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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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FARMING LIE

IN CASEVILLE, MICHIGAN THEY PLANT POTATOES ON THE SIDES OF HILLS
SO THAT WHEN IT RAINS THE SOIL JUST ERODES AROUND THE POTATOES AND
THEY ROLL DOWN THE HILL. THE POTATOES ARE SO BIG AND THERE ARE SO
MANY OF THEM THAT THEY COULD NEVER HARVEST AND CLEAN THEM ANY
OTHER WAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Lie Tall tale
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 11-22-1970

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ANN ARBOR

ANN ARBOR IS SUPPOSED TO HAVE RECEIVED ITS NAME IN THE FOLLOWING
MANNER: THE ORIGINAL SETTLEERS IN ANN ARBOR SETTLED NEAR BLAIN'S
PARK. THERE WAS A WOMAN NAMED ANN WHO WAS AN EASTERNER AND WHO
WANTED GRAPES, SO SHE STARTED AN ORCHID (ORCHARD?) CALLED ANN'S
ARBOR.

Submitter comment: MIKE LEARNED THIS WHEN HE WAS IN GRADE SCHOOL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 10-07-1967

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ANN ARBOR

ANN ARBOR IS SUPPOSED TO HAVE RECEIVED ITS NAME IN THE FOLLOWING
MANNER: FRENCH SETTLERS IN LOW TOWN NEAR THE RIVER TERRACED THEIR
SLOPES, THUS CALLED THEM ANN OF ARBOR.

Submitter comment: MKE LEARNED THIS IN GRADE SCHOOL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 10-07-1967

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COLONEL TALBOT

A SETTLER NAMED COLONEL TALBOT CAME TO THE AREA KNOWN AS ST.
THOMAS, ONTARIO, CANADA. HE PLANTED A CROP BUT DUE TO DROUGHT,
THE HARVEST FAILED. HE WAS IN DEBT TO MANY PEOPLE "UP TO HIS
EYEBALLS." HE DECIDED TO STAY FOR A YEAR. HIS CROP WAS SUCCESS-
FUL. HE THEN STAYED YEAR AFTER YEAR. THE MAIN STREET IN ST.
THOMAS IS NAMED TALBOT STREET AFTER COLONEL TALBOT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 02-15-1970

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MY FATHER USE TO SAY THIS ON THE FARM: IF YOU NEVER PLOW UP A
BIRD'S NEST THAT MEANS THERE'LL BE NO BUGS ON THE CROPS FOR THE
COMING YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Insect
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 10-07-1972

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NEVER PLANT POTATOES BESIDE ONIONS BECAUSE THE POTATOES WILL
HAVE A STRONG ONION FLAVOR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 10-05-1972

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NEVER PLANT POTATOES NEXT TO ONIONS BECAUSE THE ONIONS WILL GET
IN TO THE POTATOE EYES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; JACKSON

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 11-02-1972

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IF THE CORN IS NOT KNEE HIGH BY THE FOURTH OF JULY IT WILL BE
A BAD YEAR FOR CORN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; JACKSON

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- June 21 solstice to September 22
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Plants
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Food

Date learned: 10-01-1972

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BAD LUCK

EVEN NUMBERS AND WEDNESDAYS ARE BAD LUCK IN GREECE. IF YOU
PLANT ANY CROPS ON WEDNESDAY THEY WILL NOT GROW PROPERLY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Number Even number (not specific)
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.4
BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.5

Date learned: 09-00-1972

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DON'T SKIP A ROW IN PLANTING OR SOMEONE IN YOUR FAMILY WILL DIE.
MARYLOU'S INFORMANT WAS BEATRICE SAYAS 38 MARRIED BLACK AMERICAN,
LIVING IN DETROIT, ORIGINALLY FROM NEW ORLEANS.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 11-08-1972

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SPRING CHILLS

DON'T CAST YOUR FLOUT TILL MAY IS OOT.

Submitter comment: THIS PROVERB WAS LEARNED BY THE INFORMANT FROM HER MOTHER, MRS.
HARRIET MALLINSON IN HER HOME IN GARY, INDIANA. (CIRCA 1925) HER
MOTHER IN TURN LEARNED IT FROM HER MOTHER, A MRS. SCOT, AS A CHILD
IN EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND. CK[ ADVICE: NEGATIVE ; FUNCTION
FLOUT=CLOD PLANTING

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): WEATHER PROVERB

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: NEGATIVE ; FUNCTION

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb Proverb
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- June
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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PLANTING BELIEF

POLISH FARMERS BELIEVE THAT IF YOU PLANT WHEN THERE IS A NEW MOON
THE WHEAT SHAFTS WILL NOT BE FULL, ALSO THE PLANTS WILL BLOOM
AND BLOOM BUT WILL NOT BEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ALLITERATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 02-07-1971

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PLANTING BELIEF

IF A WOMAN TOUCHES ANYTHING DURING HER MENSTRUAL PERIOD
NOT GROW, AND IF SHE TOUCHES A PLANT IT WILL DIE.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT GOT THIS FROM HER GRANDMOTHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HARPER WOODS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 10-15-1971

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IT IS BELIEVED BY MANY PEOPLE THAT YOU SHOULD NOT PLANT UNLESS
THERE IS A FULL MOON.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT FORMERLY BELIEVED AND PRACTICED THIS OLD IDEA THAT WAS TAUGHT TO HIM AS A CHILD BY
HIS PARENTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

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PLANTING BELIEF

IF CORN IS KNEE HIGH BY THE 4TH OF JULY, IT WILL BE A
GOOD CROP YEAR.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT IS MY GRANDFATHER, AND THIS IS
AN OLD FARMING BELIEF

Where learned: WISCONSIN ; KANSASVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): INTERNAL RHYME

Subject headings: Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year

Date learned: UNKNOWN

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SUPERSTITION

PLANT TOMATOES, CUKES ETC. WHEN THE ALMANAC SAYS THE MOON IS
RIGHT OR YOU WILL HAVE BLOOMS-DAY. 'ALL BLOOMS AND NO
FRUIT.'

Submitter comment: THIS SUPERSTITION WAS LEARNED IN CLARKSVILLE, MISSISSIPPI.
IT IS NOW IRRELEVANT TO THE INFORMANT.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; CLARKSVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE ; CUKES=CUCUMBERS VEGETABLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 02-00-1971

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AGRILCULTURE

ANY VEGETABLE THAT GROWS BENEATH THE GROUND OR POTATO-ONE
SHOULD PLANT IN THE DARK OF THE MOON SO THAT WHEN THEY GROW ABOVE
THE GROUND THEY WILL HAVE THE BENEFIT OF A FULL MOON.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT EMPLOYS THIS METHOD IN HIS FARMING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GRAND RAPIDS

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Moon
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 04-00-1971

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IF YOU SPIT ON EACH GRAIN OF CORN THAT WAS PLANTED, THE CORN
WOULD GROW TALL AND BEAR WELL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 01-31-1971

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AGRILCULTURE BELIEF

CORN SHOULD BE KNEE HIGH ON THE 4TH OF JULY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TROY

James Callow Keyword(s): INTERNAL RHYME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- July 4 Independence Day
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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PLANTING BELIEF

FOR A GOOD CROP OF SUGAR BEETS, PLANT WHILE THE SIGNS ARE
IN THE HEART.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: POSITIVE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 09-00-1971

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