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Old sayings

Jim Boxberger - Correspondent
Posted 11/20/20

Trying to get ready for our Black Friday Sale next week has got me running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

I said that today to a few of my staff and the older staff member new …

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Old sayings

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Trying to get ready for our Black Friday Sale next week has got me running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

I said that today to a few of my staff and the older staff member new exactly what I was talking about, while two of our younger members, under twenty years old, had that deer in the headlights look on their faces. They just didn't understand the concept of a chicken running around with its head cut off.

They pondered, how could it run around when its head is cut off? That is when it hit me that they couldn't imagine it because they had never seen it before. When I grew up, I lived next to someone who had chickens and when one of the hens got too old to lay anymore it was time for the oven.

So when it was time to kill the chicken my father brought my cousin and I over to the neighbor's house to watch the proper quick way to kill the chicken. It was quick, but then Dad and the neighbor had a little fun with us by letting the now headless chicken go to run around the yard.

My cousin and I ran, screaming at the sight, only to hear the laughter behind us from my dad and our neighbor. Of course the headless chicken only ran a short distance before it dropped to the ground, but when you are a kid it seemed like a mile.

It is stories like this that most of the youth today will never experience. Now I know that all the kids that grow up on farms will get this knowledge, but this is not the type of knowledge that you would read about in a book. Similar knowledge about plants is passed down by experience rather than books, even though there are plenty of books and research on plants.

I do remember from reading about early agrarian European societies that started to use crop rotation in their fields to produce higher yields. Crop rotation worked for a number of reasons. First, by moving crops around pests and fungus are less likely and second, after having a pea or bean crop in a certain field, they leave nitrogen in the soil that future crops will benefit from.

Peas and beans are legumes and their roots have a symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in structures called root nodules, that produce nitrogen and leave it in the soil. Clover is also a legume and, if you have clover in your yard, you may notice that your grass stays greener, even when you are not fertilizing on a regular basis.

The clover is producing the nitrogen that the grass needs to stay green. These are the little secrets that get lost in a textbook. Another secret to keeping your flower garden green is to add lupins. Lupins are also a legume and besides adding nitrogen to your soil, you can eat the seeds.

Many annual species of lupins are used in agriculture. While originally cultivated as a green manure or forage, lupins are increasingly grown for their seeds, which can be used as an alternative to soybeans. Sweet lupins are highly regarded as a stock feed, particularly for ruminants, but also for pigs and poultry and more recently as an ingredient in aqua-feeds.

Although the market for lupin seeds as human food is currently small, researchers believe it has great potential. Lupin seeds are considered “superior” to soybeans in certain applications and evidence is increasing for their potential health benefits as well. They contain similar protein to soybean, but less fat.

As a food source, they are gluten-free and high in dietary fiber, amino acids, and antioxidants, and they are considered to be prebiotic. Currently, about eighty-five percent of the world's lupin seeds are grown in Western Australia. So who knows, maybe in the next ten years or so, you may be putting out some lupins on the Thanksgiving table.

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