Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Persimmon Lore

Along our fence lines and edges of the wooded area you will find wild persimmon trees. Every year by mid September the goats will do their daily persimmon run. Once milking is over and everyone is turned outside, away they go on a dead run to be the first under the closest persimmon tree. The last ones to arrive will learn quickly to just run on up to the next tree so they can see what has fallen since the previous day.

Not sure how they can eat them before they have fully ripen, because they will freeze my face into a pucker for a few seconds if their readiness is misjudged. When ripe they are pleasant enough; but generally a handful will satisfy any sort of craving for me till next year.

The fruit are full of seeds and every fall I will bring back a few seeds to cut open to see how well they predict the winter. The seeds are not easily sliced into, care must be taken or you’ll be slicing more than the seed. You have to stand them on their edge & slice thru the narrowest part in order to be able to see what shape the kernel has taken that year.

If the kernel is shaped like a spoon, expect lots of wet snow. A fork shape predicts a milder winter with powdery snow. And the shape of a knife indicates ice and/or bitter winds. There have been combination shapes for me. A fork with one of the tines elongated that looks like a knife, and a kernel that has looked like a spoon; but with 3 tines at the end…much like those plastic things you will get in some fast food joints that is a spoon/fork combo utensil.

More times than not they have been right on the mark with what to expect. This year they were showing a spoon, and we have already had a few days of flurries with November ending with a light blanket of snow on the ground.

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