The Ides Of March and The Old Farmer’s Almanac

I love The Old Farmer’s Almanac website and their interesting newsletters.  Free, btw.  Today’s subject is the Ides of March,  spring tonics and recipes for St. Patrick‘s Day…

In a nutshell, what they say about the Ides of March (March 15th) “has long been considered an ill-fated day. Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15, 44 B.C. Historians note that it is likely that a soothsayer named Spurinna had warned Caesar that danger would occur by the ides of March. William Shakespeare included the phrase “Beware the ides of March” in his play Julius Caesar.”

Outside of falling down my steps and skinning my knee, so far the Ides of March have been uneventful here.  And that happened yesterday, so technically it wasn’t The Day yet.  I’ll just sir tight and avoid assassins.

For more on the Ides of March and the Old Farmer’s Almanac click here.

Early history of the Old Farmer’s Almanac:

“The first Old Farmer’s Almanac (then known as The Farmer’s Almanac) was edited by Robert B. Thomas, the publication’s founder.

There were many competing almanacs in the 18th century, but Thomas’s upstart was a success. In its second year, distribution tripled to 9,000. The cost of the book was six pence (about four cents).

To calculate the Almanac’s weather predictions, Thomas studied solar activity, astronomy cycles and weather patterns and used his research to develop a secret forecasting formula, which is still in use today. Other than the Almanac’s prognosticators, few people have seen the formula. It is kept in a black tin box at the Almanac offices in DublinNew Hampshire.

Thomas also started drilling a hole through the Almanac so that subscribers could hang it from a nail or a string. Subscribers would hang the Almanac in their outhouse to provide family members with both reading material and toilet paper.

Thomas served as editor until his death on May 19, 1846. As its editor for more than 50 years, Thomas established The Old Farmer’s Almanac as America’s “most enduring” almanac by outlasting the competition.”

We’ve gotten the annual Old Farmer’s Almanac for years and find that it’s weather forecast is usually right.  Interesting to note that “in 2008, the Almanac stated that the earth had entered a global cooling period that would probably last decades. The journal based its prediction on sunspot cycles. Said contributing meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo, “Studying these and other factor suggests that cold, not warm, climate may be our future.”

With the exception of the blistering hot summer of 2010, this would be true of the Shenandoah Valley.   So far, March has mostly been chilly here, and I see the Almanac is calling for a cooler than normal spring, also a slightly cooler than normal summer. We shall see, but they’re probably right.

5 responses to “The Ides Of March and The Old Farmer’s Almanac

  1. Beth,

    Thank you for this link. I love it. You always have great post.

    Walk in harmony,


  2. Beth, we love The Old Farmer’s Almanac at our house, too. Santa puts one in my husband’s stocking each year.


  3. Pingback: Ides of March « Teh's Tales, Ian's Yarns

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