Farming Advice: Bee Sting Salve, Homemade Composter and High Tech Scarecrows

Farming advice from MOTHER and her readers, including a natural salve for bee stings, building a homemade composter and creating a garden scarecrow out of mailer CDs.

| October/November 2000

MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share their farming advice, fun tips and country folklore, including using a natural bee salve for stings, making a homemade composter and a CD scarecrow for the garden.

Bee Sting Salve

The best home remedy for bee, wasp and bumble bee stings is to cut an onion inhalf and apply it right to the sting. After a few moments of slightly sharper stinging,the pain will diminish almost immediately,and the sting will heal in a short while. I always keep an onion in my first aid kit when traveling, camping, etc.

—Teresa McSween

Hot Potatoes and Plentiful Produce

We have a big lawn, and eliminating the grass clippings had always been a problem. We used to let the garbage service haul away our bags full of clippings — then we decided to use them ourselves . . . on the potatoes.

When our potatoes are about a foot tall we drag the clippings out to the garden and carefully pile their warm contents around the base of the plants, covering them until only the tips of the plants show above the grassy compost. The potatoes grow remarkably fast, getting close to five feet tall before tipping over. Heavy rains compress the grass compost into a dense mass, and at harvest time we simply remove the grass mat by rolling it back with a garden rake. Digging down into the soil we find a solid mass of uniformly shaped potatoes, which we simply pick off the ground. This eliminates hoeing and, by leaving the grass compost in place, we can spread it over the garden the following spring.

—Doris Stebbins
Danville, VT

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