Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

QUERY: Vegetables and jilted sweethearts

In the most recent part of FLS News, 68: 16, November 2012, Maureen James draws attention to a query originally included in an article ‘Some curious superstitions of the Fens’ in the Peterborough Advertiser of 4 September 1936:
‘can any reader throw any light on a strange custom which is sometimes encountered: that of tying a cabbage [Brassica oleracea] or some some other vegetable on the door of a man or girl who jilts his or her sweetheart? It is usually done of the eve of the marriage of the inconstant one to another person. There is a well-authenticated custom of hanging a bundle of straw on the door of a man who ill-treats his wife.’

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