Rejoice in the Farmer’s Almanac

Joyful, joyful, we adore thee,

God of glory, Lord of love;

Hearts unfold like flowers before thee,

Opening to the sun above.

Field and forest, vale and mountain,

Flowery meadow, flashing sea,

Chanting bird and flowing fountain,

Call us to rejoice in thee.

“Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” by Henry VanDyke

This week I purchased Harris’ Farmer’s Almanac at the grocery store because it is on my list of things I believe I must experience. Immediately underneath this personal listing of mine I’ve written, “Watch ‘Gone with the Wind’.” This will be difficult because I’m famous for taking cat naps. Don’t tell my husband Matt, but I have no memory of the final 30 minutes of “Night at the Museum 2,” which was the focus of our date night this week. I was true to form and easily fell asleep sitting upright, but fortunately recovered quickly from my nap to proclaim, “That was really cute!” at the conclusion of the movie.

I’m sure the producers would be thrilled with such a review.

The Farmer’s Almanac has proven to be anything but a snoozer. I found it at my favorite grocery store, tucked in among Us Weekly and “O” Magazine and because it’s been in continuous publication since 1818, I figured it deserved a looksie. It’s most famous, of course, for its long-range weather forecasts. You’ll also find folksy advice on gardening, planting, cooking, storing produce, canning and safe pest control. It is, in fact, a virtual storehouse of delightfully presented information for a bargain price of $5.95.

My favorite section is the 2009 planting calendar. Suggested events for each day are displayed horizontally across the calendar pages. Of particular interest to me is the left half of the pages which list, in order, the date and day of the week and notable historical, religious or astronomical events. My greatest surprise is the extensive ecumenical information that is provided. Tomorrow, for example, is Trinity Sunday, the first Sunday after Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the early believers of Christ, enabling them to tell the story of Christ in languages the awaiting world would understand. Christians across our nation are celebrating the wondrous ways the Holy Spirit continues to offer order and peace, greater courage and understanding to those who count themselves as God’s children.

Did you know that a red rose signals to the receiver you have love and respect for them? Now you know why a rose says to most Americans, “I love you!” more than any other flower.

I decided I would place my trust in this longtime publication and work in my garden in the ways the almanac suggests. Last week I planted cucumber starts, basil and pepper plants. I placed new tomato plants next to our shop so the radiating sun would provide additional warmth. I set green bean plants in the ground on the the 31st. On June 10 I’ll plant lettuce and feed the rhodies on the 13th.

Then I’ll watch and water and wait. I’ll spend time outside where the birds have never sounded so content and allow this incredibly warm and flowery spring to produce song and praise in my own heart. I’ll join nature’s joyful chorus, out in the sunshine and the island breezes, because I, too, rejoice in Thee.

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