June 2021 | The Earthbound Farmer’s Almanac
This month’s Partisan Gardens is all about the Farmer’s Almanac, specifically the 2021 Earthbound Farmer’s Almanac. Our listeners are probably familiar with the old farmer’s almanac, with its planting charts, weather forecasts and random tidbits of folksy wisdom and jokes. It’s an artifact of an earlier time, probably not the first place our listeners go to decide what to plant or when to plant it.
The Earthbound Almanac, on the other hand, is situated in the present moment. We’ll let it speak for itself- here’s the book’s back cover:
“This is a Farmer’s Almanac for the end of the world. Growing food used to be a lot more straightforward, when you’d plant your okra the same time every year like your grandpa did. Now we’ve got to be ready for anything – late Spring freezes, freak heat waves that bring plants out of dormancy too early, fire season longer every year, the polar vortex – and if that wasn’t enough, we’ve also got to contend with the fallout from breakages in the global supply chain, when millions of gallons of milk get poured down the drain and mountains of potatoes are left to rot. It’s a world that calls for a new kind of Farmer’s Almanac.
Today’s crisis has roots in the earliest moments of land theft against native peoples, a process that has continued alongside hundreds of years of slavery and colonization. The way forward out of this mess, will mean grappling with past wrongs as well as charting a new course guided by black and indigenous knowledge, creative experimentation in food production and paying attention across generational and species divides.”
So for today’s episode we’re taking you on an audio tour of the almanac – less like an audio book and more of an interpretation and an exploration based on the almanac. We’ll bake a dessert recipe from the Almanac, talk with some of the farmers about the pieces they wrote for it, hear the writers reading their own words, learn about the Louisiana Lumber War, and more.
You can access the PDF of the entire 2021 Earthbound Farmer’s Almanac here.
You can get a hard copy of the book here.
They made a mixtape to go with the almanac, which you can find at tinyurl.com/earthboundmixtape.
Also in the almanac, you can learn about foraging wild mushrooms, read your 2021 horoscope, read about access to good food in prison, and so much more. Thank you to all the contributors who sent in and read their pieces from the almanac for us.