“What Does the Almanac Mean to You?” This is a question we ask every year to you, our loyal readers. Your answers are as delightful and inspiring to read as the pages of any book—and filled with age-old wisdom and humor. Enjoy … and please add your own comment if you haven’t already!
Our question to you, in full, is:
“Briefly share an experience, story, memory, or moment involving the “little yellow book.” Why did you pick it up? What does it mean to you?”
Below are some of our favorite reader responses.
What does the Old Farmer’s Almanac mean to me? Think bonny bell peppers and red juicy tomatoes. The frost on the pumpkin and a recipe to make soup out of it. Tales of old. Meaningful ways to darn a sock. Apple head dolls. Carefully, and slowly turning the pages, looking for the winter forecast. When to plant or not? A good reliable friend, who tells it like it is, doesn’t flatter or tell lies, a straight shooter. Thank you for the reminders, and when I have forgotten, I check back to make sure… A need, a necessity….The Old Farmer’s Almanac..there for Me!
The Almanac is like the passing of time or the seasons, in that it’s my guide to know when is the best time to do anything. All we are given in this life is time. How we choose to spend our precious time is like the saying, “you are what you eat” and makes up our constitutions and dispositions. My Old Farmers Almanac gives me direction and advice as to the best way to spend my time and to do the things that are important to me. Work the earth, plant and grow my beautiful gardens. So my Old Farmers Almanac makes my life richer and my thumb greener and my decisions more thoughtful and more planned. My Old Farmers Almanac is my companion and my friend through the year. Thank you for 225 years of a good friend and companion, Old Farmers Almanac. Happy birthday.
As a member of the the millennial generation, I want to thank the The Old Farmers Almanac for inspiring me and giving me an appreciation for how things used to be done. I love getting the upcoming years The Old Farmers Almanac for Christmas. Flipping through the pages and reading what I should expect for the upcoming gardening season is always fun. I enjoy making notes in my almanac with weather conditions next to the prediction and it never ceases to amaze me at how often they match up. After reading the Almanac for the past few years I have learned that sometimes the old ways were the best ways and that complicated problems often times have rather simple solutions.
All of my grandparents came to this country in the early part of the 20th century. None spoke any English when they arrived. My maternal grandfather, however, was determined to become an American citizen. He had no education to speak of (I was told he only went through the fifth grade) but he did not let that stop him. He was an avid gardener. So he decided to subscribe to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. THIS was the book he would learn to read and write English with. My mother was his teacher. Together they would pore over the Almanac and she would have him read aloud so he could learn his English. As a child, I remember vividly the times when he would sit with me, asking me to read aloud to him the words in his favorite book. And together, I learned about gardening and he learned about his new country’s language. Now, decades after his passing, every time I see an Almanac, I remember those times with my grandpa. To be sure, the Old Farmer’s Almanac holds a very special place in my heart!
What’s not to love about the Old Farmer’s Almanac. They have a answer to all your questions. If you can’t find the answer here, you might as well stop trying to find it. I can remember my grandpa always had one out in the outhouse. It had a old shoestring through the hole, and he would always hang it on a nail right on the door. And my grandma always used the recipes, boy that was some good eatin’.
And today I use it for gardening, weather, and The Best Days always has a marker in it. And I found my favorite pie crust recipe in it. It’s Dad’s pie pastry, and I can still remember the proverb that was on the page, “Eat enough piecrust and it will make you wise”. Just a little trivia. Been nice talkin’ with you. Thanks for the memories.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac means so many things to me - tradition, wisdom, pause, and work. It means curiosity and entertainment; information and snickers…and when to cut my hair. It’s logic and whimsy wrapped in the tried and true.
