A New Homesteader’s First Read of the Farmer’s Almanac

My grandfather was a dairy farmer his whole life and used the Farmer’s Almanac yearly as a live-by guide to just about everything. Growing up I remember flipping through them and being so confused. How do they know?!

For those who have never read the Almanacs, they are basically a weather predictor (long range). They also include extra articles having to do with everything from gardens, astronomy and healthy living to recipes, jokes and livestock tips.

Thousands of farmers every year trusts these predictions because they have proven time and time again to be accurate. How do they do it? No one really knows. The most the creators have said is that they use a complicated algorithm, paired with historical data, to create their predictions.

This year (2017) marks the 200th anniversary of the Farmer’s Almanac which means that this edition is full of nostalgic tid bits from previous editions that I found so amusing!

2017 Farmer's Almanac

The Standard Almanac Charts

Not only does the Almanac provide weather predictions, it also predicts a myriad of other dates throughout the year.

  • Best days and times of day to hunt and fish.
  • Last and first frost dates for all major cities in Canada
  • Dates to start your crops (above ground, transplanting, root crops etc.)
  • Annual meteor showers
  • The best days to start a slew of things: quit smoking, dieting, weaning animals or humans, even which days to cut your hair for best growing results!

Interesting Articles for Present-Day

  • The History of Makeup-this is particularly interesting because it shows how far the farming industry has come. While historically a profession for men, in 2012 it was found that 14% of all farmers in the United States were women. The almanac is using this to their advantage by catering to these women.
  • Old Wives’ Tales for Predicting Baby Genders- this is a great mix of throwback tricks that are fun to try in present day!
  • Tried and True Backyard Chicken Tips- You can do all of the reading online that you’d like but having 200 years’ experience under their belts gives the Almanac my trust.
  • Urban Foraging- Including Edible Weeds- This is gaining a lot of traction in recent years. Foraging in your own yard for edibles is a great skill to have!

Interesting Throw-Backs

  • How to be Handsome– A great throwback to 1871 where tips included keep clean, brush your teeth, eat regularly and leave the tobacco alone!
  • How to keep a Baby Quiet- (1878) Smear their hands with thick molasses, of course! It will keep them quiet for hours trying to get it all off! Not really my first thought when I think of soothing a baby.
  • Ways to Keep a Happy Wife/Husband- (1878) Some great tips including treating your wife with the same love as when you were ‘wooing’ her. It also includes the reminder to do what your husband wishes as it pertains to housework exactly when and how he wants it done. Yeah, ok 1878!

So whether you’re a fourth generation farmer or a wannabe homesteader, everyone can take away something from the Farmer’s Almanac! Get out and pick yours up today!

Farmer's Almanac

 

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