You are reading the second version of this post. The first was very wordy. I wrote about Goodreads (which I do recommend for the book people out there), Reading Challenges, trips home, the bookcase, yada yada yada.
The short story is that I am currently reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series, and am really enjoying it. Yes it’s considered children’s reading, but its great. I’ve traced the families movement on Google Maps and I love that there’s an accidental (or maybe not?) history to it. In the 3rd book, “Farmer Boy”, there are several nuggets of wisdom as they introduce Almanzo (who Laura will grow up to marry) and his life on a farm in New York. It’s neat to learn that some of the practices they used on the farm were familiar to my dad, and were still employed on the small farm where he grew up.
One example is how the family saves the corn crop from frost by pouring cold water over the plants before the sun hits them. Dad taught me that years ago, but I’d never actually seen it in print before, so it was noteworthy to me.
The other example is the process the family used to growing a huge pumpkin to enter into a festival. This is the section shown in the main blog image. They find the best plant and strip it down to the best leader vine and the best pumpkin. Under the leader, they dig a rut and place a bowl of milk. Then they run a wick from the milk to the leader, where they have made a small cut just big enough for the wick. This way the plant feeds on the milk and by trimming the plant it can focus all of its energy on producing that one pumpkin.
HOW COOL IS THAT?
So of course I called dad. When I asked if that sounded familiar he said “Oh yeah.”, like its common knowledge, and maybe it is for some. He said that he heard of people putting an entire leader vine into a gallon that they kept full of milk, and that it didn’t take long to soak up the entire gallon and they grew like crazy.
After doing more research, its fairly common to follow this process, but I still think its neat and I’m excited to try it out next year. Little did I know that I would end up with another experiment after reading “Farmer Boy”, but there it is. I guess you never know when a great idea will find you!
The folks over at Gardening Know How have more information on the process if you’d like to check it out.
Wilder, Laura Ingalls, and Garth Williams. Farmer Boy. Harper & Row, 1971.(Thanks easybib.com)