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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Preparing for Fall

Most folks are ready for this really hot Summer to be over and are looking forward to Fall and all the great things that come with, cool crisp nights, colorful leaves, hunting, and the start of the new school year.  Here at the store we are beginning to prepare for what we hope is a busy fall and holiday season.  New shipments of shoes, clothes, and hardware arrive daily.   We will be fully stocked on Carhartt, Key Brand, Wranger, Round House, and Pointer Brand clothing.

We will take a break from updating everyone on the details of the almanac/gardening but we promise to keep everyone advised when gardening season starts again in the Spring. 

We do plan on having our annual clearance sale this Fall but a date has not been set.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

What's in the signs: 7/31-8/6

Sunday, July 31st - Leo/Heart - New Moon - Barren Time....kill those weeds.
Monday, August 1st - Virgo/Bowels - Still Barren.
Tuesday, August 2nd - Virgo/Bowels - Still Barren
Wednesday, August 3rd - Libra/Reins - Today and tomorrow are good days to plant above ground crops.
Thursday, August 4th - Libra/Reins
Friday, August 5th - Scorpio/Loins -Today and tomorrow are the best days to plant your fall crop of greens..
Saturday, August 6th - Second Quarter Moon - Scorpio/Loins

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Zodiac Man and the Moon Phases

The almanac calendar provides with us the Zodiac sign and the Moon phases.  The last two posts have dealt with this information individually, but today's will explain how these two intertwine to provide us with detailed information on gardening. 

The Moon moves through the signs of the Zodiac every couple of days.  Different signs are aligned with an element (fire, water, air, & earth).  For generations, mankind has used the relationship between the Moon/Zodiac to determine best times for planting, harvesting, etc.

A previous blog showed the graphic picture for each sign.  The symbols above are also used to represent each sign of the Zodiac.  The symbols are not used on the almanac calendar we use at the store, but you will likely find them used in most farmer's almanacs.  The signs explained:

Aries....Fire..... Barren/Dry...Harvest root and fruit for storage.  Good time to destroy weeds/pests. Taurus....Earth.....Productive/Moist...Second best time to plant/transplant.  Good time for root crops and leafy vegetables.  Gemini....Air.....Barren/Dry...Harvest root and fruit for storage. Good time to destroy weeds/pests.  Exception:  Melon seeds do well in this sign.  Cancer...Water.....Very Fruitful/Moist... Best time for plant/transplant.  Good for grafting.  Leo....Fire.....Very Barren/Dry... Harvest root and fruit for storage.   Good time to destroy weeds/pests. Virgo....Earth.....Barren/Moist...Some flowers/vines like this sign. Good time to destroy weeds/pests.  Libra....Air.....Semi-Fruitful...Best time for planting flowers/vines/herbs.  Scorpio....Water.....           Very Fruitful/Moist...Best time for planting sturdy plants. Tomatoes, Corn, Okra.  Sagittarius....Fire...Barren/Dry...Harvest root crops.  Good time to cultivate soil.  Good time to plant onion sets and fruit trees.  Capricorn....Earth.....Productive/Dry...Good time to plant root crops for hardy growth. Good time to graft and prune. Aquarius....Air.....Barren/Dry... Good time to harvest fruits and root crops.Good time to destroy weeds/pests.  Pieces....Water.....Very Productive... Good time for planting and transplanting.  Very good for root growth.

You got all that?  It's hard to keep up with, but at least the good ole almanac will provide most of the answers for you at a quick glance.  It's nice to know the reasoning behind the advice.

So here this week's calendar:

24th & 25th - Taurus/Bull/Necks - Good day to plant root crops and transplanting.
26th & 27th - Gemini/Twins/Arms - Poor days for planting.
28th & 29th - Cancer/Crab/Brest - Best days for planting root crops.  Excellent time for sowing seedbeds or transplanting.
30th - Leo/Lion/Heart - Very Barren Period.  Not a good time to plant.

Until next time....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Moon

In addition to the "Zodiac Man", the almanac calendar also provides us with the Moon phases.  Since the beginning of agriculture, people have used the Moon phases as an aide/guide in planting.  What some may see as folklore, the idea of gardening by Moon phases is grounded in science. 

As most of us learn sometime during our schooling, the Moon influences the earth's gravitational field.  It is most evident when we go to the beach and experience the ocean's high and low tides.  That same effect happens in the soil.  It is not as evident as the tides, but the Moon also pulls the moisture in the soil. 

The Moon's four phases/quarters and how they relate to gardening:

First Quarter starts with the New Moon (the Moon is not illuminated by direct sunlight) and continues with the Waxing Crescent (Moon is partly illuminated by direct sunlight...but less than half).  The New Moon creates an increased gravitational pull, which pulls moisture closer to the surface.  This combined with the increasing moonlight, makes this a good time to plant above ground annual crops that produce seeds outside the fruit.  Examples:  lettuce, spinach, cabbage, grains.

Second Quarter starts when one-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight and continues with the Waxing Gibbous (the Moon is more than one-half, but not fully, illuminated by direct sunlight...and continues to gain illumination over the nights to come).  The Moon's gravitational pull is lessening but there is increased moonlight.  This is good for strong leaf growth.  It is still a good time for planting (supposedly two days before the full Moon is an especially good time).  Plants that prefer the second quarter planting are above ground annual crops that produce seeds within their fruit.  Examples:  okra, tomatoes, beans, squash. 

