This set of tips and tricks appears in The Colonial and State Political History of Hertford County, N.C. by Benjamin Brodie Winborne in our American County Histories collection.
HOW TO KEEP HAMS
Rule 1. — After smoking them, take them down and thoroughly rub the flesh part with molasses, then immediately apply ground black pepper, as much as will stick to the molasses, then hang them up to dry. They will keep perfectly sweet, and insects will not appear on them.
Rule 2. — After your hams have taken salt, smoke them well, then take them down and dip them for a few seconds in boiling water. This will kill all eggs of insects, if any, then roll them in dry ashes while wet and rehang them. Resmoke them if you choose. The shoulders and sides may be treated in the same way. With this treatment bugs and skippers will never appear.
REMEDY FOR PEAR-TREE BLIGHT
Mix one pint of common salt with four times its bulk of ashes. Spread around the roots a foot or more from trunk of tree, but do not let the mixture come in contact with tree.
Avoid hogpens near your residence. They breed fevers, sickness and death.
A DURABLE WHITEWASH
The U. S. Government formula. The author has tried it and found it almost equal to oil paint.
To ten parts of good slack lime add one quart best hydraulic cement, or any other good quality of cement. (The Portland is the best cement.) Mix well with salt water and apply quite thin. There is no other whitewash equal to this.
HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUNG CHICKENS
Chicken lice go to the head of the chicken at night. When the young chicken is four or five days old, grease its head with lard. You may mix a little coal-oil with the lard if you choose.
The summer is the time to look after your pigs and keep them healthy and in a thrifty condition. Never feed them with the larger hogs. Always have a pen with a slip for the pigs to get in, and feed them separate. You can teach the sow and pigs quickly to govern themselves to fit your rules.
HOW TO KILL IRISH POTATO BUGS
Mix an ounce of London purple with three gallons of water, and by the use of a watering pot sprinkle the vines of the potatoes. The London purple is better than the Paris green.
HOW TO KEEP POTATOES
Dust the floor of your bin with lime. Then lay the potatoes over six or seven inches deep, then dust well with lime again, and repeat the layer of potatoes, and so on. One bushel of lime will do for forty bushels of potatoes. The lime will improve the flavor of the potatoes, and is harmless.
HOW TO MEASURE CORN IN BULK
Level the corn so as to get an even depth throughout the pile, then measure the length and breadth of the pile, and multiply the length by the breadth, which will give the number of cubic feet of the bulk of corn. Divide the product of the multiplication by 12, and the quotient will be the number of barrels of shelled corn in the bulk. Should there be a remainder, it will be so many twelfths of a barrel of shelled corn over.
HOW TO MEASURE LAND
Multiply the length by the width (in rods) and divide the product by 160, and this will give the number of acres and hundredths of an acre. When the sides of the land are irregular and of unequal length, add them together and take one-half for the main length or width. Multiply this by the depth and divide by 31 1/2. This will give the number of acres in the piece of land. 21,500 cubic inches will contain ten bushels of shelled corn, but the same space filled with corn in the ear will shell out rather more than five bushels. These 21,500 cubic inches contain 12 cubic feet and 764 cubic [Page 347] inches over. Two barrels or ten bushels of corn in the ear will generally in shelling overrun these 764 cubic inches.
HOW TO RID YOUR LAND OF STUMPS
In the autumn bore a hole one or two inches in diameter, according to the size of the stump, about 18 inches deep. Fill this hole with one or two ounces of saltpetre, then fill the hole with water and plug it up close. Next spring take out the plug and fill it with kerosene oil and ignite it. The fire will soon burn the stump down to and throughout its roots.
FOR CHOLERA INFANTUM
Two whites of two eggs well beaten; mix with pure water and one tablespoonful of orange-flower water and a little sugar, and give a tablespoonful every hour. It is said to cure the worst cases of cholera infanutm. The eggs cool and heal the bowels.
Dip a flannel cloth in a mixture of sweet oil and kerosene oil and tie it around the child’s throat at night, and he will be well by morning. The sweet oil prevents the kerosene oil from burning and taking the skin off.