NEW YORK FOLKLORE QUARTERLY
Vol. VII, No. 1, Spring 1951
YORK STATE FARM LORE
Selected, edited, and written by Edith E. Cutting
In the lore of planting, certain ideas recur frequently. One
is the belief in the influence of the moon. Another is the correlation
between planting time and the development of tree leaves,
probably an inheritance from the time when farms were next
door to forests, or, earlier yet, from our Indian neighbors. Still
another idea is the importance of Good Friday and Easter Sunday,
no doubt symbolically paralleling the death and resurrection of
Early in the spring the ground was prepared for planting.
Often the plowing had been done the previous fall. If not, the
coming of swallows indicated that spring was really here; plowing
and planting should begin. Some people warned against starting
plowing on Good Friday, however, for fear you would never
finish it. Usually manure had beeen spread on the fields during the
fall and winter. If not, it was spread during the very early spring.
Some believers in the moon said that it should be spread while
the moon was waning, to make it seep in better. Others said,
“Spread it under the full moon for a good crop.”
One of the most general beliefs in regard to the moon’s relation
to planting is that vegetables maturing underground (such
as potatoes) should be planted in the dark of the moon, whereas
those maturing above ground (like beans) should be planted in
the new moon. Another is that all round seeds should be planted
in the full of the moon, but all flat or long seeds should be planted
in the old moon....
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