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Cummings and Goings in Agriculture

Friday Night Horse Show Scheduled This Week

By Steve Cummings

Winter just does not want to go away. We’ve had several days of spring-like weather, but a day or two of cold weather still pops up now and then.  The cool conditions have slowed planting for our farmers in Yalobusha County. To my knowledge, there has been no corn planted in the county at this time. I am sure it will go in the ground shortly after Easter, as will vegetable plants in the garden.  Meanwhile, our farmers and home gardeners are busy with land preparations.

The dogwoods are always supposed to be in bloom by Easter. This year it looks like the dogwoods are going to be in bloom by Easter. They may not be in full bloom, but I bet if we look hard we can find a bloom or two. The legends of the dogwood have always been of interest to me.  I’ve included some of the legends later on in this article.

For those of you who would like to attend a horse show, but can’t on Saturdays, this week’s show is on Friday. The show will start with training barrels at 6:30 p.m. and the regular show at 8:00 p.m. As usual, the horse show will be at the Yalobusha County Multi-Purpose Building and is free and open to the public.

On Thursday, April 15, there will be a “lunch-and-learn” program at noon at the Yalobusha County Multi-Purpose Building called “Live from the University Florist: it’s a floral design workshop!” Lynette McDougald, an instructor of Floral Management at Mississippi State University and manager of The University Florist on the MSU campus, will commentate from the workroom.  She will show you how to make the most of plantings and collections from your very own garden.  If you are interested in this program, please join us.


The Dogwood Tree:                                                      

History and Legend

The following is some history of the dogwood that was written in an article by Melody Rose, a writer from Kentucky.

The Dogwood has a rich history other than a pretty landscape tree.  The name Dogwood could be attributed to two different sources.  Dogwood is a very hard and strong wood, and it was said that the term Dogwood could have easily evolved from the Celtic word dag, dagga, or dagwood over the years.  The wooded dagge was simply a useful, pointed tool.  The tight-grained wood contained no silica, so it was useful in cleaning small spaces that were easily scratched, such as in watches and jewelry.  The wood is so hard that the finest weaving shuttles were made from it, and later, golf club heads.  The botanical name Comus reflects this quality, as it means horn, as in bull’s horn.

Dogwood bark was also used as a mange treatment for dogs.  The bark was boiled, and the dog was washed in the resulting liquid.  Any medicinal properties that the bark or the tree actually has is minimal at best, and the practice of using the Dogwood for mange, seems to have resulted in the misconception that the name Dogwood meant that it was good for dogs.

 This tree is also the subject of an old Christian legend. According to the old stories, the Dogwood tree used to grow large and tall. It was compared in size and shape to an oak tree. At the time of the Crucifixion, it was said that wood from the Dogwood tree was selected to fashion the cross. This distressed and saddened the Dogwood tree so much that Jesus took pity on the tree, and promised that Dogwood trees will never again grow large enough to use the wood for a cross. It will be twisted and bent. The four petals of the flowers will form the shape of a cross, with two long petals and two short ones. In the center of each petal edge, a rusty nail mark will be cut, the bracts in the center will resemble a crown of thorns, with blood-red berries the result. As lovely as the story is, Dogwood trees did not grow in Palestine, and the legend can be traced to the early 20th century.

The Cherokee also had a legend concerning the Dogwoods. They believed that a tiny race of people lived in the forest and watched over them. They were called The Dogwood People. They taught them how to live in harmony with the land, and watched over the elderly and the infants. The Dogwood People believed in doing good deeds for others for the simple acts of kindness, not for personal gain, or to have someone indebted to you.

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