Archive for Thursday, September 28, 2000

Eudora farmers weigh pros, cons of almanac

September 28, 2000

It's time for the harvest in Eudora. Farmers are bringing in crops, hoping the summer's heat hasn't caused too much loss. Some are getting cattle ready for the slaughter. Each farmer has a technique for producing the best yield some were raised with family traditions, some use the Internet to check forecasts. Others use another method, the Old Farmer's Almanac. But Eudorans are using this method less frequently.

On Sept. 12, The Old Farmer's Almanac hit the shelves with its information of weather predictions, news on consumer trends, gardening tips and other topics. But the pages of the almanac were absent from the shelves of Eudora Feed and Grain.

Jim Carpenter, owner of Eudora Feed and Grain, said his store didn't carry it this year due to poor sales.

"We laid them on the counter and they laid there forever," Carpenter said. "Hell, you couldn't give them away. I don't know how much people use them. I don't read them."

Bob Miller, rural Eudora, said he remembers his parents using the almanac for many different aspects of farm life in Eudora. He said they referred to the sign of the moon, such as a full moon or a half moon, frequently.

"My folks used to swear by it," Miller said. "They planted their crops by a certain sign, castrated by a certain sign, they did everything by it."

But Miller said he never found a place for the almanac in his farming life.

"I don't think it makes a whole lot of difference," Miller said. "I never practiced it, so I don't know."

Mark Brecheisen, Eudora, said he sometimes goes by the signs of the moon when working with his cattle. He said using the signs could be an advantage for a farmer when working with livestock.

"I use the almanac like the zodiac signs for working cattle and such," Brecheisen said. "If the sign's right, generally it's easier to wean them."

Brecheisen said he also uses the signs in the almanac when castrating cattle. Miller said he has another method, which he uses frequently with castration and works quite well.

"Whenever your knife's good and sharp," he laughed.

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