Happy 2010, folks! I went out with some friends last night and had a good time and only a couple beers (really!). Unfortunately my hubby was working (from 3:30PM until 9AM – busy night!). Out of all of our New Year’s Eves since 2002, we’ve only spent 2 together for various reasons, and one of those we slept through! Oh well.

Anyway – while doing some xmas errands a few weeks ago, my hubby and I went to the Dollar King (the best chain of dollar stores imho – lots of good gardeny things). We walked throught he book aisle when I spotted The Herbal Almanac. The nice little sticker on the back informed me that its original retail was $15.95. It wasn’t year dependent, so I threw it in the basket for $1. I cracked it open today, January 1.

It’s a very cute little book. Not all days have anything, but on the days that have something, there might be an informative quote, a bit of old herb lore, or a suggestion about something that should be used now. The illustrations are lovely, and the illustrated herbs are all helpfully identified. I really like it!

This almanac is about the magic of plants. Its sources are many—earnest words from friends and family, ancient herbals with worn vellum pages and old handwritten recipes. Some of it is practical, some of it is eccentric. Much of the information is of no use, but all of it is fascinating. Let us revive some of the charming rituals of the past.—from the Introduction

So —BING!—idea! Whenever I post a blog entry in 2010, I am going to consult the almanac and share the bit of lore from that day. If there isn’t a tidbit for that day, I might pick the next closest day or something, but I’ll note that. I think it’ll be fun, and might actually help with blogging ideas, too. I’ve added a new category for it, too (even though I guess all 2010 blogs will go under there?).

So with the rules in place, here’s the first entry for 2010.

Herb Almanac“New Year’s Day presents are omens for success in the coming year. The traditional gift is ‘an orenge or lymon stickt round about with cloaves'”—Thomas Lupton, 1598

In Wales it was proper to give a New Year’s gift of a calennig, a clove-studded orange impaled upon a rowan tree skewer. Strenia, the customary gifts that Romans exchanged on the Kalends of January were bay branches and palm fronds for a year of joy and happiness.