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Sweet, sweet, sweet,
Is the wind’s song,
Astir in the rippled wheat
All day long.

–Ellen M. H. Cortissoz

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Nothing tastes better than a just-picked tomato. Here are a couple of wonderful tomato recipes if you get tired of eating them by themselves: Tomato Corn Salad and Fresh Tomato Basil Quiche.


Warm August nights are perfect for cooking outdoors.

Here’s a chart showing how to prepare and grill vegetables.

Try these delicious grilled meat and salsa recipes:Grilled Chicken Salad With Mango Salsa

Spicy Grilled Beef and Black-Bean Salsa

Grilled Chicken With Cilantro Salsa

Basil has a famous affinity for tomatoes. All along the Mediterranean coast, from the French Riviera to the toe of Italy, a common lunch of uncommon perfection is a crusty roll split and filled with sliced ripe tomatoes, a dash of salt, a generous splash of olive oil, and a few basil leaves, all gently squashed so that the juices soak into the bread.

The basil plant has accumulated considerable folklore. One of the oddest beliefs about basil is that if it is handled roughly, it will breed scorpions. The medieval Doctrine of Signatures, which asserted that “like cures like,” assigned basil as a cure for insect bites.

Sincerely, The Old Farmer’s Almanac

P.S. Please visit our blogs about everything Almanac. Comment on random reflections, advice, and ideas from the editors of The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

August 16—Full Sturgeon Moon

Some Native American tribes knew that the sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this full Moon. Others called it the Green Corn Moon or the Grain Moon. Go to our Moon page for more full Moon names.

August 17—Cat Nights Commence

The term “Cat Nights” harks back to a rather obscure Irish legend concerning witches and the belief that a witch could turn herself into a cat eight times, but on the ninth time, August 17, she couldn’t regain her human form. This bit of folklore also led to the idea that a cat has nine lives. Since August is a “yowly” time for cats, this may have prompted the speculation about witches on the prowl.
Send a special e-card to a cat lover you know.

August 19—National Aviation Day (and Orville Wright’s Birthday)

Celebrate everything related to aviation and airplanes today. On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright were able to launch their handmade airplane and watch it fly for 12 seconds and a total distance of 120 feet. National Aviation Day was established in 1939 to be celebrated on the anniversary of Orville Wright’s birth date, August 19, 1871.

August 25—St. Bartholomew

At St. Bartholomew
There comes cold dew.

Wind Lore

A northern air,
Brings weather fair.

The sharper the blast,
The sooner ’tis past.

Much wind brings rain.

No weather is ill,
If the wind be still.

After a storm comes a calm.

For more folklore, visit A Sprinkling of Summertime Fun and Folklore.

Late-Summer Advice

Separate melons and pumpkins from the ground with a thin board to prevent decay or damage from wireworms.

Mid-August through September is a good time to transplant any shrubs. Do not fertilize until the second year, when the feeding roots have become established.

Lawns or bare spots reseeded with grass now will have a chance to get established before winter sets in. Water often and mulch with hay.

Cut out raspberry and blackberry canes that have just finished fruiting.

For more gardening advice go to our Garden Pages.

Insect Heroes

Listen to our Gardening Musings podcasts. Don’t declare war on all insects in your garden. The August podcast is all about the benefits of some common insects.

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

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