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Borda d'água

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The most sold and oldest almanac in Portugal.

On the second day of each year my grandfather, from my mother's side, had a ritual that was scrupulously repeated, and not just him thousands of faithful people join on anonymous mass, as he left the house with just one purpose to buy a copy of the Waterfront. It is a small publication with the kind of repertoire useful for everyone as advertised and well on its cover and yet containing all the astronomical and religious data and many useful indications of general interest. But what is so special about this almanac that looks more like a pamphlet? Exactly what they say, precious information for someone like my grandfather, a farmer by profession, who needed to know the phases of the moon to determine the best month for sowing certain plants and the best season for pruning the fruit trees and believe me it always worked and still does, because the "Borda d'água” continues to be published in the same simple and unpretentious format for 88 years, so something must be doing well.
I personally called it the farmer's bible for that reason, it was the only publication I saw my grandfather consult religiously all the years of the life I knew him ... Imagine a modern version of a Van Gogh, something so unusual that it seemed too unbelievable to be true, a man in a hat and work clothes dotted with brown spots deeply absorbed in the reading of this little leaflet, in the middle of a ready-to-cultivate ground, while leaning on his hoe. It was something to behold, the country scenery changing tones and shapes as sowings were sprouting and beans, corn, wheat, potatoes, onions, tomatoes and believe me when I say nothing, but nothing was missing at home.
But do not think that this small compendium of useful advice is only for the so-called "gardeners of the environment", anyone who wants to start their small garden should get their annual copy because it not only indicates the moons, but also what you should plant in every month of the year, from vegetables to flowers and is very complete and easy to read.
Another very funny feature of this almanac is its astrological predictions for those who appreciate this type of information, as well as the year-round holidays, religious or not, and the days in which certain ephemerides are celebrated, such as the day of the environment, or the children. And as if that were not enough, it has practical advice for life and anecdotes. As you can see there is a wealth of information for all types of audiences, hence their uninterrupted popularity. I keep the tradition and buy my copy, not because I dedicate myself to agriculture, but only for the simple pleasure of reading this little black and white secular treasure that stays basically the same, but why improve something that always turns out fine? Have a nice reading.

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