ANZ's Farms

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Farmer's Almanac "Best Days"

An important tool for any homesteader is a Farmer's Almanac, so I will be getting my 2010 copy soon, along with my heirloom seed catalogs. Only recently have I come to appreciate lunar and celestial influences on everything from sowing and harvesting plants to hatching chicks and weaning animals. I was familiar with babies being born on a full moon and certainly the pull of the moon on tides, but it wasn't until I read an article in my March/April 2009 Hobby Farms magazine that I realized the importance of the balance of the earth's and moon's gravitational forces and the water-air-earth-fire elements of the planets. The Almanac lists "best days" for a variety of homesteading activities based on the phases of the moon and alignment of the planets.

Just before and during the new moon, lunar gravitation pulls water in the soil to the surface where germinating seeds and plants roots can benefit most. This is a good time to plant seeds. During the second quarter when gravitational pull is less and the moon is bright, above-ground plant growth is vigorous. As the moon's influence wanes after a full moon, the earth's gravitational pull stimulates growth of roots and root crops. This is a good time to transplant seedlings and plant carrots, potatoes and onions. Finally, roots and leaves rest during the dark fourth quarter of the moon. This is a good time to weed and prune. I need to do more reading to understand the "best days" to have dental care and castrate animals, but I am sure it has something to do with lunar influences on bleeding. I don't have a clue what determines best days for canning or starting and ending projects, but I am intrigued to do more reading on some cold winter's day.

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