Farming Advice: Bovine Back Scratcher, Kettle Cleaner and Christmas Cookie Making

Farming advice from MOTHER and her readers, including an ingenious bovine back scratcher idea, using rhubarb as a kettle cleaner and Christmas cookie making honey or molasses measurements made easier.

| November/December 1985

MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share their farming advice, fun tips and country folklore, including a unique bovine back scratcher, a vegetable kettle cleaner and a Christmas cookie making measurement fix. 

Farming Advice: Bovine Back Scratcher, Kettle Cleaner and Christmas Cookie Making

Where's My . . . ?
My family put a stop to the daily scavenger hunt for mittens, scarves, hats, etc., by storing their winter sundries in two shoe bags that hang on the inside of our front hall closet door.
—George Earley
Bloomfield, Connecticut

Bovine Back Scratcher
Our fence posts used to suffer because the cattle used them as back scratchers all winter; by spring, those uprights would have a definite list. But we finally solved the problem! We bought an old street-sweeping brush from the city street department for $5.00, sank an eight-foot 4 by 6 three feet into the ground, and slipped the brush over that upright. The brush does such a good job of relieving itches that our cattle leave the fence posts alone.
—Kathy Machotka
Peyton, Colorado

Perfect Fit
There's nothing as frustrating as sticking a log in your stove only to discover that you cut it just a tad too long for the firebox. But you can avoid this predicament by turning your chain-saw bar into a ruler. Simply stick the bar of your saw in your (cold) firebox or use a tape measure to find the length you need your logs to be, and then mark that measurement on both sides of your chainsaw bar with a felt-tipped permanent marker. This way, you'll have an accurate guide every time you cut firewood.
—Barry Churchill
Lasqueti Island, B. C., Canada

Homemade Honing Oil
I've found that the best honing oil for whetstones is a mixture of equal parts light mineral oil and kerosene. It works as well as, or better than, the commercial lubricants, and it's a whole lot cheaper!
—Fred Hargreaves
Moab, Utah

Wrapping It Up
When wrapping a package with cotton string, try dampening the cord first. The string will shrink, and you'll wind up with a neat, tight package.
—Bonnie Hamlin
Santa Rosa, California

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