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A View from the Altar / Planting by the moon signs
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Planting by the moon signs

People were filing out of our rural Georgia church when I casually asked one of the farmers when the correct time was to plant potatoes in the garden.  He answered mid-February but was shouted down mid sentence by his belligerent domestic affliction who said, “First full moon after the 14th of February!”

He turned to her, evidently embarrassed, and said, “I don’t go by them moon signs.”

She affected a smile intended to offend her husband and repeated, confident in her facts and satisfied at being able to relieve my ignorance, “If you’ll plant your potatoes under the first full moon after the 14th, you’ll have more potatoes.”

Yes, ma’am, said I.

Her husband elaborated, “She means under the full moon.  Get out there at night and plant them in the moonlight.”  At that point they began to quarrel, each one recounting the history of when it was done his or her respective way and how much better the results had been.

The quarrel was interesting enough that people packed in closer to hear, and one of the occasional attenders entered the fray on her side.  “They’s something to them moon signs,” he said, the radiant flame of knowledge glorying about his head like an aurora. “If you dig a hole when the moon is regular, there won’t be enough dirt to fill it back up.  But if you dig a hole under the full moon, you’ll always have enough dirt to fill the hole back up.  I’ve tried that, and it works.”

There’s no arguing with science like that.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

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