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.

January 8, 2018

January is for garden planning here at the Almanac. The weather outside may be frightful, but gardening begins in January with a dream. Planning Your Dream Garden Flowers in spring? Fresh salad in summer? Juicy fruit in fall? Bringing your dream to life starts with a garden plan.  We really encourage you to spend a few minutes drawing out your dream garden on your home computer. Harness Your Creative Side With the online Garden Planner, just use your “mouse” to draw out your growing area. Then... more

January 6, 2018

Cold much? Where I live, winter temperatures are often in the single digits. No matter where you live, 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 caps... more

January 5, 2018

Snowshoes have come a long way since their origins some 7,000 years ago. Back then, it’s safe to guess that snowshoeing was not considered a leisure winter sport. In fact, without even researching it much, I can safely wager that snowshoes were made so that people could survive winter. You know: head out, forage for food, return home with a dead animal—also known as “dinner for the family.” Times have changed. And so have snowshoes. Originally, snowshoes were made from wood and rawhide.... more

December 15, 2017

New Year’s resolutions have a long history. Why do we have New Year’s resolutions? And how do we keep make (and keep) them?! The New Year’s resolution tradition actually goes back to ancient times. The new year is a natural time to reflect and resolve to change or improve how we live our lives. Why Do We Have New Year’s Resolutions? In 2000 B.C., the Babylonians celebrated the New Year for 11 days (starting with the vernal equinox). One common resolutions was the returning of borrowed farm... more

December 4, 2017

Will you have a white Christmas? See the Almanac’s White Christmas Forecast for 2017! We’ll list the areas in the U.S. and Canada where snow is predicted—and where it’s not. For many folks, a blanket of white on Christmas Day is picture-postcard perfect. In areas that do not normally see snow, a little chill in the air is usually welcome to set the festive mood. Keep in mind that our long range predictions for December are made many months in advance, but this should give you a general idea of... more

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 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

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