Appalachia Blog

Planting Calendars and a New Year

calendar on wall

The planting calendar I used back in 2020

Every January I publish a post looking back on the things I’ve written about as well as a post about what my hopes and goals are for the coming year. I’m running late on both posts this year due to my bout of sickness, but hope to share them in the next few days.

Another thing I do this time of the year is make sure I have a planting calendar for the coming garden. Over the years Papaw Tony would often pick one up at the Champion Credit Union in Canton, NC and mail it to us. Another avenue I had of getting them was from a friend who worked part-time at a local funeral home. As soon as they started handing the calendars out in November and December she would bring me two to work—one for me and one for Granny.

This year I sort of let things slip away from me and wasn’t able to lay hands on a planting calendar. Miss Cindy came to the rescue and found that Wayne’s Feed Store in Murphy offers them to customers. So Granny and I are now ready to plant and ferment during the year of 2022.

When Miss Cindy brought the calendars over I went to replace the one I had hanging inside the pantry door. My planting calendar from 2021 is still here on my desk, the one in the kitchen was the leftover calendar from my working days.

After I took it down I couldn’t resist looking back to January 2021 to see what I was doing this week. The notes on my calendar told me I was deep in the process of booking and managing weekly Morningsongs for the Folk School. My notes in the margins told me I was also busy shipping catalogs and updating their website.

I stood in the kitchen and looked at my notes from a year ago and felt a strange detachment from my own handwriting.

In January of 2021 I had no idea that by the time the year was half over I would turn in my notice and begin the wonderful journey of working for myself doing what I love most, celebrating Appalachia.

The world of a year ago seems so very far away. My mind is in a totally different place. The importance of the things that sit before me each day have quickly and totally risen above the responsibilities I had at my place of employment.

Amazing how looking at an old calendar brought an avalanche of thanksgiving and gratefulness to my heart.

If you haven’t got your planting calendar be sure to check at your local feed stores, banks, and funeral homes for a place to pick one up.

Last night’s video: Woodstove Usage & Folklore in the Appalachian Mountains.


Subscribe for FREE and get a daily dose of Appalachia in your inbox

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    January 16, 2022 at 6:37 am

    I order two planting calendars from the company in Greeneville, TN that prints them, American Calendar. Their main focus is producing promotional calendars just like the one in the photo, the Almanac Calander. If you buy that calendar for home use the top section where the advertising for the company that’s giving them away is printed will be set up for memos and notes. So, if your bank, funeral home, butcher, farm supply, etc. isn’t handing them out you can order one or two delivered by mail.

  • Reply
    January 13, 2022 at 2:18 pm

    It’s been years since I’ve seen a planting calendar, but then I’ve not really looked for one. I just look on line for planting dates. I’ll have to ask around at some of our local feed or garden stores. I know our bank don’t give them out, they don’t even give out ink pens anymore. Thanks for the calendar tip!

  • Reply
    January 13, 2022 at 10:38 am

    Our Banks around here Tipper has them and they are free. I don’t know if your bank does ir not.

  • Reply
    Sandra henderson
    January 12, 2022 at 1:24 pm

    I called farm bureau, banks, funeral home, feed store, you name it, this last week looking for calendar here in Franklin and nothing to be found! So it was interesting to see this article.

    I saw your video and woodstove. I have a fisher grandpa bear, like yours but bigger that I don’t have use for anymore, downsized. If you know anyone looking.its back when made in America, double doors.

