Looking for Leaves

With a touch of autumn now in the air—and perhaps our hot and humid days finally behind us—it’s time to look forward to the beautiful fall foliage that graces our area.

However, in 1899, Frederick area farmers looked forward to these fall leaves for a slightly different reason. They used it as bedding for their animals.

“The farmers gather leaves in the fall to bed their cattle with in the winter in the place of straw,” reported The News in November 1899. “They are said to be more healthy for the stock and better for the land the following year. There is nothing that pigs like so much as to crawl into a bed of leaves on a cold day.”

And The News reported an additional benefit: “There is another advantage from the use of leaves—the farmers have their straw to sell.”

Source: The News, November 1, 1899

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