Friday, August 29, 2008

Bookmark It!: The Old Farmer’s Almanac

If you’re over thirty, you probably know about The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Even if you’ve never used it, you’ve probably seen it on your dad’s desk. The Farmer’s Almanac is not so old now – it’s online and searchable. And that’s good for writers.

Think of the stuff you can find there.

Setting your book in a far off place? Having a character wake with the sunrise? When exactly would the sun come up there in October? Look it up in The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Need to know what the weather was like on August 26, 1970 in Austin, TX? On this site you can find out the temperature – low, high and mean. You can get the pressure and dew point, the precipitation, the wind speed and find out if it was snowing that day.

Did you know that China experienced a total solar eclipse in August? You can find out what day.

Need to know how the US flag should be displayed (and where, as well as where not)?

Keep this site bookmarked for when you have questions about the nitty gritty stuff that you would have asked your dad (and he would have looked it up in his Old Farmer’s Almanac).


  1. Excellent advice, Helen! My granddad used to have that book out - I hadn't thought of it in years!

  2. If wish the older generation was around here close both to check the almanac and to talk over what's in it. For instance The (Newer) Farmer's Almanac says of our upcoming winter - Numb's the word. Wouldn't that make some cozy family planning!

  3. Thanks for the link to the Almanac. You are right about it being a great resource.

  4. I actually gave a copy of the Farmer's Almanac to my husband for Christmas last year. I like that I've discovered it's online and searchable!

  5. I loved playing with the FA when I was a kid. Thanks for link.

  6. I used it to forecast weather that was important to the plot for my upcoming novel, Tina's Moon. The story took place on the Texas coast. The Bay of Mexico and the weather itself on the Texas coastline were very part of the book.

    Not only for timing, mood and plot; I tried to make the land and sea a part of the story, as though it was a character itself. Old Farmer's Almanac was very helpful, giving me information on the first frost, the movement of stars and planets, rainy weeks, flora and fauna information and the feast days of the catholic church (a subplot I decided not to use, but may in the future insert into another novel).

    It's an excellent resource.


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