Old Farmer's Almanac. I'm Greg Martin with today's Line On Agriculture.
The Old Farmer's Almanac for 2011 is out on newsstands and copies are being snapped up by those that plant, prune and weed by the schedules contained in its pages. Mrs. Martin is one who learned it from her grandfather and whether there is anything to it or not...it really seems to work. Sarah Perreault is the Assistant Editor of the Almanac.
PERREAULT: We started in 1792 which is when George Washington was President. Our founder, Robert B. Thomas whose picture is on the front of the almanac, was an amateur astronomer who was also a farmer – he was just trying to put together some calculations to help him to – no pun intended – grow his business. He put together 3000 copies his first year and his forecasts were so spot on that the subscriptions tripled the following year to 9000 and back then the almanac cost about 6 cents.
Of course the price has gone up a bit and so have the subscriptions. Again, my wife rarely makes a planting decision without consulting the almanac.
PERREAULT: There are some people who really believe and there are some people who don't. We have astronomy buffs and we have astrology buffs and the book really suits either or, whatever way you go. You're supposed to plant or harvest during the waxing moon or the waning moon. It has to do with the tilt of the earth and sometimes the earth is more receptive to planting. Sometime the earth is draining more or isn't draining more so that is all taken into consideration when you're planting or even just setting posts or pouring concrete, those kinds of things.
The almanac is always chock full of interesting stories from regular contributors.
PERREAULT: But sometimes it's just a regular reader who has written in and said I'm interested in this and I'd like to write for you and occasionally it happens and that's a lot of fun to actually interact with our readers and then they're very excited to have something published.
One of the big items in the almanac is the weather forecasts created from a secret method and Perreault takes a look at 2011.
PERREAULT: It's going to be a little bit colder than normal. Precipitation might be below normal and snowfall near or below normal so depending on what you like maybe this is the year for you. The Pacific Northwest temperatures are going to be slightly above normal with slightly below normal precipitation but above normal snowfall in most places.
Only time will tell. The 2011 Old Farmer's Almanac is available on newsstands now.
That's today's Line On Agriculture. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.