Farming Advice and Folklore: Freezing Beets, Pest Repellent and Non-Stick Lawn Mower

Farming advice and folklore from MOTHER and her readers, including avoiding beet juice using a french-fry cutter to freeze beets, organic pest repellent ideas, and keeping grass accumulating from the underside of your lawn mower.

| July/August 1987

MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share their farming advice, fun tips and country folklore, including freezing beets and keeping messy beet juice off your hands using a french-fry cutter, organic methods of pest repellent and coating the underside of your lawn mower with non-stick spray for ease in cutting. 

MOTHER's Country Farming Advice and Folklore

Weeds and Other Summer Joys

I cut down on weeding chores by buying sunflower seeds and sprinkling them in the weedy, grassy areas of my perennial flower beds. Squirrels and birds love this treat, and all those paws and claws scratching through the soil discourage weeds and grass from sprouting. The hulls left behind act as an enriching mulch, too. This works on perennial vegetable beds as well.

—Mrs. H. Henselin
Chatfield, Minnesota

Let It Flow

Most prescription drugs and some vitamins are packaged in bottles that each contain a crystal-filled capsule that absorbs moisture and keeps the pills fresh. Once a bottle's contents are used up, the capsule can be placed in a salt or pepper shaker to keep the seasonings dry in damp weather.

—Portia Crider
Jackson, South Carolina

Color Me Red

How I used to hate preparing beets for freezer storage! Before the job was over I'd be covered with beet juice and so would my cutting board and countertops. Last year, though, I tried two utensils meant for other uses and they worked perfectly. Once the beets were cooked and tender, I cut the larger ones into strips with my wire French-fry cutter and made nice even slices of the smaller ones with my metal egg slicer. It's an easy way to make short work of a messy job.

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