Farming Advice: Garden Frost First Aid, Wood Chewing Rabbits and Stocking Seed Saver

Farming advice from MOTHER and her readers, including suggested garden frost first aid, stopping wood chewing rabbits bad habits and a stocking seed saver idea.

| September/October 1985

MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share their farming advice, fun tips and country folklore, including quick action to aid plants during garden frosts, how to stop wood chewing rabbits and nylons for seed saving. 

Gardening Frost First Aid

"Don't give up if an early frost catches your vegetable garden or flowers," Irene Kubica, of Norwood, Missouri, advises. "Get up before dawn and gently sprinkle water over every plant. If you can get the frost off in time, and keep it off until the temperature rises to above freezing, you may be able to save them."

Fuss-Free Fat

"I have a helpful hint for families that butcher their own meat," writes Neva Mathes from Pella, Iowa. "It's very important, when rendering hog fat, not to scorch it, so I simply put the fat in my electric slow cooker and set the dial on low. I can then go about my work without worrying about stirring the fat. The end result is a lovely, snow-white lard that I cool, strain, and place in my freezer in plastic containers."

Waste Not . . .

Joe Plaugh wrote to us from Columbia, South Carolina, to say that whenever he has a little enamel paint left over in the bottom of a bucket, he uses it to coat the inside of his wheelbarrow to keep it from rusting.

Block The Habits of Wood Chewing Rabbits

Harold Newcomb's rabbits liked their wooden hutches so much they were literally chewing their way out of house and home. Harold finally just threw in the towel . . . actually, the Esparto, California, resident threw in a small piece of untreated soft pine. The bunnies were content to chew on that and leave their home alone!

An Unwelcome Mat

Canadian reader Helen Levchuk was tired of bugs invading her St. Catharines, Ontario, home, so last year she invented an unwelcome mat. Helen took a large hemp coffee-bean bag and filled it with tomato plant cuttings and pennyroyal. She set it down in front of the door to her home, and when family and friends wiped their feet on the mat, the insect-repelling fragrance of the plants was released. "If you have cats," Helen suggests, "stick in some catnip to encourage them to lounge on the mat and get rid of their fleas."

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