Editors' Musings


About this Blog

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

October 31, 2017

Ever noticed that Halloween pictures always show a full Moon? But how often does the full Moon fall on Halloween? And is there anything special about the first full Moon after Halloween? Of course, Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve, occurs on October 31 every year; it’s only the day of the week that changes each year. The origin of Halloween can be traced to Samhain (pronounced SOW-in, which rhymes with COW-in), which was an ancient Celtic festival that was celebrated to mark the end of... more

October 27, 2017

Make our own Halloween makeup out of pantry potions. Here are recipes to paint your face, make fake blood, and more! My son was trying to decide between Dracula and Frankenstein. The masks in the party stores were so expensive. Plus, he hates wearing masks because they block his vision and get very hot! He usually ends up taking the masks off. This is a great solution. Try it! Paint Your Face! For each paint color, you will need: paper cup 1 teaspoon cornstarch ½ teaspoon cold cream ½ teaspoon ... more

October 21, 2017

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 remarkable.... more

October 17, 2017

Where I live, winter temperatures are often in the single digits. Whether your area is colder or warmer, keeping warm is a basic need that we all share. Here are some tips—from both Almanac editors and readers—about how to stay warm. These aren’t “big” projects like buying a new heating system—just inexpensive, resourceful ways to help you warm up now! How to Keep Warm in Winter 1. Dress in layers Bundle up. Wear long underwear, sweaters, and even hats indoors. Remember the days of “sleeping... more

October 13, 2017

Cook up a Halloween dinner for something fun! Here is an easy Halloween menu with three recipes for a main dish, scary punch drink, and creepy dessert! Jack-O’-Lantern Hamburger Pie This hearty main meal is easy because you use prepared refrigerator pie crusts. Just make a meatloaf mix such as our Bonnie’s Meatloaf recipe but instead of shaping it into a loaf, put the mix into a pie crust. Take a second pie crust, cut out a jack-o’-lantern’s face, and place the crust top of meat mix. Bake at... more

October 2, 2017

It’s time again to shine the spotlight on a certain caterpillar—the woolly worm! According to folklore, this fuzzy fellow has the ability to predict the weather. Also called the woolly bear caterpillar, the banded woolly bear, or just woolly worm, he’s the larva of the Isabella tiger moth (Pyrrharctia isabella). In terms of appearance, the caterpillar has segments of either rusty brown or black. Often, he is black on both ends with rust-colored segments in the middle, although he might be... more

September 27, 2017

Learn how to predict frost, differentiate between a light frost and a hard freeze, and protect your garden from frost with these tips! How to Predict a Frost First, look up the average frost dates for your area to know when frosts are most likely to occur. Use our Frost Dates Calculator to find frost dates for spring and fall.  Keep in mind that frosts can vary greatly by microclimate. In fact, while you may have frost in your garden, your neighbor down the street may see no sign of it!... more

July 18, 2017

The peonies in my backyard always have ants crawling on the flower buds. Many people think ants are a pest on peonies.  A popular myth that ants “tickle the buds” or “lick the sugar” to help them open is not really true. Ants on peony buds are common and totally harmless. They are NOT needed to “open” flower buds. They are attracted to the sugary droplets on the outside of flower buds (nectaries) or to the honeydew produced by scale insects (discussed below). The blossoms would open regardless... more

July 16, 2017

Ready for a road trip? Here are eight places to see the 2017 total solar eclipse at its finest. From wide-open western skies to small towns to the eclectic, there are some great destinations for eclipse watchers. You can only see the total solar eclipse from a location which is on the “path of totality,” a 70-mile band that crosses the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. (See an interactive eclipse map showing duration of totality of any place.) On this path, the Sun will be completely... more

July 4, 2017

Ever wondered how books are made? The Almanac for Kids is hot off the press, just in time for summer reading! Take a peek inside the printing process and then take a look inside the book! A Very Short History of Printing People have been reading books for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians pounded the stems of papyrus to make sheets of paper-like material and then wrote on it. They also glued papyrus sheets together to make scrolls. Eventually, people shifted from scrolls to pages by either... more


Keep Your New Garden Growing

keepgardengrowingcover.jpgTop 10 Veggies.
Almanac Editors Tips- water, feed, pest control, harvest


You will also be subscribed to our Almanac Companion Newsletter