One of my first memories is my brother and I sitting on either side of our Grandma Connor all cozy and safe..listening to her read to us in her soft lilting Indiana voice, The Old Farmer’s Almanac. She firmly believed that the Farmer’s Almanac held the simple wisdom that every person and child should know. She grew up on a old country dairy farm in the 1900’s..and like her parents before her, her day would not start without consulting the Farmer’s Almanac over morning coffee in the wee hours of dawn. She continued this practice throughout her long life, and the two books you would never see her without was her Bible and The Old Farmer’s Almanac..and she always carried a handkerchief and Juicy Fruit gum in her pocketbook. She instilled in me that if you had a question of any kind, you could consult either book and your question would be answered to your satisfaction. To this day I continue her legacy each morning, even though she and my brother have long been gone and I am now a Grandmother with white hair..I sit at the kitchen table and drink my coffee while I consult my Farmer’s Almanac, and fondly remember those simpler days as I read to my grandchildren..I remind them that life may be complicated, but as long as you have The Old Farmer’s Almanac you have the answers.
Kathryn Gros Faulkner
My first memory of the Old Farmer’s Almanac is as a very young child visiting my grandfather’s grocery store in Plaquemine La.
It was dog-eared on the shelf behind his stool where he waited on the steady stream of customers…many children on their way to school, the men on their way to work and then the women coming in to buy groceries for the day. Very often throughout each day, Grampa Gros would pull that almanac off the shelf and share a tip or plan the next planting for their back yard gardens. They referred to waxing and waning moons, beginning and ending of Spring and Fall and first or last freeze, planting of merlitons, tomatoes, onions, garlic and peppers all the time.
I regret that the knowledge of gardening, raising of chickens and preserving of foods was lost by the generation of my parents. I was busy with college and raising of our young family in the years before my grandparents passed away and just didn’t write things down that I know they taught me as I worked with them.
For me, the Old Farmer’s Almanac is our bridge. We are now the grandparents of 5 wonderful children and are just beginning to develop our 1 acre of wonderful Texas soil. We have our boxes ready for a Spring garden and hope to add chickens to our world in the next year.
Thank you for continuing to print the almanac. We believe that a return to the ways of our ancestors is our only real hope for the future, and many of our generation would not know where to begin.
The cover alone invokes memories from far back into my childhood. My Grandmother would keep one near her at all times to tell us the weather. We would be disappointed if we didn’t hear the predictions for the weather. And if she said it would snow, then it would. We always looked forward to a possible snow day. The Almanac was used to set Family reunions and plan Family members weddings. It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I realized that”The Old Farmers Almanac” was a prediction and not the bible of weather. As a child I would sit and study the cover looking at the many intricate designs and drawings. I soon learned of the many interesting articles and would enjoy sitting and reading every one of them. I studied astronomy in high school and soon realized the information in the Almanac was quite helpful in doing homework and then years later reminding me when I got the telescope out, where we sat in this wonderful universe. I remember my Father using the Almanac to determine good fishing days. Only to discover all the days were good when fishing with my Dad. He taught me a lot through the Almanac such as when to plant or harvest the garden. How to and when to plant potatoes, beans, and tomatoes which I still reference today. My mother would then reference the almanac when canning and preserving the crops we grew in our garden so we could enjoy them throughout the winter. Other then the Bible it is the only book that has always been around our family. You might say it was always part of our family. I wish I had all the copies that were read by family members. Just this past autumnal equinox it was cold and rainy and I sat and read a lot of the small quips to keep me entertained. I have appreciated this printing for many years and hope it will be around for many more to come. Thank you for your fine publication
Charles R Randall
My mother, being a school teacher, was insistent that each of her five children could read, write and spell simple words as well as perform some simple arithmetic functions before we started formal schooling. The Old Farmer’s Almanac was one of my first readers. Seventy-four years later, it is still one of my favorite readers and IS my favorite reference. It has been invaluable for all my gardening ventures, fishing trips, and life adventures. What a book of knowledge, a collection of tradition, and a record of folklore the “Almanac” has been. Keep up the good work and my hope is that my family members two-hundred and twenty-five years from now cherish it as much as I do.
Here are even more reader responses (in no particular order). Frankly, they were all wonderful!
I’m not sure when I first picked up an Old Farmer’s Almanac, but I know that I’ve been hooked ever since. The Almanac is a goldmine of important, entertaining and trustworthy information. It is a rare gem that has been shared in my family through multiple generations. My daughter can now say that she reads the same magazine her great GREAT grandparents read! I’m so glad it is still being printed after all these years!!!