  • Reply
    January 12, 2022 at 12:11 pm

    I guess I am old school because it does not take much to make me happy. One of those old planting calendars is a treasure. I just love having calendars in handy places to plan my life, and always have a planner.
    I retired and left work with tears in my eyes because I loved working, and I truly loved my coworkers. I would be caring for my mother and wondered what in the world I would do to fill the empty time looking out the window at the changing seasons. I had spent so many years working I had not even gotten in touch with myself. It may have taken a week, I am not certain. Before I knew it I had thrown myself into painting, gardening, chatting with neighbors, and just generally living my best life. I was spending quality time helping make my mother’s life a little happier with surprises such as Blizzards from Dairy Queen. I helped my grandson with Common Corps subjects while teaching him the old math I knew. Still going strong, and still planning and plotting things. My favorite thing to say is “I will never live long enough to get done all the things I want to do.” Retirement from the outside world has been one of life’s greatest blessings.
    I feel I can relate to your journey, as you work very hard, but the work is directed to something you truly love. Your BP followers are being rewarded for your choices. I somehow feel your contributions will one day give your works a type of fame. Unlike movie stars who rise and fall, you are giving back to the people of Appalachia a treasure trove of information about what is good about their culture. It is their raw history recorded, and it makes the stereotyping of others look small and mean. Your dedication shows in your writings and your videos. Mark Twain said it best when he said, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

  • Reply
    January 12, 2022 at 11:19 am

    My husband always reminded me to pick up a calendar for the new year, and usually I found that to be the local bank or at our vehicle insurance business. I have saved ours over the years because I can look back at it almost like a daily journal to see temps in the area and important dates. I remember my Grandparents always had the Farmer’s Almanac.
    Loved your wood stove too and it brings back memories of my Grandmother warming a quilt she wrapped around me as a child. Later in years, when my Grandparents moved closer to town, memories come flooding back of us all sitting around their fireplace with chunks of coal in it. Poking the chunks would create a flurry of embers looking like glitter shooting up the chimney. The second home my husband and I purchased had a fireplace in the living room and we would build wood fires in it and enjoy sitting by it. Later when the gas logs became popular, we installed gas logs and enjoyed the look and not having to clean out the ashes but we missed the wood smell. Guess that is why I love the outside fire pits in the spring and fall evenings:)

  • Reply
    Ron Bass
    January 12, 2022 at 10:44 am

    I use Blums almanac published in Winston Salem. I haven’t seen a planting calendar in years, unfortunately.

    • Reply
      January 12, 2022 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Ron,
      In addition to the almanac, Blum’s also publishes a “Gardening Calendar – Year Round Planting Guide plus Recipes, Planting Tips and More” that you may be interested in. If you live in or near Winston Salem you can go by their office on Healy Drive (Goslen Printing Company) and purchase one or you can order online

  • Reply
    Sharon Cole
    January 12, 2022 at 10:36 am

    I feel like I missed so much by growing up in the city. I had family that lived in a smaller town. Some of my fondest memories are spending time with them in the summer and helping with the gardens. My husband’s mother was a farmer. In fact her nickname was farmer. After marriage I would help her with her large vegetable garden. So, I guess I had the best of both worlds!!! My husband and I retired almost 4 years ago. We love it!!! Thank you for your interesting articles. Take care and God bless!

  • Reply
    January 12, 2022 at 10:23 am

    Your post this morning brought back a fond memory, of my father being so excited to receive the seed catalogs so he could get a start on planning his garden. Now my husband and I are thinking about our own garden. Good memories foe sure.

  • Reply
    January 12, 2022 at 9:30 am

    I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a planting calendar. My Dad would get the Farmers Almanac booklet. Being a farmer he also had a lot of sayings about the weather and when to plant. I quite enjoy reading your posts. I’m in Canada.

  • Reply
    Brad Byers
    January 12, 2022 at 9:09 am

    My wife’s grandparents were such wonderful people. The always had a nice garden, and it was always great to hear them discuss and plan when and what they were going to plant in the spring. Grandma would always consult the Old Farmer’s Almanac to see what sign to plant various plants. Grandpa would always say “You can plant ’em in the sign, I’m gonna plant ’em in the ground”.

  • Reply
    January 12, 2022 at 8:46 am

    Those wonderful calendars are so hard to find where I live. They are not just good as a planting guide, but will show the best fishing days as well. As far as I’m concerned, any day is a good fishing day.

    • Reply
      January 12, 2022 at 2:17 pm

      Free is better but you can get them from Amazon and eBay.

