Peter Geiger holds a shovel and a copy of the 2023 Farmer’s Almanac at the Geiger Brothers headquarters Wednesday in Lewiston. The theme of the almanac this year is “Shake, shiver and shovel.” Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — Let’s face it: times are tough all over. The cost of food has been rising alarmingly. The cost of fuel is uncertain, as well, and all of this as winter looms over all of us. 

In a world where self-sufficiency has become more of a requirement than a hobby, we might need the Farmers’ Almanac this year more than ever. 

Editor Peter Geiger understands this. He and his staff are releasing the 2023 edition earlier than ever in its 205-year history. 

If that isn’t a sign of the times, we don’t know what is. 

“Our concern this year is the cost of energy, which potentially could double over what it was last year,” says Geiger. “It’s dipped a little bit right now, but once you start having the demand, and if it is a cold winter, the impact is going to be devastating for people. So, we’re releasing early because we want people to be ready. We have ideas in the almanac and we have things on our website that will help people get ready for what winter brings.” 

And exactly what will the winter bring? Since weather forecasting is the almanac’s bread and butter, they’re prepared to tell you that, too.  


“Got flannel?” this year’s forecast begins. “Hot chocolate? Snow shoes? If you not, you may want to get some.” 

Almanac writers have dubbed the coming winter as a time to “Shake, shiver and shovel.” Their predictions call for a season with plenty of snow, rain and mush “as well as some record-breaking cold temperatures.” 

They’re calling for an early winter, too, which is dire news for anyone who has to fill the oil tank. We’re talking a classic Nor’easter in October followed by months of bitter cold in the first half of winter. 

It’s those bone-chilling temperatures that has Geiger concerned. 

“The fact is, it’s going to be cold,” he says. “And that’s going to be an issue for people who are going to be buying 100 gallons of oil at $7 or $8 a gallon. Even at $5 a gallon that would be five hundred bucks. The reason we’re launching earlier is so that people can start thinking about it sooner than later.” 

There are tips on how to cheaply insulate your home (bubble wrap, anyone?) There’s a guide on how to deal with pain during cold weather. It’s the kind of stuff nobody wants to think about in the glorious heat of early August, but in just a couple months, it may become crucial. 



But, fear not. This year’s almanac is not all doom and gloom. There’s plenty of fun stuff in here, including some pretty serious superstitions to help with your fishing game (never bring a banana on a fishing trip); some myth-busting (is it really unsafe to talk on a phone during a thunderstorm?); natural remedies for things like melting ice or treating bug bites and the usual array of gardening tips, recipes, foraging ideas and a whack of other tricks to help your budget go a little bit farther.  

The theme of the 2023 Farmer’s Almanac is “Shake, shiver and shovel.” Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

“We knew there were concerns about the economy and what might happen with inflation and all that,” says Sandi Duncan, managing editor of the almanac. “As always, we tried to include some types of things about how to conserve your money, your efforts, your time and your energy, while also being a little more earth friendly.” 

There’s an entire section dealing with the perennial problem of what to do with old clothes you don’t wear anymore. There’s another, titled “Wait! Don’t Throw it Out!” dealing with the issue of food expiration dates. 

Blood in your eggs? Onions with black mold? Rock hard brown sugar? Potatoes with freaky sprouts? Maybe you don’t have to toss all that in the trash, after all. 

“Whenever I get to the expiration date for milk, I throw it away because I don’t want to taste sour milk ever,” Geiger admits. “But you can actually freeze milk if you take a little out of the bottle. You can freeze butter. You can freeze eggs.” 


Wait, you can freeze eggs? 

“Obviously you can’t freeze them in the shell or they’ll burst open,” Duncan says. “But you can crack them into muffin tins, let them freeze and then put them in a baggie. Or you can freeze only the yolks or only the whites. We tell people how to do that. So once again, we’re trying to help people have their budget go longer and to not waste food.” 

There’s the usual guide to gardening by the moon. The best fishing dates are all laid out as are optimal dates for canning vegetables, setting eggs, cutting hair, starting a diet, brewing, baking or quitting a nasty habit. 

The winners of last year’s honey recipe contest are announced and a new contest — with blueberries this time — is launched. As is usual lately, almanac editors have been working closely with The Green Ladle, the culinary arts program based in Lewiston, on all matters of food and cooking.

There’s the familiar “Wit and Wisdom” section, which includes philosophical notions, brainteasers, folklore and superstitions — flip to page 60 to learn why you need to utter “rabbit, rabbit” before anything else on the first day of a new month. 

All the good stuff the almanac is famous for is featured in the 2023 edition, which will start hitting shelves Aug. 15. It’s just that there’s a little more urgency this year as the almanac considers the various perils and uncertainties of the times. It’s meant to be a year-round guide to more practical living but with all the charm the almanac has been famed for since 1818. 


“The almanac is really a valuable part of Americana,” says Geiger. “A lot of the stuff in here you could probably Google and find something about it somewhere else. But we’ve captured it in a format that I think is very comfortable for people. The idea is that they’re going to read it from time to time, and there’s some meaning in this for just about everybody.” 

In addition to the almanac you find on shelves just about everywhere once it’s published, the company also maintains a website,, where information is updated as needed throughout the year. 

How you take in all the information is entirely up to you. 

“One of the best parts about the printed edition you’re holding in your hand is that you are in control of when or what you read,” according to the editor’s note, written by Duncan. “Have time to read it cover to cover? That’s our favorite way, but life is busy. Take your time. Enjoy it. Savor it… You literally have a book of answers in the palm of your hands.” 

The Farmers’ Almanac 2023 weather map. Geiger Brothers

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