The Old Time Farm Magazines: Homemade Salad Dressing, Fruit Trees and Homemade Recipes

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ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
Interested in making your own salad dressing or planting fruit trees? Read these old farm magazines for advice on both and more.

Reprinted by permission from Successful Farming,
copyright 1914, Meredith Corporation. All rights
reserved.

Invigorating Fruit Trees

Fruit trees in the orchard or anywhere about the home may
be made to bear a much larger crop of fruit, and much finer
specimens, if the trees are properly treated with
fertilizers and given the attention they need to produce a
healthy and vigorous growth.

May is the best time to apply the fertilizer, and it makes
no difference how old the tree is, the application should
be given, and the results will be plainly seen. Those who
have made a careful study of this method of invigorating
fruit trees declare there is a great difference seen when
certain trees or rows of trees are not treated and stand in
the same orchard on similar land to that on which the other
trees stand. It is not a costly experiment, and will bring
the fruit grower immense returns. One application will do
good but it is best to keep it up each year for a period of
at least three years, before a year is allowed to pass
without fertilization, and then it should not be
discontinued for more than a year at a time.

Trees large enough to bear should be given the following:
five pounds of nitrate of soda, five pounds of acid
phosphate, and two and a half pounds of muriate of potash,
making twelve and one half pounds of the mixture to the
tree.

A less quantity of the same mixture may be given a tree not
old enough to bear fruit, judgment being used in the amount
according to the size and vigor of the tree.

In applying this fertilizer the party should walk round the
tree taking care to keep three or four feet farther from
the trunk than the ends of the longest branches as they
spread out over the soil.

Sow the mixture, throwing it in toward the tree, but
allowing the most of the fertilizer to fall nearest the
point where you pass round the outer circle. It is not
essential that any fall on the ground nearer than three or
four feet from the body of the tree.

The smaller roots will collect the strength and carry it to
every portion of the tree. It is well to sprinkle the
fertilizer on the surface just previous to a shower. The
rain will dissolve it and it will immediately go into the
earth.

If the trees have been mulched it is not necessary to
remove this to apply the mixture, but simply scatter on top
of the litter and the rains will soon carry its strength to
the soil beneath the mulching material. –J. T. T.,
Ohio.

Planting Fruit Trees

As soon as trees arrive they should be unpacked and if they
show any signs of being shriveled, should be “heeled” in
moist dirt for several days before setting. When roots and
bodies look plump and healthy, a little moist hay or grass
thrown over them until time for setting will keep them in
good condition.

Cut off all broken or bruised roots before putting the tree
into the ground. Prune the tops until the limbs present a
symmetrical head. Cut the limbs away about one-half and
leave the last bud on the outside as this will form a
better head.

Be sure to set the tree in line with the others and as
nearly perpendicular as possible. The roots should have
plenty of room. They should not be twisted together or
wound in a circle. Make the hole plenty large enough to
accommodate the roots without cramping or the tree will be
seriously handicapped.

Tamp the soil thoroughly about the roots. When the hole
lacks an inch or two of being filled, pour in a couple of
buckets of water. This will settle the soil well around the
roots and furnish the needed moisture. Cover with loose
dirt and leave a soil mulch a couple of inches deep about
the base of the tree.–W. D. N.

Farmer’s Notebook

Seed-bed preparation is the leading thought in every
farmer’s head just now. Some ask an agricultural editor or
some other wise man how they can best fit their stalk
ground for oats or a little later their plowing for corn.
No man can correctly answer that question without knowing
the field, its past treatment, and the season. Then
sometimes it is hard to tell. About all the seed-bed advice
that can be given is the kind of a seed-bed to be kept in
mind as the ideal. It is then left to the individual to
work out for himself the best method of bringing his field
as nearly as possible to that standard. There is a world of
difference in the way a field works up in different
seasons. This is especially true of the field in which the
humus matter is low. The field that contains plenty of
humus can be put into good seed-bed condition almost any
time.

Cross fences all through the fields are an abomination.
Some permanent fences we must have, and we want them
permanent too, but there are too many field fences wasting
good ground. Father was visiting in Michigan last year and
he tells of farms there fenced off in five to ten acre
fields with rail fences. What a waste of land and a growth
of weeds those must incur. Even a wire fence through the
field is almost a snug harbor for weeds and insects. I like
the plan of having the work land in one big field and then,
as the harvesting and pasturing of the crops require, put
up temporary fences. I believe the time saved in
cultivating and plowing will care for the building of such
fences.

“Here is my pastime,” said a husky young farmer as he
handed me a package of flower seeds to examine. I noticed
sweet peas, pansies and a list of the other old favorites.
“I plant these in the garden” he said “in rows like the
vegetables. You can’t keep flower beds clean unless you put
your whole time in on them. I want the most flowers
possible for the time expended, so take this way.” To me
that man is both a practical man and a poet. He loves the
beautiful and goes about to get it. His neighbors tell me
that he grows the good things of life into his character in
the same way.

Homemade Recipes

Chicken Loaf –Boil three chickens until
tender. Remove the bones and put the meat through a
chopper, together with three stalks of celery and a small
onion. Season with pepper and salt. Pack in a deep dish and
pour over it the liquor in which the chicken was cooked.
Let it stand in a cool place for several hours and then it
is ready for use. This is very nice for the children’s
school dinner, sliced thin and laid between slices of bread
and butter.

Rice and Potato Soup –Peel three large
potatoes and chop them fine, add one-half cup of well
washed rice, and boil until soft in two quarts of salted
water. Season to taste, add a piece of butter (nut butter
gives a fine flavor, and it should be rubbed to a cream
with a few drops of water before adding to the soup),
thicken with a small teaspoon of flour and just before
taking from the fire, add a cup of sweet cream.

Eggs in Baked Potatoes –6 potatoes, 6 eggs,
5 tbsp. grated cheese, 6 tbsp. butter, 1/2 tsp. salt. Bake
potatoes; when soft cut off the tops, remove half the
insides, drop in one raw egg, sprinkle with salt, pepper,
butter and cheese. Put back in the oven for five
minutes.

Homemade Salad Dressing

Delicious dressing for spinach, or any kind of greens is
made as follows: One cup vinegar, put on fire and while it
is heating, mix one teaspoon each of salt, sugar, powdered
mustard, and pepper; the two latter should be used
according to their strength, generally the mustard should
be used very heaping and the pepper very scant, even full.
Stir these together dry, and add the yolks of three eggs,
and after the paste is very smooth beat in one cup of thick
sour cream. When vinegar boils put in the above mixture,
and let come to a boil. Have ready the whites of the eggs
beaten stiff and whisk them in the hot dressing, remove
from fire, and put in a jar. This dressing will keep
indefinitely. If too thick it may be thinned with a little
milk or cream when used. This quantity will dress several
salads, the number depends upon the size of the salad or
mess of “greens.” 

Random Bits

An earthen dish of quicklime placed in closets will absorb
moisture and act as a disinfectant. It is also said to keep
away rats and mice.

Education will broaden a narrow mind, but there’s no known
cure for a big head. The best you can hope is that it will
swell up and bust; and then, of course, there’s nothing
left.–G. H. Lorimer.

Binding a cloth, dampened with cold water, to the back of
the head, is a means of stopping bleeding at the nose, the
head being held up well to aid in the checking.