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GRANDMA SAYS: Seedy winter forecast

According to folklore, the shape of the cotyledon inside the persimmon seed predicts the weather for the coming winter. The shape in the seed in this photo would be considered a "spoon." The photo was taken in the fall of 2015!
According to folklore, the shape of the cotyledon inside the persimmon seed predicts the weather for the coming winter. The shape in the seed in this photo would be considered a "spoon." The photo was taken in the fall of 2015! - Contributed.

I’ve always loved to write.  I was told early on that it’s easy if you write about what you know. Today, that’s not entirely the case.  

I don’t know very much about persimmons. A while back, I received a very interesting letter regarding long-range winter weather forecasts and persimmon seeds.  

We didn’t grow the small fruit on the farm and while I have tasted them, I know very little about them. My Google tells me that persimmon is a berry that comes from the edible fruit trees in the genus Diospyros, which has been fondly referred to as the “Divine Fruit.” 

Do they grow here?  After a chat with a farmer at a local market, I can tell you that yes, they sure do. Persimmon is an open-pollinated, native fruit tree and grows perfectly well in Canada. When fully ripe, our Canadian persimmon fruit mellows into a delicious, sweet, orange-fleshed delicacy. It’s on the smallish side – golf ball or so … but very tasty. 

Like the tropical persimmon, the fruit is quite astringent when green, yet becomes exquisitely rich and delicious when fully ripe, usually in October or early November here in Canada. Contrary to common belief, frost is not required to turn the fruit from puckery to sweet.  You should pick them in early fall when the days are still a bit warm, and the fruit is hard but fully coloured. Let them ripen at room temp in a cool, dry area until they are soft.  

Carla MacLean found this bit of folklore that pertains to the persimmon seeds.  She wondered if I or Grandma knew anything about it.   

“Some say, that by examining a persimmon seed, you'll know what the winter holds.” 

The key to the long-range forecast lies in the seed. Once you manage to split the seed open, you should see a shape. If that shape looks like a fork, the winter will be mild.  If you see a knife, expect a cold winter with cutting winds. The spoon means you'll be shovelling all winter. 

I love it!  I will be looking for a ripe persimmon this fall. Let me know what you find. 


Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network

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