teasing and weeding the ground,
With liberal compost scattered around.

And sprinkled with ashes to make the land sweet,
With lime and some bone-dust to fatten the wheat.
The next, in rotation, a crop of red clover:
When blossoms are fragrant, then let the plough cover.

A six-years’ rotation now beareth the sway,
And showeth the tiller a progressive way;
A six years’ rotation will cattle increase;
Will multiply bushels and debtors release.

A six years’ rotation, when fairly begun,
Will harvest two bushels where now groweth one.
A six-years’ rotation, as all will agree,
Two years’ yield of clover is better than three.

When poor soil needs succor, to keep the land clean,
Grow clover and sowed corn to turn under green;
But where fertile muck and light soils abound,
Arrange the rotation as suiteth the ground.

Home Remedies for Sleeplessness

Snow White
Courtesy of from a 1913 version of Snow White.

Sleeplessness seems to be a reality in our modern culture. Everyone has their own sleep patterns and what is normal for one person is not normal for another. One of the more modern culprits for lack of sleep is probably our smart phones. I find myself being guilty of checking facebook before I go to bed and I have to make a conscious effort to set the alarm and set the phone down. Having said that, it’s ironic that one of the best ways I’ve found to help break from the day’s issues and worries is using a breathing app on my phone. There are several out there but the one that I’ve had luck with is Universal Breathing – Pranayama, by Saagara. The version I downloaded was several years ago and free at the time. The new app (which looks similar but that I haven’t tried) is $4.99. What was once old is new again. Just remember this when you get to number 7 on the list below.

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Old-fashioned Molasses Candy

Candy Pulling
The Candy-Maker: A Practical Guide to the Manufacture of the Various Kinds of Plain and Fancy Candy. 1878

I found these recipes for Molasses candy in “The Candy-Maker: A Practical Guide to the Manufacture of the Various Kinds of Plain and Fancy Candy.” 1878. Please reply in the comments section if you try any of these and which you like best. Also, if you have any memories that involve molasses candy I’d love to hear them. At the end of the story, it is saying to “boil to the ball.” I did some research and this seems to mean that when you drop the molasses into cold water to cool it down it will form a soft ball.

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Chili Sauce

Chili Sauce

Nine large ripe tomatoes, 1 onion chopped fine, 4 hot peppers, 2 cups vinegar, 1 table-spoon salt, 1 table-spoon sugar, 1 tea-spoon ginger, 1 tea-spoon cloves, 1 tea-spoon allspice, 1 tea-spoon cinnamon, 1 tea-spoon nutmeg. Boil one hour.

Mary R. Kinder, Milford, Delaware

Chili Sauce (alternative recipe)

Boil 1/2 bushel tomatoes till soft, with 3 or 4 red peppers. Press all through a sieve, add 1 pt. cider vinegar, 1/2 pt. salt, 1 oz. whole cloves, 2 ozs. whole allspice, 1 dessert spoon ground black pepper, 1 cup sugar. Boil all together 3 hours. If ground spices are preferred they may be used.

Mary E. Bussell – Newark, New Jersey

From “The Home Queen Cook Book” 1893