Growing up in northern New York in the 1950’s, it was always a good idea to know how much snow we would have to hike through to get to school. Uncle Stony always kept the Old Farmer’s Almanac hanging on the wall in his woodcarving studio where we could check the weather prediction each day. There was also a forecast on the radio, but the Almanac was more accurate. Weather wasn’t the only thing I learned about from the Almanac. Uncle Stony was an avid outdoorsman and gardener. He always caught the biggest fish. He grew prize-winning flowers and grew enough vegetables to fill the root cellar for the whole winter. His “secret” was to study the charts and stories in the Almanac, which he taught me how to read. Then he took me on his hikes through the fields and woods where we would “discover” everything I know and love about nature. Thanks to the Old Farmer’s Almanac and Uncle Stony, .I have continued that love and respect for nature to this day. When I became a teacher, I made sure that there were always copies of the Almanac in my classroom, and made sure that every student knew how to read and use it. I’m retired now, but I still hear from former students who now take their own children on nature walks with the Almanac in hand.
What does the farmers almanac mean to me? Information. Long range temperature and rain forecasts. Great articles on wide ranging subjects, from health to DIY project ideas. Simply put, the farmers almanac was the first magazine for hands-on nerds and geeks. It may have been written specifically for farmers, but it served -and still serves- a much greater audience. I am a gardener, a hobby astronomer, a bird watcher and (as a resident of the Gulf Coast) an avid weather watcher. You are and have always been a great lifeline. Thank you for the many decades of service.
Charles A. Turek
I first encountered Old Farmer’s Almanac when I was about ten years old. I don’t remember whether my parents bought one or whether somebody gave it to us with some old magazines. I was fascinated by the fact that somebody had taken the trouble to do all the calculations that would tell me when the sun rose and set exactly where I lived, likewise with the moon. And then there was all the other wonderful astronomical information. Even more fascinating were the weather forecasts. I read everything I could about weather and learned how to tell when the Almanac was right and when it wasn’t. Again, I was fascinated by the accuracy displayed in those pages. That was back in the 1950s.
Soon, I was able to buy my own every year, but other interests and responsibilities kept me from being as avid about the tables as I was at age 10. I have rediscovered the Almanac over and over throughout the years. Since retirement, I’ve gotten one every year, though, I confess, I still don’t keep up with it like I used.
It’s a wonderful, wonder full book and a fantastic link to the world around us. It gets better and better each year. It keeps me entertained, and it keeps me close to the earth while miraculously taking me out to the stars and planets at the same time. I hope to convey this interest in Old Farmer’s Almanac to my children and grandchildren, confident that it will still be around to be read and enjoyed when they, too, someday retire.
Hello! My husband has put The Old Farmer’s Almanac in my stocking every Christmas for the last 33 years! I save it for the end of the day, when everyone has left, and everything has been put away. I grab a cup of tea, put my feet up and read the articles and high light the weather forecast for our area. It’s a special treat that I look forward to every year.
Old Farmer’s Almanac goes way back to when I was just a wee one. My grandpa had a HUGE garden. He was out there all the time…once he retired it was morning,noon and night. I can still remember all his wonderful vegetables and fruits. So delicious! He would let me help harvest all those wonderful things. We would load up baskets and carry them into the house where grandma was getting ready to do canning and clean stuff up to divvy out to my mom and mom’s two brothers and their families. We were very,very blessed.
Grandpa lived by Old Farmer’s Almanac. There was always one either by his chair in the living room, or on the dining room table where he would sit and plan out how to do his garden. He would save the year before’ s book and check for accuracy. He was meticulous and recommended Old Farmer’s Almanac to everyone he knew. It’s part of my upbringing and still to this day refer to it off and on. It’s a Godsend.
