Agricultural Forecasting; the Methodologies of Appalachia Farming and Maya Agriculture

Scope: 

Traditional farming methods in rural Appalachia are typically based on the weather, the moon, and calendars.  When attempting agricultural forecasting, farmers, in the past, have been known to consult Almanacs.  Comparatively, other cultures have used calendars based on the sun and the moon to make predictions on agriculture, ceremonies, and construction.  This is also evident in planting by the signs used by those in the United States.  One of the first and most accurate calendars was created by the Maya in the 1300’s B.C.E.  This pathfinder is a starting point for research in comparing the cultures of methodology in agriculture between the mountains of Appalachia and the Mayan culture. 

Introductory Text: 

A concise and beginners introduction to planting by the signs can be found in Foxfire, and for an introduction to the Maya calendar and agriculture look in the following.

Willington, Elliot. intro. Edited. The Foxfire Book:  Hog Dressing Log Cabin Building; Mountain Crafts and Food; Planting by the Signs; Snake Lore, Hunting Tales, Faith Healing; Moonshining and Other Affairs of Plain Living”. Doubleday.  Garden City, NY:  1972 (1ed.).  ASU App Coll. and ASU Main F291.2.F6.

Malonstrom, Vincent H.  Cycles of the Sun, Mysteries of the Moon:  The Calendar in Mesoamerican Civilization.University of Texas Press.  Austin, TX.  1997.ASU Main F1219.3.C2M251997.

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 

Highly Relevant:

Appalachia Farming

Almanac

Maya agriculture

Moon Alignments

Maya Calendar

Moon

Also Relevant:

Agriculture Forecasting

Calendar

Cosmology

More General:

Agriculture

Agriculture (Bibliography and Periodicals Index)

Farming

Folklore

Sustainable Development

Library of Congress Call Numbers: 

BF1723.P95

E51H337

F12193.C2

F14353.C14

QB581.F453

PS3569T48213

SA94.5.H5

VC 214

F2912.F6

F254.p35

F253.p37

GN2S9243

QB44H44 1908

F2162.A66 V.6

Z1231A6.D7. v.1

Shaw and Shoemaker no. 36690, no. 14322, no. 3651, no. 1747, no. 50492, no. 72, no. 1776, no. 5735, no. 22226, no. 20209, no. 46877, no. 22629, no. 8500, no. 14137

F254N963

Z5073U572 V. 30     

CB151S78

QB6019.P75

5551631.A188

AY31A1.S8

AY41S53.

S401A46

F254B48

S494.5.S86 -- C665 2010eb

GR110.N8D8 V.7

F106. E53 2006 c.2

S451.A137 S56

F1435.3C14R53 2007

Books: 

Blum, L.V.  Blum’s Farmer’s and Planters’ Almanac for the Year of our Lord.  Salem, NC:  1866.  AY261.S3B67

Malonstrom, Vincent H.  Cycles of the Sun, Mysteries of the Moon:  The Calendar in Mesoamerican Civilization.University of Texas Press.  Austin, TX.  1997. ASU Main F1219.3.C2M25199.

Pyle, Jack R. and Taylor Reese.  You and the Man in the Moon: The Complete Guide to Using the Almanac. Down Home Press, Asheboro, NC:  1995. ASU App. Coll. BF1723.P951995.

Rice, Prudence M. Maya Calendar Origins: Monuments, Mythistory, and the Materialization of Time. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2007. Print.

Steelman, Peter.  Planting by the Moon:  On the Life in a Mountain Hamlet. Boynton/Cook Publishers Heinemann Portsmouth, NH: 1995. p 105.  U.N.C.A. PS3569.T48213

Willington, Elliot. intro. Edited. The Foxfire Book:Hog Dressing Log Cabin Building; Mountain Crafts and Food; Planting by the Signs; Snake Lore, Hunting Tales, Faith Healing; Moonshining and Other Affairs of Plain Living”. Doubleday.  Garden City, NY:  1972 (1ed.).  ASU App Coll. and ASU Main F291.2.F6.

Bibliographies: 

Appalachian Studies Bibliography 1994-2010. West Virginia University. Url: http://www.libraries.wvu.edu/appalachian/bibliography.htm

"ANNUAL BIBLIOGRAPHY, 2009." Journal of Appalachian Studies 16.1/2 (2010): 156-199. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 5 Oct. 2011.

Bibliography of Agriculture with Subject Index.  Oryx Press.  Phoenix, AZ:  Jan. 1976.  ASU Reference Z5073.U572 V. 30

Diehl, Katherine Smith.  Religions, Mythologies, Folklore: An Annotated Bibliography.  Scarecrow Press. New York:  1962 (2nd ed.)  ASU Bibliography Z7751.D54 1962. 

