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The Seeds of Belief
Mountain people have
traditionally kept close ties to the land, and for good
reason. Up until this century, and even well into it in
many areas, you lived by what plant and animal life the
mountains offered. An important part of getting through
the winter was preparing well ahead of time, stocking
away produce for the lean months. Of course, it helped to
be able to read the "signs" and know what type
of winter was coming.
Plants offered wisdom in other ways,
too. The shamrock, or four-leaf clover, has long been
viewed as a sign of luck. For example, sewing one into
the collar of a shirt brought luck, and it was considered
bad luck to give away or lose a four-leaf clover. The
following are some of the beliefs held by Appalachian
people, though, like most such lore, the beliefs varied
four-leaf clover in your shoe and make a wish.
When you lose the clover, your wish will come
A five-leaf clover brings bad luck.
Grass won't grow where human blood has been
Catch a thistle seed, then blow it into the air.
If it doesn't hit the ground before it gets out
of sight, your wish will come true, but only if
you don't tell anyone the wish.
Crushing rosemary into a glass of wine will boost
Make a wish on a load of hay, but don't look
until the load is out of sight, and the wish will
Flowers which bloom out of season are evil.
Pluck the petals on a daisy, and if the number
counted comes out even, you will have good luck
for that many days.
Dreaming of thorns is bad luck.
Apples with red spots inside means that the
tree's roots grew into the body of a murdered
The number of seeds in an apple will be your
Bury a hickory stick in a moist place, and it
will turn to stone in seven years.
Weeping willows will bring the planter bad luck.
Conduct most of your garden chores during the
waxing of the moon.
Plowing on Good Friday will cause the ground to
Light nights make light crops: never plant when
the moon is full.
All above-ground crops should be planted with the
Root crops should be planted during the last two
days of a full moon.
If you burn potato peelings, your crop won't grow
the next year.
Root crops should be planted under the sign of
Taurus for quicker growth viagra india price.
Seeds planted under Virgo will result in many
leaves but not much fruit.
Sweet potatoes dug on a dark night will be
sweeter and keep better.
Seeds planted on St. Patrick's day grow better.
It's bad luck to burn wood from a tree struck by
Gardens do better if seeds are planted on
even-numbered days of the month.
Planting on Friday is bad luck, unless the zodiac
sign is right.
Tomatoes should be planted on Memorial Day.
Friday is a good day to plant crops which dangle
from branches because Friday is hangman's day.
Don't plant seeds until after the apple trees
It's good luck to steal herbs.
Tobacco grows well if planted under the sign of
Never plant under a north wind.
Whip a poor-yielding tree and it will bear better
the next year.
Trees blossoming twice in a year brings bad luck.
When cutting wood, spit in your palms for good
A snowy winter portends a good year for crops.
Don't thank a person who gives you seeds or
roots, or the plants will never grow.
A saying for planting tobacco: "Some for
you, some for I, some for the devil, some for the
Hang a horseshoe in a fruit tree for a heavy
After planting a hill of beans, press the soil
with your foot for better luck.
If you point your finger at a cucumber bloom, the
bloom will fall off.
Beans planted on dark nights will grow the best
Plant beans early in the morning if you want to
have the crop come in earlier in the season.
For a better cabbage crop, sew the seeds in your
bedclothes on March 17th.
Drive a rusty nail on the north side of a tree
for better yields.
Corn should be planted under the new moon so that
most of the growing will be done at the tip.
Wood cut on light nights will burn hotter.
Planting peppers when you are mad makes the
peppers grow hotter.
Grass seed won't freeze if planted when the moon
Corn planted under the waning moon grows slower
but produces larger ears.
If onion bulbs are planted upside down, they will
come out in China.
To keep away crows, kill one and hang it from a
Onions should be planted in the old of the moon.
Trees are best trimmed in the full moon of
February or November.
Peas should be planted as near to twelve noon as
Plant potatoes at night so that the eyes don't
Tie a piece of white string across the garden to
keep birds away.
Cut briars and weeds when the moon is waning to
Plant flowers under Virgo for the best blooms.
Corn should be planted when the dogwoods are in
bloom and the poplar leaves are as big as
Wheat always ripens in the light of the moon, not
If you laugh while planting corn, the kernels
will have big gaps in them.
Red-headed gardeners grow hotter peppers.
To make hydrangeas blue, put rusty nails at the
Eat sugar before planting fruit trees to make the
Plant watermelons before breakfast for best
Cobs from seed corn should be placed in running
water and not burned.
If two people's hoes hit together, they will work
in the same field next year.
For a good crop of watermelons, crawl to the
patch backwards on the first day of May.
appeared in The Mountain Times)
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