SO MANY good things to say about the O.F.A. !!! To begin, it is always just chock-full of information …. all kinds of it ! Soup to nuts and the kitchen sink !!! Old tips, new tricks and marvelous trivia of many kinds. When to reap and when to sow. My favorite memory has been around for 60+ years because it started from the time i was very young. My grandmother and my mother read two things, faithfully. First, the Bible and second, The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Both of these books were what i learned to read on. Every morning we had Bible verses followed by snippets from the O.F.A. i would memorize the words and the letters in them. When I was old enough, I would practice writing them and sounding them out. At bedtime, we had family worship and then get tucked in to bed and be read to. The all time FAVORITE book to hear, by both my brother and myself, was …… THE OLD FARMERS ALMANAC !!!!!! Many, many a night that was our go-to bed time book …… so my memories of it are deep and dear. i still enjoy it today and I THANK YOU for it !!!!!!! P.S. My children and grandchildren love it, too !!!
The contents of the Old Famer’s Almanac was a way to learn more from my Grandparents. I would find an anecdote, or tip, or recipe in it and ask my Grandparents about it, which would open up a whole conversation of how or why or what it was back in their day, and how much the old ways really need to be preserved for a lot of things. From growing vegetables organically, when and how to plant by moon phases, recipes and times to harvest. Just so much information. And with all that, I learned a lot about my ancestors and how amazing my family is. I can’t really put it in words the love that comes from learning about your family in a fun way like this. I used the Almanac as a step to learn things I want to pass on to my sons, and more importantly, things about my relatives and ancestors that I would probably never have known without the piece I read to have the questions that related to those precious stories of times long before I was even a thought.
Violetta E. Hokman
Every summer growing up, I would spend at my grandma’s house in WV. While she lived in a town, her back yard was full of various fruit trees, raspberries, gooseberries. Additionally, she had a full garden with crops for canning. She always kept the Almanac in the kitchen where she would check it for recipes, planting ideas, and forecasts. And, she would prepare her winter food in accordance with how bad the forecast was for that particular year.
I always remember her sitting with me and reading about the zodiac signs, the various saints, the little poetry. She taught me about moon phases and tides from the little paperback book. It was always the go-to book when it had to do with practical weather matters.
As an adult, I have never missed a year. Even with the technology age (and I do visit the FB site and the website), I just love to get that little yellow book to hold and leaf through. And, even though I live in a big city, I am always willing to share information with my children and grandchildren that I find interesting. (Sometimes, the little yellow books are New Year’s gifts).
All I can say is that as long as I am here, I will always get the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Callie A. Shepherd
Old Farmer’s Almanac provides a bit of the past, the present and the future all rolled up into one.
Heather L. Morigeau
The Old Farmers Almanac has helped me have greater appreciation for the insights and wisdom of the generations before me, and their commitment to preserving knowledge.
Once I was able to set aside my young person’s ego and appreciate the dedication to observing natural cycles I began to see the world in a new way.
Suddenly my mind shifted from “there’s too many ants this year” to asking “why are there so many ants this year?”
I have a new childlike wonder to discoveries like the ants change in behaviours for a rainy summer, and dealing with flooded tunnels - compared to a hot dry summer and trying to go deeper into their tunnels to stay cool.
I’m grateful to glimpse the insights Old Farmers had from their years on earth.
Impressing the Grandkids with the Almanac
I am a slightly unconventional grandmother with over 30 grandkids. I work hard to stay interesting and give my grandkids unusual tidbits of information and knowledge. I send them messages on social media or when I see them on Meteor Showers, Full Moon dates and folklore, and even Best Days. When I know someone will be traveling or planning a special event: Grandma whips out the weather information for that timeframe. It’s saved the day on more than one occasion. From teaching the little ones about the stars and the planets to homespun advice for the grown ones – this Grandma stays “in the know,” with the Old Farmer’s Almanac. I’m the Grandma that knows the cool stuff … just ask them.
I love sharing the folklore with my 2 Grand boys aged 6 & 7. They love learning about mother earth, the planets and everything around them. They also love to help Nana in the garden and learn all about harvesting good food. We go for hikes in the woods and learn about the different tree’s and the many mushrooms growing around the woods. The Farmer’s Almanac is a learning tool for us and a way to bring us together as a family.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac is a part of the local heritage in our neck of the woods. If you drive by someone’s beautiful, bountiful garden and find yourself wondering what their secret is you can bet your bottom dollar that that go by the almanac! A time honored tradition in Kentucky that continues on with the next generation of farmers and gardeners.
