As our nights become colder, I begin to wonder what kind of winter we will have this year. I don’t have my almanac yet so I do the next best thing. I go out and pick persimmons.
The seeds of persimmon fruit have predicted weather for generations.
One might wonder, with all the current technology available, why I would use a persimmon seed to see what kind of winter we are going to have.
Well……..it’s tradition that’s why.
Every fall, around the first of October in Arkansas, the fruit of our native persimmon tree becomes ripe. One can tell if they are ripe by feeling the fruit (it must be very soft–almost mushy), tasting the fruit (should be sweet), or looking at the fruit (mine are dark orange/red).
When ripe, persimmons have a great flavor and are used in puddings, pies and breads. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of persimmons to make this happen and I would rather not mess with it. One persimmon only yields about 1 tsp. of pulp and most recipes call for 1-2 cups. Needless to say, it takes quite a bit of fruit to make anything!
Just for kicks, try a “green” persimmon (one that is not fully ripe) at least once in your lifetime. These can be found on the tree and will be firm and a very light orange. Before you eat it though, be sure to have your sweetie close by because you will be puckering for several minutes after your first bite. I can only describe it as a mix of extreme bitter and sourness and the taste will definitely stay with you a while. My cheeks are drawing in just thinking about it.
Ok……back to the weather prediction.
Remove a seed from the persimmon. There are usually 5 seeds per fruit.
Get a paper towel and rub off the pulpy layer around the seed.
Soak the seeds in very hot water for about an hour. Stand the seed on its side (below, seed on left), and with a very sharp knife begin sawing the seed in half. Be very careful! Persimmon seeds are very thin and it’s easy to cut your finger. You can cut until you saw it in half or, after it’s started, pop the seed in your mouth and gently bite. The seed should pop in half. Only do this if you have very strong teeth! (the blonde gardener is not responsbile for breaking of teeth or fillings 🙂 )
Once the seed is in half, look at the white kernel.
There will be one of the following:
1) a spoon (on top row)
2) a knife (on bottom row)
3) or a fork (this is the only fork picture I could find that looked different from the spoon)
A spoon indicates a snowy winter (the spoon represents a shovel).
A knife indicates an icy, cold winter (cuts through you like a knife).
And a fork indicates a mild winter.
In our area, everyone is reporting a spoon, but mine looks like the fork pictured above (although it doesn’t look like a real fork to me).
Is this a fork? Spoon? Maybe a combo of both. So, mild winter mixed with some snow?
Inquiring minds want to know.