Farming Advice and Folklore: Freshening Woodstove Smoke, Storing Birdseed and Undyed Wool Mittens

Farming advice and folklore from MOTHER and her readers, including freshening Woodstove smoke, storing birdseed and undyed wool mittens.

| November/December 1988


Because I use so much birdseed during the colder months, I buy it in the largest bags I can find. Storing these, especially the leftovers from one season to another, had been a pain.


MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share their farming advice, fun tips and country folklore, including how to freshen the air from excess Woodstove smoke, storing birdseed in old soda bottles and Nova Scotian fishing folks keep hands warm with undyed wool mittens. 

MOTHER's Country Farming Advice and Folklore

I'VE RECEIVED AS GIFTS THOSE little ceramic pots that simmer herbs and spices, and I enjoy filling the house with enticing aromas, especially during the holiday season. I found, though, that heating the water in the pot to boiling used up so much of the candle, I'd soon have to replace it to keep the brew on simmer for any length of time. Now I heat the pot and its contents in my microwave for about a minute on medium-high (the high setting makes it boil over).

After that the candle flame keeps it going for a long time.  

—Karen Goebel
Victoria, Texas

Double-Duty Debris 

My mobile home has skirting, but that doesn't keep the cold Michigan winds from blowing through and chilling from underneath the floor. My heating bill for the winter of 1986-87 was $1,200! I worried about it through the next summer, but didn't have the funds to insulate. In the fall, though, I found the solution in a nearby neighborhood.

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