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March 11, 2014 > Pat Kites Garden: Garden Superstitions

Pat Kites Garden: Garden Superstitions

By Pat Kite

Admittedly I am a somewhat superstitious person. So itÕs fun to see what the plant reference books have to say about assorted international fruit and vegetable superstitions.

Just for funÉ

APPLE: To determine a future spouse, a girl should peel the skin off an apple in a continuous peel, and then fling this over her left shoulder. When the peel meets the ground, the letter formed will be the initial of a prospective suitor.

BEANS: In the Southwest of England, farming success advice was planting kidney beans only on May 3rd. Doing otherwise was asking for trouble.

BEETS: Highly prized by ancient Greeks for their beneficial effects, beets were touted as a treatment for colds and headaches. [AuthorÕs note: modern science hasnÕt come up with much better, ha!]

CABBAGE: If your cabbage has two shoots from a single root, a Òdouble,Ó itÕs a good luck omen.

CARROTS: not only a love potion, but also eating them makes one sexier.

FRUITS: ItÕs good luck to find a fruit growing double. Share this with a friend, and both will have a wish granted. And if a pregnant woman eats such a fruit, she can expect twins.

GARLIC: There are endless international superstitions about garlicÕs ability to purge evil spirits from a house. However, in mitigation, strands of garlic hung about windows and doors will keep nosy vampires away.

LEEK: For battle strength and protection; long ago Welshmen would rub leek plants over their body. This tradition sometimes shows up as dˇcor in Welsh sporting events today.

LETTUCE: Ancient Romans believed that if you gorged on lettuce while lustily imbibing, you couldnÕt get drunk.

LEMONS: Do you want to dream about a future love affair? Women should keep lemon peel under their armpits for a day then rub the peel on bedposts. With any luck, potential beau will appear in a dream - toting two lemons.

NUTS: A large nut crop foretells more births than usual in that area.

ORANGE: Oranges are esteemed lucky fruits. A gift of oranges between a boy and girl encourage love. Perhaps this is why orange blossoms show up at so many weddings.

PEAS: Find a pod with only one pea, and good fortune soon follows. If your pod has nine peas, toss one over your right shoulder and make a wish. It will come true.

PEACH: A peach blossom sprig placed over your front door keeps evil spirits away.

POTATO: Have rheumatism? A long-standing superstition cure is to put a potato in your coat or pants pocket. It should be a new potato that has been kept until it turns black and becomes wood hard.

Did your folks have a garden superstition?

Best of spring.

Dahlia lovers take notice:

The San Leandro Dahlia Society will hold their annual Dahlia Tuber/Cutting sale April 26th at Root Park in the 900 block of East 14th Street in San Leandro. The time will be 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. We will have 20 different forms and over 200 varieties. We look forward to helping you with your colorful plant needs.

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