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.

September 15, 2014

If you like to look for familiar shapes in clouds, you’ve come to the right spot. Every few weeks, we will invite you to tell us what recognizable shapes you see in a cloud photo, such as a sailboat, tree, or horse. To learn about this popular pastime, take a gander at our previous blog post on clouds here. In the meantime, we think that you will have fun with this next photo, submitted by Annie Allemani. (Thank you, Annie!) Can you spot a familiar form? Please post your thoughts below. Thank... more

July 28, 2014

I love attending garden tours and shows. This past summer, I was entranced by a garden called “The Night Sky” at a garden show. (See my last post with pictures from the Chelsea Flower Show.) As soon as I saw “The Night Sky” garden, I couldn't wait to share with Almanac readers. Some of you may recall our story, “Create an Astronomical Garden,” from The 2012 Old Farmer's Almanac. Not only might you all appreciate the earth and sky theme, but I think many of us feel that the best gardens get us... more

June 1, 2014

This year, I had the fortune of visiting the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in England—which is over one hundred years old. Wow! So inspiring and amazing beautiful. I brought back photos for your viewing pleasure—wherever you live! There was SO much to cover. On this page are just three of the large show gardens. We'd all love to hear which garden YOU like best. Please vote for one of the three gardens simply by commenting below. We can't wait to see which garden wins our “Almanac Readers’ Choice” ... more

December 11, 2013

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. I’ve posted 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! 1. Dress in layers Bundle up. Wear long underwear, sweaters, and even hats indoors. Remember the days of “sleeping caps”? They make sense... more

October 3, 2013

Ever walked the winding path of a labyrinth? My mother-in-law has created a beautiful outdoor garden labyrinth. If you own land, perhaps you’d like to create your own labyrinth. Learn more. What is a Labyrinth? In a labyrinth, you follow a curving pathway that winds to a center. (Unlike mazes, which have false paths and dead ends, labyrinths are not designed to be difficult to navigate.) Once at the center, you simply take the same path out. Labyrinths have existed for centuries and may be best... more

May 16, 2013

Ever hosted a big group for a special occasion (other than the holidays) and wondered: Now what should I cook?  Recently, grandparents, aunts, and uncles visited from out of town for a family event—and I wanted to think of a dish worthy of the occasion. I decided it was time to go “all out” and make a “big” dish that I’ve been wanting to make for a long time: “TIMPANO!” “Timpano” is an Italian baked pasta dish that’s a meal in itself—a giant bowl of crust stuffed with delicious ingredients—... more

October 3, 2012

I recently listened to a wonderful talk about black bears given by biologist Ben Kilham, who has spent more than a decade studying these fascinating creatures. Black bears are a hot topic in my neck of the woods, as evidenced by the well-attended lecture hall that was standing-room-only by the time I arrived. From Ben, we learned that: Black bears have social hierarchies: Momma bear may have daughters and granddaughters that share her territory for food and shelter, but they must obey... more

July 21, 2011

How’s your garden growing this year? Please share below! I asked this question last year and learned so much from our Almanac community. Here are my 2011 update and a few tips. Despite the current heat wave (I feel for so many fellow gardeners!), my patch of New Hampshire had a nice, wet spring followed by more sun than we usually receive.  The weather gave my small, raised-bed garden (10 x 10 feet) a great start. I bought only a small bag of compost to mix into the soil and supplemented from... more

July 15, 2011

I love to watch the hummingbirds at my feeders. I have one close to my deck and the other one is hanging on my front porch. I make my own sugar water (1 part white sugar to 4 parts water) and usually have to fill the feeders twice a week. A couple of days ago I noticed wasps around one feeder and very little hummingbird activity. This feeder was red with yellow plastic flowers attached. A friend told me that wasps and bees are attracted to the color yellow. She suggested that I paint the... more

March 21, 2011

I recently attended an interesting lecture on outdoor container gardening at The Boston Flower and Garden Show. I thought I’d post some of the tips on how to create a basic planter. Whether you’re planting a container for outdoor flowers, vegetables, or herbs, the basic planter components can be the same. The trick is in the layering. Start with the right container. For example, a hanging container covered in moss provides drainage and ventilation. The size and material of your container... more

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