Journals: 

Abramson, Rudy, and Jean Haskell. Encyclopedia of Appalachia.
     Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2006.
     Print.(signs)p. 896-897. F106.E53 2006

Cunnion, Donald O. "Agriculture In Appalachia Is Looking
     Brighter." Organic Gardening & Farming 24.12 (1977): 149.
     Environment Complete. EBSCO. Web. 5 Oct. 2011.

C.G. "THE FRANK C. BROWN COLLECTION OF NORTH CAROLINA FOLKLORE
     VOLUME VII: Popular Beliefs and Superstitions (Book)."
     American Literature 36.3 (1964): 405. P. 617-628.
     GR110.N8.D8 v.6

Green, Edward C.  “A Modern Appalachian Folk Healer”.

Section II:  “Diagnosis, Astrology, and Immunity”.  Appalachian Journal.  Vol. 6 No. 1 p5 1978.  F216.2.A66 V.6.

"Harvest learning from a kid-friendly Old Farmer's Almanac."
    Curriculum Review 45.2 (2005): 7-8. Academic Search
    Complete
. EBSCO. Web. 5 Oct. 2011.

Humphrey, Richard.  “Religion and Place in Southern

Appalachia”.  Cultural Adaptation to Mountain Environment.  Univ. of Georgia Press. GA:  1984.  ASU App Coll. and ASU Main GN2.S9243 no.17 (page numbers not found)

Šprajc, Ivan, Carlos Morales-Aguilar, and Richard D. Hansen.
     "Early Maya Astronomy and Urban Planning at El Mirador,
      Peten, Guatemala." Anthropological Notebooks 15.3 (2009):
      79-101. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 5 Oct. 2011.

Websites: 

"Planting by the Signs". http://myweb.wvnet.edu/~omb00875/planting.html

"Planting by Moon Signs". http://www3.tellico.net~tellicotimes/signs.html

"The Almanack". http://www.thealmanack.com/moonsign.htm

"Some U.S. Farmers Insist on Planting by Phases of the Moon".
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/06/0614_wireplanting.html

http://conjurefolk.tripod.com/signs.html "Planting by the Signs": Images of diagrams on the astrology of agriculture with explanation.

“Gardening by the Signs”
www.naturealmanac.com/almanac/gardening/moonsigns/planting_signs.html

“Planting by the Signs”. 

http://myweb.wvnet.edu/~omb00875/planting.html

“Planting by Moon Signs”
http://www3.tellico.net/~tellicotimes/signs.html

“The Almanack”
http://www.thealmanack.com/moonsign.htm

“Some U.S. Farmers Insist on Planting by Phases of the Moon”
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/06/0614_wireplanting.html

Images:

Internet images located at the following…

http://conjurefolk.tripod.com/signs.html  Planting by the Signs: Images of diagrams on the astrology of agriculture with explanation.

Audio and Video Sources: 

Hicks, Caroline. "Planting Signs". Interview with Estella Barnes. Tape: #12.

Hicks, Caroline. "Planting Signs". Interview with Marshall Ward. Tape: #15 A-B.

Hicks, Caroline. "Planting Signs". Interview with Mr. and Mrs. Filmore, Bell Presnell, and Miss Margie Michael. Tape: #33.

Videos:

The Voices of Spring(video recording) Plaintin’ by the Signs.  Reflections Video.  Willis, VA:  199- ASU App Coll. Video.  VC214.

Green Gold:  From the Maya to the Moon.(Video)  New Mexico State University.  1992.  OCLC:  3786272.

Other Sources: 

ASU Oral History

Hicks, Caroline.  “Planting Signs”.  Interview with Estella Barnes.  Tape: #12.

Hicks, Caroline.  “Planting Signs”.  Interview with Marshall Ward.  Tape: #15 A-B.

Hicks, Caroline.  “Planting Signs”.  Interview with Mr. and Mrs. Filmore, Bell Presnell, and Miss Margie Michael.  Tape: #33.

Handbooks/Almanacs:

Drake, Milton.  Almanacs of the United States.  Scarecrow Press.  NY:  1962.  ASU Reference Z1231.A6.D7. v.1

Heatwole, LJ.  Key to the Almanac and the Sidereal Heavens.  Mennonite Publishing House.  Scottsdale, PA:  1908.  ASU APP Coll Closed QB44.H44 1908.

Smith, Russell J. Farming Appalachia. S.l: s.n, 1970. Print. (Pub. Unknown)

Almanac (American) Microform

Allen.  Allen’s Genuine Almanack for the Year of our Lord 1804.   Suffield, MA:  1804.  Shaw and Shoemaker no.3651.

