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  • Writer's picturemaryelise555

gardening with the moon

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

I’ve subscribed to the Farmer’s Almanac, coming across it almost by accident, from Googling “gardening with the moon” - a practice I was unaware of until this year and something I am trying with our vegetable garden now. At first, I was unenthusiastic about the prospect of receiving yet another message in my inbox, but as it turns out the Farmer’s Almanac has some pretty beautiful information in it, such as:

• small batch raspberry jam – only two ingredients

• how many stars are there, really?

• time-tested home remedies

• growing hydrangeas

• using rocks in the landscape

I know it might sound strange, but this comforts me in a very deep way. Like watching the British Baking Show makes me feel as if everything is going to be all right because everyone in it is so real and kind to one another, and the things they bake are caringly-made, like expressions of love. It’s good to know that there are things like growing flowers and making jam and using honey and lemon for a sore throat in the middle of all this unrest.

Maybe it’s the Yankee in me, but I love that people are writing about these things, and I love that things like this are still circulating around us although they might be considered “old-fashioned” – it forces me to consider my priorities and my focus, and takes me away from myself and my own small existence. And during these times of struggle and gloom, we are forced into a kind of necessary simplicity, running around playing games of Scrabble and baking sourdough, and the Farmer’s almanac offers a kind of back-to-nature-ness that flies in the face of everything people once found important.

This morning I stood on our deck, birdseed digging into my bare feet, and I realized how green everything was and how rich, and that I hadn’t noticed the trees filling in with leaves - it was like all of a sudden they were there but I was too preoccupied with others things to notice them. And I wondered what I had been doing while all this was happening and realized that I was in my own way, diving murkily into my own personal grievances while nature was evolving in its relevant truth, and couldn't care less about my swollen feet, my disease, how well I am walking, or that I continue to be rejected by publishers.

In the same way the trees are markedly disinterested in my misfortunes, the Farmer’s Almanac and its contents represent a way of looking at the world that is universal and centuries old and probably resonated with our ancestors in a timeless way, the way it resonates with me today. And there is something remarkable and infinite and soothing about that.

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