Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An Old Wives Tale? Or Not?

We have a couple of persimmon trees on our property out in the country.  For several years I've tried to get to them when they were ripe.   I've always heard how tasty and sweet they are and that the fruit makes a wonderful jelly.  Every time I've bit in to one in the past, I've quickly spit it out as fast as I can!  They will make you pucker like nothing I've ever eaten before!  This year my mom and I were out walking around the land when she noticed the persimmons and thought they might be ripe. 
The trees were just loaded with fruit!  The deer love this fruit and lots of times all of the fruit near the bottom will be completely stripped from the trees. 

I waited for mom to take the first bite since I've had the sour, bitter ones before!  She said they were good and sweet, so I picked some to eat.  They  were delicious!  I asked her about making some jelly with them but there is hardly any meat in each one and it would take a lot of them to have enough to do it.
What I didn't know about the persimmon is that 'back in the day' people used the seed to predict what the winter weather was going to be like.  So, we picked a few persimmons, took them back to the house and began to try to predict the weather.
According to the Farmer's Almanac, you break open the seed to find a kernel inside.  Ours were kind of hard to break open and we ruined a few before we finally got it right.  Inside of the seed, there will be a kernel that will either be spoon-shaped, fork-shaped or knife-shaped.  I had my doubts that this was really going to show us anything. 
We cracked several open and found the same thing-a spoon shape!

The Farmer's Almanac lists what each of the three shapes mean about the area's winter weather.
The knife means to expect to be 'cut' by icy cutting winds.
The fork means to expect powdery, light snow and a mild winter.
The spoon means to expect lots of heavy, wet snow.  Spoon=shovel!
Also, it says the persimmons you check only predict YOUR local weather, not the weather across the country.  I'm curious to know if there really is a different shape in persimmon seeds in other parts of the country.

I'm not sure just how accurate this idea is, BUT, here in SE Oklahoma we have had a pretty harsh winter so far!  We had a terrible ice storm in mid-December that did a tremendous amount of damage. 
 I guess there is still time for  heavy, wet snow to arrive as the spoon-shaped kernel suggests!  It will be interesting to see what happens.  Next year, I hope to find a fork shape instead!

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