When I talk about my latest project, nearly every North Carolinian reacts the same way: “The Farmer’s Almanac! It was always on my grandparents’/ parents’/uncle’s kitchen table! They used it every day!”
Of course I knew about the Farmer’s Almanac, but I don’t think I’d ever really looked at one ’til I started cutting them up to cover a notebook and tissue box.
So I had no idea that astrology was such an important part of it. I didn’t know that there was such a thing as barren signs (Leo, Gemini, Virgo), or fruitful signs (Aries, Taurus, Libra, Capricorn), let alone that such things could have an impact on farming.
Astrology and farming? It sounds incongruous, but I’m pretty sure that the advice–vegetables planted in the new moon will grow vigorously, trees trimmed when the Earth is in Leo will surely die–is based on observation and experience. So take that, all you astrology haters and doubters.
Okay, then: back to the subject. The Almanac’s real charm is in the small things scattered through its pages.
- Tongue in cheek articles: How To Ruin a Child, Alibis for Every Month of the Year
- Humorous stories: Tragedy Hits Dancer in Old 1944 Dress (rips on stage), Fisherman Hooks 290-Pounder (hog)
- Fillers and facts: there’s no such thing as tired blood, the highest numbered house in 1964 was 51,202 N. 170th St., W. Lancaster, CA.
- Jokes: One way to keep people from jumping down your throat is to keep your mouth shut
- Ads: Don’t Be Skinny! Throw Away that Truss! Build Back Blood Power Fast!
I could go on, but let me leave you with a personal favorite, just as relevant today as when it was published in 1958:
Thrift is a great virtue, especially in an ancestor.