Farming Advice and Folklore: Cleaning Copper, Flood Facts, and Garden Eggshells

Country farming advice and folklore: cleaning copper, flood facts, and garden eggshells.

| May/June 1986

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    I read Georgiana Kotarski's trick of cleaning copper with lemon and salt in MOTHER EARTH NEWS NO. 97 and just had to write to let you know what we use: catsup!

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MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share their farming advice, fun tips and country folklore, including cleaning copper with catsup, facts about flooding, using eggshells in the garden and more.  

MOTHER's Country Farming Advice and Folklore

Copper Condiment

I read Georgiana Kotarski's trick of cleaning copper with lemon and salt in issue MOTHER EARTH NEWS 97 and just had to write to let you know what we use: catsup! It's something we almost always have on hand, and it's kept our Revere Ware looking great for years. — E. Noty, Chicago, Illinois  

Where's Mom?

When my children were small, I found that their nap time was the perfect chance to get chores done around our large house or out in the garage, garden, etc. However, the kids were too young to read a note, and I didn't want them to be alarmed should they wake up and be unable to find me. So I made a note board for their bedroom door and found pictures corresponding to the different places around our home. Then I'd just post a picture of wherever I planned to work while the children slept. When they woke up, they knew exactly where to look for me. It always relieved my mind, and I'm sure it made them feel more secure, as well. — Harla Estle, Hesston, Kansas  

Flood Facts

I'd like to pass on a valuable bit of wisdom I learned while inspecting homes damaged by the floods in West Virginia last year. I saw many houses that floated right off their foundations and others that were done in by the pressure of rising and then receding water. But I was puzzled by one house that had survived while those right next to it were completely destroyed. Then an old-timer let me in on the secret to saving a home in a flood: Leave your doors and windows open. Either nail them open or take them off to let the water get in and out of the structure easily. Be especially sure to leave any basement doors or windows open. I also learned that the best time to clean up after the flood-if you can do so safely-is while the water is still in the house. That way you can float most of the mud and debris out along with the receding floodwater. — Russ Cockburn, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Slick Fix

Ordinary roofing shingles nailed to docks and wooden steps provide a safe, no-skid surface. They're designed to repel water, they don't cost much, and nowadays they even come in a variety of colors. — P.J. Parziale, Canoga Park, California  

Don't Tread on Me!

Here's a money-saving idea I found in a 1948 book of household hints that my grandmother handed down to me:
Is the carpet runner on your stairs old and worn? You can make it look practically new by moving the carpet up or down half a step. That way the unworn riser sections will now rest on the steps, and the threadbare spots will be moved to the risers, where they won't show as much. — Helen Puls, Canby, Oregon  

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