Farmer’s Almanac has been
A nicely added spice,
With its weather forecasts,
And its sage advice.
I turn 70 this year
And truly have to say
The Farmer’s Almanac has been,
For me, a great mainstay!
I’m 71 and have been reading the Old Farmer’s Almanac for about 50 years. I believe my parents and grandparents studied it before because there was always a copy around the house. I was just a late-bloomer. Although our family uses the weather calendar to plan our planting and wintering, I really enjoy the tidbits of info and personal ideas best. You’ve taught me things I’ve never learned in any other place, from food preparation to astronomy facts and fiction. I never miss getting my annual copy because each one is unique and, in fact, I’ve saved the issues from the last several years so I can refer back to them. Thanks for being there.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been in my family and now in my house for as long as I can remember. It has become a little book with everything one needs to live by. I have pointed out to many a friend that you need not be a farmer to enjoy and learn from everything in this book. The best part of reading this is every year believe it or not I have learned something new and that my friend is a great joy.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac gives insight to a new year; with endearing year after year articles; fun, facts, figures, and overall such great enjoyment!
The Old Farmer’s Almanac, weather predictions and gardens have always gone perfectly together, and they still do.
I did not come to appreciate The OFA until late in life (after the age of 60). I am so grieved that all my life I could have had a valuable companion! Now it is a friend I depend on for advanced weather prognostications and gardening advice. In addition, the wealth of knowledge and history it provides blow my mind! I am addicted! There is not a week that passes by that I don’t consult it, especially on the website. It also has made me look at the sky (especially at night) with great appreciation. So thank you Old Farmer’s Almanac for making me an (almost) obsessed fan!
To live a simpler well balanced lifestyle with a side order of humor.
I love the quirky stories. I also like that the Almanac is so down to Earth—not flashy, just good info.
I follow it closely. Sometimes you are wrong but its not your fault. Mother nature will throw you a curve ball. Its just so enjoyable to read. Looking at all the nature signs is so fascinating. Please keep it up. Don’t ever stop.
I’m a country girl. Growing up on the farm I can remember getting the Old Farmer’s Almanac and we would just pour over it from cover to cover. It was our calendar, best times to plant, how bad a winter we could expect and making sure to can and preserve enough to hold us over until spring. Heck, even the best time when the fish were biting. Though the edges would become ragged and worn from so much handling, we never threw it away. There were always treasures to find within it’s cover. Every time I pick one up now, it transports me back in time and I feel like a kid again, anxious to uncover the treasures inside.
For me, the Farmer’s Almanac is a magical tie to my childhood. When I was little, my parents had a copy of the almanac around the house. I was young enough that I couldn’t really read, but something about that book really drew me to it. The cover illustrations, along with the charts and articles inside, made me think it was a kind of book of magic. Once I grew, I gained a different appreciation for the almanac, and I still think it is a book of magic, just a different kind, the kind we have all around us in the natural world.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has so much valuable and helpful information for everyone of all ages and walks of life. The knowledge given in 1792 is still useful to this very day. And that’s what makes it so special!
I love the the broad spectrum of wisdom the farmers almanac shares with me to help me in all parts of my life from clever, simple and logical things to tiny pearls of wisdom.
I have many memories, with the Old Farmer’s Almanac. But I guess, to break it, down. It has connected, many generations, together. I learned, how to use, and trust, this book from, my grandmother. And I’m teaching, my grandchildren, to use it, and depend on it, also.
You ask why I like it? Because you stick with what works,that’s why I like it. Nothing else needs to be said.
What’s not to love about the Old Farmer’s Almanac? It’s been published for 220+ years. It has been read and trusted by men and women from all walks of life for generations. Within the covers you will find long range weather forecasts, lunar tables, gardening and planting tips, sunrise and sunset tables…something for everyone! No wonder the Old Farmer’s Almanac is very much alive and still going strong!
I ♡ the Old Farmer’s Almanac!!
