A newsletter from the publisher of The Old Farmer’s

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Sweet April showers
Do bring May flowers.

–Thomas Tusser

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this month’s prize.

for the Season

When the down of a dandelion contracts, it is a sign of rain.

When spiders build new webs, the weather will be clear.

A dream of gardens foretells great joy.

Dust rising in dry weather is a sign of an approaching change in the weather.

Many thunderstorms in May, and the farmer sings, Hey, hey!

To find out if the Sun will shine or if storms are
on the horizon, go to The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s 7-day or

Snow Contest Winner

The snow here in Dublin, NH
finally melted on April 12, and we have a winner in our Snow Melt contest. Larry
Gale from Wyoming is the lucky winner of a bundle of Almanac
We pulled his name from many correct guesses. Many thanks to
everyone who participated!

Rhubarb, the first “fruit” of spring, should be
sprouting in your garden now.

Make a moist Rhubarb
or try Rhubarb
, a great complement for chicken, turkey, or a spicy curry. Bake Apple-Rhubarb
, a wonderful dessert best served warm with ice cream. Or, make a
refreshing Rhubarb

To find more recipes, go to our Springtime Fun
, search our Recipe
, or visit our Neighborly
Recipe Exchange Forum

Under the snow the vegetables purr,
Like an old
man ’neath a mantle of fur.
–old saying

Old-timers knew that a late spring snowfall (“poor
man’s fertilizer”) was good for the garden. After a fierce blizzard in May 1891,
corn was reported to have germinated and grown to a height of 3 inches beneath
the snow. The ground was warm when the snow fell and the snow had an insulating
effect against the cold air above.

So, plant your corn and wish for some snow!

Sincerely, The Old Farmer’s Almanac

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April 23 — St. George

When on St. George’s Day rye will hide a crow,
a good harvest may be expected.

April 25 — National Arbor Day

J. Sterling Morton, the originator of the Arbor Day
idea, was among the many pioneers moving into the Nebraska Territory in 1854.
With the decided lack of trees on the Nebraskan plains, Morton made it his cause
to plant trees, not just for beautification but also to preserve the soil. He
encouraged civic organizations to join in the effort, proclaiming the first
Arbor Day in 1872. Today, the most common date for observances is the last
Friday in April, although many states celebrate it whenever conditions there are
best for planting trees.

May 1 — May Day

Ancient spring rites that related human fertility
to crop fertility gave birth to most modern May Day festivities. May 1 is the
traditional day to crown the May queen, dance around the maypole, perform
mummers’ plays, and generally celebrate the return of spring. In Great Britain,
the custom of “bringing in the May” involves gathering “knots,’ or branches with
buds, on the eve or early morning of May 1.

May 3 — Kentucky Derby

America’s most famous horse race, the Kentucky
Derby, has been held continuously since 1875 in Louisville, Kentucky, and has
become one of the country’s largest civic celebrations (and betting
opportunities). Not bad when you consider that the event lasts only two minutes!
The Derby is the first event in the “Triple Crown” series, followed by the
Preakness (the second Saturday after the Derby) and the Belmont Stakes (the
fifth Saturday after the Derby).

May 5 — Cinco de Mayo

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with this spicy Guacamole
with a Southwestern Kick to please a crowd.

Ingredients: 4 large avocados; 1 cup roasted corn
kernels; juice of one medium lime; 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped; 2 jalapeño
peppers, finely chopped, or to taste; 1 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste; 1
teaspoon salt

Coarsely mash (do not purée) the avocados. Fold in
remaining ingredients. Squeeze the lime juice into the mixture. Serve with blue
corn chips or deep-fried flour tortilla chips. Makes about 24 servings.


Choose varieties proven in your climate.

Plant roses where they will receive a minimum of
five to six hours of full sun per day.

Diligently water your roses. Soak the entire root
zone at least twice a week in dry summer weather. Avoid frequent shallow

Feed your roses; they have big appetites. Once a
month between April and July, apply a balanced granular fertilizer (5-10-5 or

For more information see our Rose

to Keep Rabbits Out of Your Garden

As their twitching noses indicate, rabbits sniff a
lot. Suspicious-smelling substances such as dried blood meal can keep them from
munching in small flower beds. Sprinkle dried blood on the soil surface around
all your plants as early in the season as you can, and repeat after a heavy
rain. Deodorant soap shavings placed in cloth bags around the garden will also
help to keep rabbits away.

If you have a gardening question, visit our Gardening
or search our Gardening

We hope you found this newsletter “new,
useful, and entertaining” – just like The Old Farmer’s

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© 2008, Yankee Publishing Inc. All
rights reserved

Yankee Publishing Inc., P.O. Box 520, Dublin, NH 03444,
USA, (603) 563-8111