Editors' Musings


About this Blog

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

April 5, 2010

This week, I was musing about how much I've learned about gardening in the past year. If you're a beginner, perhaps some of the little things I've learned along the way will help you! If you're well beyond the beginner stage, I hope that you'll share some of your biggest lessons—perhaps with amusement, now that you're in a different place! It's only my second year of gardening. Last year, I started my first organic vegetable garden. It was just a 9x9 raised bed with seven common veggies. This... more

April 5, 2010

Some of the most interesting plant containers are ones that were not originally intended for the purpose. A few I months ago I bought supermarket salad greens in a clear, shoe box-size plastic container, with a separate lid, and, after eating the contents (which, oddly enough, were packed in a cellophane bag), resisted bringing the container to the recycling center because it seemed there just had to be some way I could reuse it … The other day, it came to me: I punched a few holes in the... more

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

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


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