  • Reply
    Margie G
    January 12, 2022 at 8:33 am

    I can get one of those calendars at the Farm Bureau on the Virginia side (about 3 miles down the road.) I have found myself looking at the Sow True Catalog and day dreaming about canning green beans (which will take my abilities to a higher level.)I have to purchase a pressure canner and I have been looking at those as well. I’ve been eating a lot of green beans for they seem to aid with my particular gastrointestinal issues. People ask if I miss being a RN and let me tell you “No, I do not!” I walked away from a bum racket without a second of regret as I watched medical “care” descend into an abyss overseen by greedy profiteers—- and lo and behold look at “ IT” now why don’t ya? My family and love defines my life, not a job or the government or tv or whatever the enemy tries to “lasso” you with. I like being home, cats, dog, gardening, baking, glass collecting (mostly of antique dresser sets) and of course Old Murr over here…. lol. Tipper, give granny a hug for me and tell her some old gal from WV thinks she is the hostess with the mostest!!!!! Can’t wait to gander your planting plans and ideas so I can “ borrow” a few myself…

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 12, 2022 at 8:25 am

    How you remind me of my feelings soon after I retired. I was amazed and just a bit troubled that not long afterward it began to seem as if all my working years were a story told me about somebody else. It reminded me of what the bible says about spending our years as a tale that is told. It still feels like it was somebody else’s life. I can’t get any closer to describing it than that. Anyway, now I just tell folks retiring to expect that their feelings about their working life will change sometime after but I don’t try to tell them how.

    Your post also reminded me of how my Grandma would make notes on those same kinds of calendars. One kind of note that was common in the fall was how many squirrels she had bagged that day.

  • Reply
    Donna S Justus
    January 12, 2022 at 8:22 am

    Growing up I always heard these called “A Raymond Calendar” I just googled it to see if I was remembering correctly and it came up. My grandparents followed this faithfully for any planting or canning. I remember them checking our local store to see if they had “come in” so planning the garden could start. My grandmother was the best cook and memories of the table filled with fresh vegetables and cornbread are so vivid I can almost smell it. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy reading Blind Pig & the Acorn. brings back such wonderful memories.

  • Reply
    Denise R
    January 12, 2022 at 8:20 am

    So glad that you have been blessed by the Lord to be able to focus on your blog and videos as your source of income! That is a wonderful blessing!! Continue this wonderful work we all enjoy so much!

  • Reply
    January 12, 2022 at 8:08 am

    We have used these “Ramon Brownie Calendars” for years, its our favorite and we wouldn’t want to be without it. We’ve gotten from different places through the years – Mast General Store in Boone, a real estate agency in Pilot Mountain, an old general store in Danbury, a hardware store, etc. We always send one to my husband’s brother in Iowa too.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 12, 2022 at 7:09 am

    For those who are interested the Almanac Calander has a world of information in it! My grandmother always had one hanging on the wall and consulted it often…. when to make kraut, when to plant beans, and so on…
    This is living by the earth; the earth is a living breathing entity and has so much information for us if we will just listen!

  • Reply
    Martha D Justice
    January 12, 2022 at 7:05 am

    I enjoyed your reading from John Paris so much and I also enjoy you filming your video from your basement in front of your wood stove. I appreciate that you bring us into your home where you are comfortable showing us how you really live everyday. You are true to who you are. Thank you, have a Blessed Day ❤

  • Reply
    donna sue
    January 12, 2022 at 6:00 am

    I have never seen a planting calendar. At least, I didn’t know that the calendar with all that extra information on it was for planting! When I had my garden, I would draw up my own calendar with a pencil and ruler on a piece of blank paper. Then I would fill in the squares with the planting information I needed or what I planned to do on those days. It is fun to look back over previous years’ calendars and planners. A couple of days ago I was watching a you tube video on organizing your business paperwork, and she said to toss your personal and business calendars/planners after they are two years old. I can’t do that!! They are the diaries of my life! And so, I keep my old ones forever. I loved your post this morning. Thank you!

    Donna. : )

  • Leave a Reply