Editors' Musings

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About this Blog

Your Old Farmer's Almanac editors occasionally share our reflections, advice, and musings—and welcome your comments. too.

April 1, 2010

I'm planting a small organic vegetable garden this year. My goals: enjoy healthier and better-tasting veggies, show my young child where food comes from, and save money! I just took a class at a local organic farm. Here are the basics of what I learned. Perhaps you'll find these pointers helpful! Overall Pay closer attention to the soil (versus the plant). If you prepare the soil with “organic matter” such as compost and manure, your soil will feed the plants the nutrients they need.... more

March 15, 2010

Spring has arrived! With longer days and warmer weather, the birds are starting to sing, the buds are blooming, the sap is running, and the brooks are starting to flow. As all of nature wakes up, I feel the same urge to get myself moving! There’s something about spring that makes us all itch not only to get outside, but also to get our bodies in motion—busy and active. How about you? Are you getting outdoors and active? Working on your garden? Walking more often? Fishing? Playing ball with your... more

March 2, 2010

I have made a decision this year to have a small, thriving vegetable garden but to try to save money gardening where I can. I have already bought my seeds at an outlet store at a 40 percent discount. These are good, name brand seeds packaged for this year. I’m splitting the cost with a neighbor, as one package contains enough seeds for both of us. I’m also starting everything from seed this year: tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and broccoli, to name a few. I have saved last year’s black plastic... more

February 18, 2010

Winter of 2010 sure brought some wild weather! Did you experience any unusual weather this winter? If so, we'd love to hear from you. One reader from the Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas, area reported 12.5 inches of snow on February 11!  In Washington, D.C., the city buckled under an early February blizzard dubbed Snowmageddon; according to one report, the area received five times more snow than balmy southern Ontario. As of this writing, Washington's National airport has received record snowfalls of... more

January 22, 2010

How do you foretell the coming of spring? Every year, I enjoy hearing what readers from different regions have to say! To me, birds are one of the best predictors. There is a weather proverb that states, “Bluebirds are a sign of spring; warm weather and gentle south breezes they bring,” and this appears to be true in the northern tier of the United States. Bluebirds do not come north until all chance of winter has passed and they are assured an ample food supply. In my state of New Hampshire,... more

December 22, 2009

December 12, 2008 This morning, we woke up to huge crashing sounds. (My husband later compared the sounds to road-side bombs.) We rushed over to the window. An enormous tree was falling right before our eyes. Our stunned eyes took in an otherworldly view. There were fallen trees in every direction. The branches were covered in an inch and a half of ice. The entire world was frozen. Suddenly, the wind whipped through the forest and we heard more exploding sounds. A tree cracked in half. A... more

December 1, 2009

Recently, I was introduced to the world of gingerbread house-making when I took a 6-hour-long workshop on how to construct one. Although that sounds like a long time, the class was so much fun that the time just whizzed by! My creation is shown here. One of the things that impressed me about this activity is that there are so many features that you can include in your display and seemingly endless options in edible materials to produce the effects. For example, pretzels for fencing and doors,... more

December 1, 2009

There's a large maple tree that lives next to my house. It's been a trouper, in spite of old age, ice and wind storms, woodpecker holes, squirrel nibblings, a canker wound, and a barbecue grill rack nailed to one of its limbs (for some unknown reason). I often look out to see how my old friend is doing, and this time I noticed that it is graced with a single vertical stripe of moss growing on—you guessed it—the north side. This lead me to wonder, is it true that moss only grows on the north... more

October 13, 2009

This autumn, I drove past an unusual site: a giant contraption towering above crowds of cheering people. Suddenly, I saw the machine's “arm” swing forward to hurl something through the air—why, was that a flying pumpkin? Indeed, I had discovered “pumpkin chunkin,” an unusual competition that involves catapulting pumpkins over great distances—in this case, over 2000 feet! Part Americana, part medieval, this unusual activity uses a 60-foot steel throwing machine called a “trebuchet.” As I joined... more

October 8, 2009

My friends received an apple cider press for a wedding present long ago. Last week, they threw an Apple Cider Press Party, and what a treat! Have you ever tasted apple cider fresh from the press (your own or a local cider mill)? WOW! The cider has a pure, refreshing flavor that's hard to beat. Frankly, I was never crazy about apple cider before. However, I humbly revise my opinion. The difference between the taste of pasteurized, filtered grocery store cider and homemade cider is... more

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