Poppy George's Farm Advice: Opening Burlap Sacks, Organic Garden Pest Control and More

"Poppy George" Plitt answers homesteaders questions about drying milking cows before calving, opening a sewn burlap seed bag, preparing a chicken coop for winter and other homesteading insights.

| September/October 1974

Little Lamb

Lambs should be seperated from their mothers after a few months. This helps keep the lambs parasite-free and the grass from getting worn down in any specific spot.


"Poppy George" Plitt graduated from college with a degree in agriculture in 1932. During the years that followed he made a good many friends and a name for himself (as a gentleman, inventor and executive) in the field of bird and animal husbandry and care. At various points in his career, Plitt served as Director of Nutritional Research and Field Services for two of the East's larger grain mills. He is also the originator of Pride of the Valley Wild Bird Food and Kleen Kitty cat litter. Plitt now raises and trains standard-bred horses and keeps a wide variety of other birds and animals on a New York farm. 

"Poppy George" is now sharing his experience by giving MOTHER's readers down-to-earth advice on the care and feeding of homestead livestock.  

Question: I have one milking cow, and I'm told I should dry her off two months before she's due to calve again. That will leave me with no source of milk until she gives birth, since my two immature goats aren't producing yet. Any suggestions, Poppy?  

Years ago, I spent a while aboard freighters and the officers were always served fresh milk early in the voyage. On one trip, though, we were away several weeks before reaching our next port of call and . . . we still had fresh, sweet milk. A check with the cook revealed that he had taken aboard a large supply in the usual paper containers, and frozen it. Then he'd removed the stock from the freezer as needed, and, believe it or not, it always tasted good. Maybe you can use this method to put by some of your cow's present yield.

In the future, I'd recommend timing the breeding of one or both milk goats so they'll freshen when the cow is due to be dried off.

I buy a few bags of feed in 100-pound lots and I dread the ordeal of opening them stitch by stitch (or else cutting the material). Isn't there any other way to do it?  

Don't feel bad if you have problems opening sewed burlap, plastic or paper bags. I know several hundred farmers who still don't know the way to do this simply and properly.

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