I often wonder how folks could predict the coming winter weather PRIOR to our modern technologies. According to early folklore, it was the persimmon seed that was used for the forecast. As the saying goes, if you slice the seed in half, it will display either an image of a fork, knife, or a spoon on the inside.
Fork: indicates a mild winter, either or light, powdery, snow
Knife: indicates a frigid winter with ice and winds (‘cut’ by cold)
Spoon: Plenty of heavy, wet snow (to shovel)
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, Persimmon Seed Winter Forecast 2021-22 – Farmers’ Almanac – Plan Your Day. Grow Your Life. (farmersalmanac.com), ten seeds from North Carolina were collected (by Melissa Bunker, the self-proclaimed ‘Persimmon Lady’) to make the 2021-2022 winter predictions on September 20, 2022. The results were nine shovels and one knife. This indicated a mild winter with one ice event for North Carolina.
Jefferson County Extension office in Missouri checked seeds in the fall recording the shapes inside the seed and comparing the winter that followed. They have a success rate of 13 out of 17 years! Although there is neither science nor research behind this, it’s still fun to speculate.
Floridians, with that in mind, collect your persimmon seeds in the neighborhoods and test out 10 seed. Reply back with your results. Let’s see if your predictions fare better for Florida! Happy Fall! For more information on persimmons, click on the links below or contact your local UF/IFAS County Extension Office.