Friday, March 18, 2011

How About Some Moon Lore...?

For generations, farmers and other country folks have been using the phases of the moon to schedule chores.

There are so many things associated with moon phases that I couldn't possibly post them all, but thanks to some help from the Old Farmer's Almanac I have put together a partial list for your entertainment! See if any of them could be of use, OK?

The age-old practice of performing farm chores by the Moon stems from the simple belief that the Moon governs moisture.

Pliny the Elder, the first-century Roman naturalist, stated in his Natural History that the Moon "replenishes the earth; when she approaches it, she fills all bodies, while, when she recedes, she empties them."

The Moon's Phases

The Moon's phases guided many a farmer and gardener in the past, and still do today:

* Moonrise occurring in the evening brings fair weather, says one proverb, harking back to the belief that the waning Moon (full and last quarter, which rise in the evening) is dry.

* The New Moon and first quarter, or waxing phases, are considered fertile and wet.

* The new and first-quarter phases, known as the light of the Moon, are considered good for planting above-ground crops, putting down sod, grafting trees, and transplanting.

* From full Moon through the last quarter, or the dark of the Moon, is the best time for killing weeds, thinning, pruning, mowing, cutting timber, and planting below-ground crops.

* The time just before the full Moon is considered particularly wet, and is best for planting during drought conditions.

Moon Folklore

Folklore is rich among farmers, given their close ties to Earth and her natural rhythms.

* Rail fences cut during the dry, waning Moon will stay straighter.

* Wooden shingles and shakes will lie flatter if cut during the dark of the Moon.

* Fence posts should be set in the dark of the Moon to resist rotting. Ozark lore says that fence posts should always be set as the tree grew. To set the root end upward makes a short-lived fence.

* Don't begin weaning when the Moon is waning.

* Castrate and dehorn animals when the Moon is waning for less bleeding.

* Slaughter when the Moon is waxing for juicier meat.

* Crabbing, shrimping, and clamming are best when the Moon is full.

* Best days for fishing are between the new and full Moon.

* Dig your horseradish in the full Moon for the best flavor.

* Set eggs to hatch on the Moon's increase, but not if a south wind blows.

Like I said, I have no idea if any of these will work for ya or not, but I figure it certainly can't hurt, ya know? If you're like can use all the help you can get! I know I can!

Coffee inside in the kitchen this morning. It may rain today, who knows?


chinasyndrome said...

Hey Jim,do you reckon somewhere in the Almanac there is an area for presidential activities? Like Bad moon rising for 4years perform no real activities except golf and basketball? Check for me would ya? The almanac does have great info.A lot of old timers swear by it!My late mother in law never planted garden or flowers without consulting it.Take care!


Momlady said...

For me full moon = bad sleep.
Rain? Again? Oh, no.

Ben in Texas said...

Growing up on a small farm here in the DFW area of Texas, of course we had a food garden and raised hay. Daddy read farming magazines and the Almanac. His gardens never did real well. Many years later , after he died,I went though a few of the almanacs,, he had been using the charts from where he grew up !!! Far NW Oklahoma!!

Wife read them religiously and had good luck for sure.

Ted said...

Easter is determined by the moon

Ted said...

I plant my tomatoes after the first full moon after the spring equinox sometimes right after Easter.

russell1200 said...

Are you mentioning this because we are supposed to have the largest full moon in 18 years on Saturday?

I saw it in my local paper today.

HermitJim said...

Hey China...
I don't think the Almanac would even mention the president by name!

After all, so much of the almanac is based on common sense and there isn't much of that being shown right now!

Thanks for thew visit!

Hey Momlady...
Reckon it's because of the "werewolf" traces in the blood? Fear of the "moon critters"?

Whatever it is, maybe you will catch a break from the bad sleep this weekend! Hope so, anyway!

Thanks, my friend, for coming by today!

Hey Ben...
Yep, they do seem to work better if you use the right region charts! I'm glad to hear that the wife had good luck with them, though!

I appreciate you dropping by today, buddy!

Hey Ted...
Sounds like a plan to me! We usually get a little cold spell right around Easter, so that might be about right!

Thanks for coming over today.

Hey Russell...
Seems like an appropriate time to bring it up, don't you think?

I'm curious to see how much bigger the moon will look from here!

Thanks for coming by today!

Mayberry said...

The moon is an interesting, and influential body. Thanks for the info!