Skin Small Animals with a Hand Pump, Sixteen Uses for Old Tires, a Honey Candy Recipe, and More Country Lore

Recruit your chickens to pull weeds, uses for sunflower stalks, grow seaweed at home, make an environmentally-friendly no-stick cooking coating, DIY reflective pet collars, stretch shampoo with witch hazel, and more household tips from MOTHER's readers.

| July/August 1983

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    Try growing your tomato plants upside down in buckets: the tomato vines grow out and up around the container, the red fruits hang down for easy picking, and it helps keep most pests away.

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Skin Small Animals More Cleanly with a Hand Pump

According to "50 percent self-sufficient" Daniel Warner of Walton, New York, there's more than one way to skin a small animal. In order to better define the boundary between a recently killed specimen's hide and its flesh, Daniel makes one small hole in the skin right above the quarry's hind foot. He then inserts a ball needle (attached to a hand pump) just under the skin, and begins pumping in air. The carcass puffs up like a balloon, separating most of the hide from the meat. Warner next pats the hide, working air into any area that still adheres to the flesh.

At that point, the Empire Stater begins cutting around the animal's legs and across to the anus. Then, when Daniel does peel the hide, it comes off easily, and the connective tissue remains clearly visible, enabling him to make cuts that insure that the maximum amount of meat stays on the carcass and off the hide.

Chickens Pull Weeds along Fences

If you own chickens, Doug Qualls's tip may be mighty helpful to you. This resident of Apple Valley, California avoids the boring chore of hoeing the weeds along his fences by throwing chicken scratch along the line of his posts. Doug's feathered "fence crew" then digs in after the feed, pulling up weeds as they go!

Uses for Sunflower Stalks

Save those sunflower stalks! Eileen Janigo of Wittenberg, Wisconsin does, and finds them quite handy for supporting pole beans, lima beans, peas, morning glories, and other climbing crops or flowers in her garden. And you don't even have to wait until spring to use the stalks, the Badger Stater says they also make great shepherds' staffs for Christmas pageants!

Grow Seaweed at Home

Linda Bisaccia treats her pet goldfish to her own homegrown seaweed. Here's how she does it. The last time Linda purchased some elodea plants at the pet shop (which was quite a while ago by now), she bought an extra bunch and placed it and a few snails in a glass jug of water. Ms. Bisaccia set the container in a sunny spot among her indoor greenery, and then sat back to watch the seaweed grow. The Thurmont, Maryland reader says that regular thinning of the underwater crop provides an ample supply of seaweed for her feasting fish. What's more, she gets to enjoy watching beautiful chains of silvery oxygen bubbles float up from her sunlit plants, and, when Linda changes the water in the jug from time to time, she brightens up drooping houseplants with the fertilized liquid!

Map Routes with a Laminated Map and a Grease Pencil

"My husband and I own and operate a secondhand store, and therefore rely on garage sales for a considerable portion of our merchandise," writes Mrs. Dennis Austin of Medicine Park, Oklahoma. "However, we found that running about to 30 or more different sales in one day can be extremely nerve-wracking, especially since we're newcomers and unsure of the directions around the city.

"So we came up with a device that keeps us sane and delivers us to the sales quickly enough to get hold of the real bargains. First, we obtained a city map from the local fire department. We then trimmed the chart to size before gluing it to a piece of cardboard. Next, we stuck the guide's list of street names and their locations on the back of the cardboard, and had both sides laminated in plastic at the dime store.

"Now, when the garage sale ads appear, we mark the location of each on the map with a grease pencil . . . and plot our route. This saves us time, gasoline, and frustration. And we can reuse the map simply by wiping off the grease-pencil markings with a cloth!"

Copy Diagrams with an Old Pen and Carbon Paper

Got a good-for-nothing ball point pen? Turn it into a useful implement by taking this suggestion from D. Leverette of Fairfield, Florida: "A tip for those readers who keep notebooks on various subjects for easy reference and would like to add diagrams to their records is to take a dry ball point pen and a piece of carbon paper, place the carbon underneath an original sketch, and trace over the work. Presto! You've got a copy to put with your notes so that you can refer to it quickly when you're in the fields."

4/18/2014 6:47:10 AM

Cleaning the animals is very necessary otherwise it creates different kinds of germs and other insects that is a problem for you as well as your pet also. SO while cleaning the pet hair you must use better soap or shampoo that will kill the insects as well protect the dog from outside injuries. Otherwise you may also take some tips from for more tips and advises.

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