Rice, Issac.  An Almanac for the Year of our Lord 1803.  Whiting, Leavenworth and Whiting.  1803.  Shaw and Shoemaker no. 1747.

Solomon, Conrad (Publisher).  An Agricultural Almanac for the Year of our Lord 1817.  PA:  1817.  Shaw and Shoemaker no. 36690. 

The Alexandria Almanack for the Year of our Lord 1809.  Cotton and Stewart (Publishers).  Alexandria, VA:  1809.  Shaw and Shoemaker no. 14322. 

Collom, William.  Bailey’s Rittenhouse Almanac for the Year of Our Lord 1812.  Lydia R. Bailey (Publisher).  PA:  Shaw and Shoemaker no. 22226.

Dudley, Leavitt.  An Almanac for the Year of our Lord 1806. Leavitt Dudley (Publisher).  Gilmanton, NH:  Shaw and Shoemaker no. 50492.

Low, Nathanael.  An Astronomical Diary, or Almanack, for the Year of our Lord Christian Era 1805.  John and Thomas Fleet (Publishers).  Boston, MA:  1805.  Shaw and Shoemaker no. 5735.

The Annual Visitor or Almanac for the Year of our Lord 1802.    Printed for Thomas, Andrews, and Butler. 1802. Shaw and Shoemaker no. 72.

Thorton, Daniel.  The Astronomical and Miscellaneous Calendar for the Year of our Lord 1803.  New Bedford, MA:  1803.  Shaw and Shoemaker no. 1776.

Almanac (Georgia) Microform

The Georgia and South Carolina Almanack for the Year of our Lord 1811.  Hobby and Buna (Publishers).  Augusta, GA:  1811.  Shaw and Shoemaker no. 20209.

Almanac (Kentucky) Microform

Worsley and Smith’s Kentucky Almanac and Farmer’s Calendar for the Year 1819.  Lexington, KY:  1819.  Shaw and Shoemaker no. 46877.

Almanac (North Carolina) Closed Collection

Blum, L.V.  Blum’s Farmer’s and Planters’ Almanac for the Year of our Lord.  Salem, NC:  1866.  AY261.S3B67. 

Almanac (North Carolina) Microform

Bates, Benj’n.  The Virginia and North Carolina Almanac, for the Year 1808.  Somervell and Conrad (Publishers).  Petersburg, VA:  1808.  Shaw and Shoemaker no. 14137.

Brooks, P.  Coupee and Crider’s North and South Carolina Almanac for the Year of our Lord 1812.  Coupee and Crider (Publishers).  Salisbury, NC:  1812.  Shaw and Shoemaker no. 22629.

Brooks, P.  Gale’s North Carolina Almanac for 1807.  J. Gales (Publisher).  Raleigh, NC:  1807.  Shaw and Shoemaker no. 8500. 

Gliessman, Stephen R, and Martha Rosemeyer. The Conversion to Sustainable Agriculture: Principles, Processes, and Practices.  Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2010.

Richardson, David.  Warrock’s Virginia and North Carolina Almanack for the Year of Our Lord 1851, being the Third After Bissextile, or Leap Year, and the 75th of American Independence.  Richmond, VA:  1851.  Being Processed for ASU App Coll. Microform. 

Almanac (North Carolina) ASU App Coll.

Crutchfield, James A.  The North Carolina Almanac and Book of Facts.  Ruthledge Hill Press.  Nashville, TN: 1986.  F254.N963 1986.

Watson, Benjamin A.  Acts of God:  The Old Farmer’s Almanac Unpredictable Guide to Weather and Natural Disasters.  Random House.  NY:  1993.  ASU IMC.  5551.631.A188

Almanac (History)

Stowell, Marion Barber.  Early American Almanacs; The Colonial Weekday Bible.  B. Franklin (Publisher). NY:  AY31.A1.S8. 

Almanac (North Carolina) ASU Main

Smiley, Ruth ed.  The Good Life Almanac being the Choicest Morsels of Wisdom for Readers Interested in Living, Rather than Existing/ Written by some Country Folk with Ties to Nature, Man, and God’s Own World.  Appalachian Consortium Press.  Boone, NC:  1975.  AY41.S53.

Almanac (North Carolina)

Beverley, Robert.  The Western North Carolina Almanac and Book of Lists.  Sanctuary Press.  Franklin, NC:  1991.  WCU Reference and UNCA Special Coll.: F254.B48 1991

Jeavons, John and Carol Cox.  The Sustainable Vegetable Garden:  A Backyard Guide to Healthy Soil and Higher Yields.  Ten Speed Press. CA:  1999. (Book no longer held in library)

Compiled by: 

Mary Ellen Royall, 10 December 2002

Updated by: 

Victoria Kruege, October 6, 2011