The Farmer's Calendar Project
1825 to 1900
(getting started)

Dateline: 6 March 2015

This is a picture of the March calendar page in the Maine Farmer's Almanac of 1870. The Farmer's Calendar essay is on the right side of the right page. If you click on the picture, you should get an enlarged view that is readable. Or, you can read a transcribed version of the essay in the MARCH compilation of my "Farmer's Calendar Project: 1825 to 1900"

It has been on my mind for the past five or six years to transcribe and publish a compilation of monthly "Farmer's Calendar" essays from my collection of 19th century New England farm almanacs. I did this to some degree back in 2011 when I posted numerous Farmer's Calendar excerpts at the Agrarian Nation web site. Reader response to the excerpts was very positive, but the idea of assembling a more complete, month-by-month collection of these almost-lost writings seems like a better approach. 

With that in mind, I've spent the last couple of weeks working to assemble 68 Farmer's Calendar almanac essays that were originally published between the years 1825 and 1900. All of these essays were for the month of March, which is, of course, the month we are now in.

These monthly essays, written for the farmers of pre-grid America, are a multi-faceted resource for better understanding the agrarian culture of that era. The collected essays for March contain some how-to information (for example, you will learn exactly how to treat an inflamed cow udder to prevent garget and "the loss of glands"—without modern medications), but reading them is more of a historical investigation into a way of life that is now virtually extinct. 

If you are the kind of person who enjoys visiting living history museums (as I do), and you are curious to learn more about how common rural people used to think and live in the the 1800's, you will appreciate this new resource.

The Farmer's Calendar excerpts for March are now available as a PDF download at The download is selling for only a dollar, but that reduced price is only in effect  until next Monday (March 9th). CLICK HERE to learn more. 

Also, while you are at, be sure to check out the many old how-to downloads that will be available in the coming months. I'll start offering them next week, beginning with "Dressing And Packing Turkeys For Market." All new downloads will sell for only a dollar for the first four days after they are introduced.

It is not my intention to post here about every new download I bring to Therefore, if you have an interest in any of the upcoming products, be sure to sign up at the web site to get e-mail notices when new products are introduced.

The one exception I'll make is when the capon downloads go on sale. I've been fascinated with capons for a long time and have some great how-to caponizing resources for understanding and learning this important homestead skill from days gone by.

This intriguing picture, from the
"Beuoy Bow Capon Book"
of 1917 will be part of a future
Agriphemera pdf download.
Click the picture for a larger view.


RonC said...

I had to look up what a Capon was, and yes, that would be useful information. I had a bit of a struggle getting started in my search with "Buoy Bow Capon Book" It should be "Beuoy" in the caption below the picture of the boy by the barrel. I might have to try this this summer. I was able to keep a laying flock of Buff Orpingtons through the winter and I hope to have a bunch of chicks later this Spring.

On a whole different subject, have any of you seen this?

I laughed when my wife showed me this as I figured it was every beekeeper's pipe dream that would never happen. It looks like it is for real. Clever!

The Midland Agrarian said...

Thanks Herrick, my wife downloaded this for me (I don't do paypal). I am really looking forward to reading it.

Herrick Kimball said...


I've corrected the Buoy spelling. Thanks for pointing that out. It is pronounced like BOWIE, as in BOWIE knife. That's what the book says.

And thanks for the link to the awesome new hive idea. Those inventors are, I predict, going to make bazillions of dollars. Time will tell how practical the idea is, but it is brilliantly innovative.

I hope you enjoy the reading. The essays get better as the year gets busier. The better Farmer's Calendar essays are, in my opinion, during haying and harvest time. But the best part will be to see the whole panorama of the farmer's year, when the project is done. I'm transcribing April now.

I thought of you and "Granny" when I was transcribing the Maine 1869 essay (3.62) with its advice for saving a chilled lamb.

Thanks for taking an interest n the project.

Sheila Gilbert said...

Hi Herrick, Big problem, need your help. I have been looking forward to downloading your essay's since you mentioned them. Problem is, I just can't use my online accounts anymore. In 48 years of banking, I had never had any issues purchasing online. In the past month, I have been hit with over $1,000.00 in online card fraud. This has happened 2 times, and since they were not related, I can't take a chance that it happens again.
Is there a way I can purchase them by mail, paying in advance, to be sent out as you post them?
I know this is a pain, but I am so excited to get my hands on them, I just have to find a way to get my hands on them. I'm an avid collector of old books like you, however I have never had the chance to get this kind of information, and I would love to collect all of the essay's you will be offering to us.
I can send a check for all of them at one time, if that is agreeable to you. If not, I understand. You can delete this if you think it best.
Thank you for listening,

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi Sheila,
I think there is an easy solution to this. You can simply send me payment by mail and I can send you a download link via the E-Junkie site that takes care of the transactions.

Just send me your e-mail and I'll send you the download link for the March Farmer's Calendar. This will be a good experiment as I have not used this feature before. We'll see if it works.

Sheila Gilbert said...

My e-mail is on it's way to you!
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!