Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder Pole, Walnut Hulling, and Other Country Lore

A Connecticut man who improvised a squirrel-proof bird feeder pole and an Ohio man who came up with a walnut hulling method that kept his finger clean are among the contributors profiled in this installment of an ongoing feature.

| June/July 1994

The following housekeeping tips and other bits of country lore were submitted by readers.  

Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder Pole

I have finally found a way to baffle the squirrels that were emptying my pole-type feeder. It involves recycling a glass one-gallon wine bottle. Cut the bottom out of the wine bottle. Cut a piece of black plastic pipe about three inches shorter than the feeder mounting pole. Place the plastic pipe over the pole, place the altered wine bottle over the pole and onto the pipe, mount the feeder on the pole.

I had to empty a second wine bottle and alter it. I had one squirrel that was really an athlete. The second bottle stymied him. To mount the second bottle, I cut a piece from the existing plastic pipe the length of the second bottle. I then placed the long piece of plastic pipe over the pole, then the first bottle, then the short piece of plastic pipe, then the second bottle, then the feeder. No squirrel has been able to compromise this arrangement for the last five winters. Their antics are hilarious.

— Fred L. Babbitt
South Windsor, CT

Walnut Hulling 

After reading "Walnut Tips" in your article "Newspaper Cat Litter, Soybean Meal Soil Conditioner, and Other Country Lore," I realized that what I have been doing for years is not common knowledge. Why go through the trouble of getting rid of the stain when you can do without it?

After you enjoy collecting the walnuts, just drop them on a hard surface, one that you don't care about staining. I use a three foot section of a 4" x 4" as my crusher. Lift it about a foot or so and let it fall on a walnut. The weight is enough to crack the hull but not enough to crack the shell. Usually the hull splits right off. For those ornery ones that don't, wear a pair of rubber gloves and hull the rest of the way. You can hull a bushel or so in about an hour. It's cleaner and it gives you a little aerobic weight lifting.

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