Third Quarter starts with the Full Moon and continues with the Waning Gibbous (the Moon is less than full and is decreasing in illumination).  After the Full Moon, the moonlight and gravitational pull begins to decrease.  At the beginning of this process the gravitational pull is still high, so the moisture level is still at a higher point.  This is a good time to plant root crops.  Examples: potatoes, beets, turnips, carrots.

Fourth Quarter starts when on-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight and continues with the Waning Crescent  (the Moon is more than one-half, but not fully, illuminated by direct sunlight...and continues to lose illumination over the nights to come).  There is much less gravitational pull and moonlight during this phase.  This is considered the resting period.   Not a good time for planting, however it is considered a good time to harvest, transplant, or prune.

In addition to Moon phases, the almanac calendar or Farmer's Almanac takes into account how the signs of Zodiac influences gardening by the moon.  That will be addressed in a future blog.

This week's almanac calendar:

The Full Moon was on the 15th, so we are progressing to the Waning Gibbous.  The signs start the week off in the Waterman (the legs) and then progresses to the Fishes (the feet) before ending with the Ram/Bull (head/neck).

17th & 18th Good days for killing weeds, briars, etc.  Poor for planting.
19th & 20th Good days to plant root crops or transplanting.
21st & 23rd Resting period.  Not good for planting.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Zodiac Man

The Zodiac Man

One of the main tools in the almanac calendar, or any farmer's almanac for that matter, is the use of the Zodiac signs.  For centuries people have interpreted the influence that the sun and moon have while they are in specific zodiacal signs on their everyday lives. The Zodiac Man helps us to determine that influence. 

There are 12 Zodiac signs and they received their name in ancient times from the constallation in that portion of the Heavens.  Each sign is supposed to "rule" a certain part of the body.  The signs and the body parts they "rule":

Ram-Aries- rules the head and face....includes sinus, teeth, eyesight, etc.

Twins-Gemini- rules the arms, hands, and shoulders....also governs the lungs and nervous system.

Lion-Leo- rules the heart....also governs spine and middle back.

Balance-Libra- rules the reins...what are reins? according to the almanac.. reins are the vasomotor system, which is the dilating and constricting of the blood vessels.  It also governs the lumbar region of the back, the adrenals, kidneys and the skin.

Archer-Sagittarius- rules the thighs and hips....includes the sciatic nerve.

Waterman-Aquarius- rules the lower legs... also governs the cirulation of the blood and valves of the heart.

Bull -Taurus- rules the neck...includes the thyroid, tonsils and throat. Also governs the gums of the mouth and the middle ear.

Crab-Cancer- rules the chest area.... includes the uterus and mucus membranes.

Virgin-Virgo- rules the bowels.

Scorpion-Scorpio- rules the loins or secrets... includes the colon, rectum, urinary system, vagina, testes, and prostate gland.

Goat-Capricorn- rules the knees...governs the knees (all joints).

Fishes-Pisces- rules the feet... it also governs the lymphatic system and spleen.

So what does all this mean?  The almanac calendar will tell you the sign for each day.  Here is the almanac calendar for next week:

On 7/10/11 the sign is Scorpion (the secrets or loins) and then it starts to slowly drop to the Waterman (lower legs) by the end of the week.  The rule of thumb is that you want to take particularly good care of the body parts that are "in" sign for the day.  On 7/15 the sign is in the legs so you would want to make sure that you did not do anything to disturb that area.  If you are scheduled to have surgery on your knee or ankle it would not be a good time according to the signs.  You want the sign to be in the opposite end of the body from where you are having surgery.

So that is the run down on the Zodiac Man signs.  We will try to tackle the moon phases in an upcoming blog.  Until then here is an overview of what the almanac says for this upcoming week.

10 & 11  Very good time to plant for fall crops like cabbage, lettuce, greens, etc.  Good fishing days.
12 & 13  Not a good day to plant.  Seeds will do poorly.  Good fishing days.
14          Ok to plant for fall above ground plants.  Good fishing.
15 & 16  Good for planting fall below ground plants.   Good fishing days.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Welcome to the JR Moore & Son blog.  We plan to use this blog as a way of sharing information about our store and community with our customers/friends.  Since we are new to blogging we are not sure how often we will be updating, but we will try to do it often. 

One main reason for starting a blog was due to the many questions we hear about how to read an almanac.....

A large percentage of the questions we get asked at the store deal with topics that our older folks would say are just common knowledge.  What is common knowledge to one generation may be a foreign concept to another.  Every year around Christmas we give out an old style almanac calendars to our loyal customers.   They are very popular and by the first of January we are completely out.  There are many folks who depend on the calendar to determine many things.....when is the best time to plant/harvest, when you should preserve food, moon phases and best days to fish.  However, we notice that the ability to read the calendar is becoming a lost art.  Through this blog, we hope that together we all can gain a better understanding of the valued practice of reading a almanac calendar.  Stayed tuned....