There’s so much to love about The Old Farmer’s Almanac, I could fill the page with praise. The folklore, home remedies, meteorological information, gardening tips and so much more. But two things stand out to me: The exceptional array of delicious recipes that make use of the produce you’ve helped us grow, and the long-standing tradition of your almanac. It is an American treasure, much like Apple pie and baseball. I look forward to many more years of enjoyment. Thank you !
I love the Almanac for it’s familiarity, comfortable like an old friend. Always like it when the new edition comes out. I love all the I learn from it as I often just randomly open it, get lost in it for a bit. Other times read it more methodically. Simple and to the point, like the Almanac itself!
George P. Bratton
About 25 years ago the Farmers Almanac was predicting a Blizzard for my area of Virginia but our weather forecast on the news was saying maybe just a couple of inches of snow because the storm was going to take a path that wouldn’t give us much snow and I kept telling everyone what the Almanac said and thy just laughed and said you can’t go by them old predictions anymore they have modern technology to predict these things with their computer models and all that but I was the one laughing after a huge snow storm hit and gave us 2 feet of snow and I have always believed in them ever since and love telling that story.
Keeps me mindful of the universe and all that is going on in heavens. The recipes are a plus!
I have always lived in town or a larger city so with no exposure to country life or growing anything beyond a houseplant. But I have always loved to read and even as a young child found my dad’s readers digest and farmers almanac very entertaining and educational. I love the weather forecasts and found it as accurate as all get out. The folklore pages enchanted me. Now as a ‘mature’ adult (56) I love my Almanac even more! In this day and age of internet media I still love the ‘smell’ and feel of a brand new Farmers Almanac and look forward to the new one each year.
On a side note, I found an estate sale a few weeks ago that had 3 boxes of old Farmers Almanacs…a treasure for sure!
I was maybe 4 years old and out in my paternal grandparents half acre garden when I found a large caterpillar whom I immediately ‘adopted’. Carrying him to show my grandmother I told her “Look at my friend!” My grandmother was not entirely pleased with my new “friend” and immediately took me with small can in hand to look for more “friends”. She then told me that my friend was a Hornworm and that it would turn into a moth. She said they love to eat tomatoes as much as we do and so we don’t want them in our garden but I could collect them and turn them loose in the woods later after admiring them. I asked her how she knew so much about my friends and she told me that she read about them in “The Farmer’s Almanac” and that she could read me more stories if I liked. She used to read to me from the Farmer’s Almanac all the time. I’m now a Gardener of some mastery who moved from those humble beginnings in Central New Jersey up to Western NY. I still buy Farmer’s Almanac and share it with my own children. Someday I will tell my own grandchildren about the “friends” they find in my own garden and read to them from “The Farmers Almanac”.
I love the Farmer’s Almanac, I have read and followed it for years. I enjoy the recipes, the gardening tips and most of all follow the weather. Who hasn’t watched the woolly worm. I don’t have a telescope but I do love to look up at the heavens towards the stars. I tell my husband about which days and what times of days are the best for him to hit his favorite fishing hole with or without one or more of our grandchildren. I have followed the Farmer’s Almanac for over forty years and I enjoy more with each passing year to give me continued information that I can pass on. Sometimes I give Farmers the credit sometime I may just pretend I’m that knowledgeable laughingly my family knows better! Thanks Old Farmers Almanac!
I was eight years old, the year was 1972. My Pop is a gruff man, and all the grand-kids were a little scared of him. My brother and I stayed with him and Maw Maw during the summers when school was out, and I have a memory of him sitting in his favorite chair, paging through the almanac. I thought he was some kind of mystic, able to forecast the weather long before the meteorologist on television. I didn’t know that little yellow book held the key to that mystery! That afternoon I mustered up the courage to ask why he looked at that book all the time. He propped me on his footstool, and spent more than an hour with me, showing me the tables and the forecasts, and when he went back outside for the afternoon’s farm work, he told me I could read the stories in the back. I’ve bought an almanac at local stores everywhere I’ve lived since I was 22 years old, and always poached my grandfather’s to read whenever I was at their home. This year is no different - I’ll pick up my copy, but on-line this time. And my Pop, as he enters his 95th year of life, still reads the Almanac that my aunt gets for him each year. We live many miles apart, but the Almanac brings us together in a book.