We are now in the generation of planned obsolesce.
I am still cooking in my Grandma’s iron skillet that has to be over a hundred years old; but, I am doing it on a stove that will kick out in a few years requiring an expensive replacement. There are few things that last today.
An exception is The Old Farmer’s Almanac. It’s been around since 1792 and still going strong. If 1792 doesn’t impress you, think about this. George Washington was in his second term as POTUS when the first issue was published.
I bring this up as I just bought my 2023 issue. You may not be familiar with the publication, but hopefully you will after reading this. I haven’t been on the family farm for 60 plus years, but it is still in my blood.
In its prime, it was second only to the King’s James Version of the Bible in rural homes. You know the publication has to have a long history. It still has a hole in the top left for hanging on the wall in a conspicuous place for ready access.
This was an indispensable guide for many years before the internet. I am not going to plant any crops next spring, but I always buy the annual edition to keep the tradition going and its good reading.
It has a lot of good information and hints, way before Heloise was a thought in her ancestor’s dreams. There is humor, recipes, and a weather forecast for each region for 2023. Now, I admit forecasting is sort of a stretch. Are they going to tell me what the weather will be here 12 months from today? Valid point, but how accurate is your TV weather person with data for two days from now?
You don’t have to have been raised on a farm to be a gardener, and there is something for you as well. You might want to get a copy and start on page 160 of next year’s edition.
There is a section on planting by the calendar. That is important. For example, I am quoting from my almanac. “Cucumbers and watermelons planted before sunrise on May 1st yield prolifically. Folk lore says if you wear your nightclothes while sowing, your plants will be insect free.” I don’t know if that works; but at least, you’ll give the neighbors something to talk about for weeks to come.
If you find that far-fetched, it gets better. In the same chapter, it says that you should avoid laughing while planting corn. It will cause the kernels to grow irregularity on the cob. Like potatoes? Make sure you don’t plant onions near them. “The potatoes will cry their eyes out”.
Maybe you won’t be gardening; but, everyone is curious about the weather. In case you didn’t know, spiders spinning unusually large webs is a sign of cold weather coming. Also, spider webs floating at an autumn sunset will bring a night frost.
You can have all this information and even more at your fingertips for a bargain price of only $7.99. This is up considerably more that the initial issue 231 years ago. It is still a bargain for what you get.
There is information and entertainment for the entire year. There are few things more rewarding for the price. It will cost more than that for two hours of entertainment at a movie theater. It may even improve the quality of your dinner time conversation.
God bless and have a great day.
A columnist and sage whose work appears in newspapers near and far, William Rowell can be reached at email@example.com