Light reading and fun learning
In 1932, “The Old Farmers Almanac” started punching a hole in the upper left corner to make it easy to hang on a nail. Who knew? Established in 1792, this year marks the 231st year of continuous publication, a record unmatched in North America and the 2023 edition is now available
Robert B. Thomas was the creator. The first copies were books made up of 48 pages and contained much of the same basic information that is in the current almanac. Thomas lived to the age of 80 years, having written and proofed his editions for 54 years, illustrating his dedication and passion.
Naturally the almanac has evolved with the most noticeable change shown in the amount of advertising in this edition, which had grown to 288 pages. The old standbys of weather prognostication for the coming year and a review of last year’s weather are included, as are gardening calendars and hints, best fishing days and trends for 2023.
If you are curious when a solar eclipse will occur or if you are a moon watcher, you can find that information in The Almanac. In the 2023 edition you will learn the best days to fish, brew beer and even cut hair. It will be interesting to read and find out why brewing beer and shaping hair can have best times for these activities. The Almanac boasts an 80% accuracy in their weather 16 month prognostications. This may be the year you follow them closely and come to your own conclusion on that. The cover headline reads, “Shake, shiver, and shovel,” which leads one to expect a severe winter. For the cooks, there are recipes and household hints. Expect humor to be prevalent throughout the magazine.
The trends section of the almanac is replete with extremely brief pieces, “Tweets,” really that cover subjects such as health, science, culture and odds and ends like showcasing umbrellas that are designed to attach to your wrist so you can text while in the rain.
The monthly calendar sky watch charts which announces the daily sunrise and sunset times, the phases of the moon, length of day, are shown as Eastern Standard Time. For your convenience, you can go to Almanac.com, enter your zip code and for a small fee, download the pages that apply to your zip code. This precludes making you do the time zone calculations. As usual the stories under the headline, “The Farmer’s Calendar” offer food for thought.
Short articles on history (beer), romance (internet dating), amusements (dog training), gardening (dry farming tomatoes), recipes (including pies) and nature (mangrove trees) and many additional stories in each section give this publication a decided modern edge. I found my last Almanac at the grocery checkout lane, showing they are available nearly everywhere.
The Almanac is fun, historical and it offers potential insight into the coming year. Most of all it is fun to read. You never know what you will learn.
Sanders writes from the family farm in South Dakota. She can be reached through email@example.com.
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