Will Winter be cold and snowy? Ask a Persimmon.
Toward the end of September, in forests and fencerows throughout Missouri, plum-sized orange persimmons begin to ripen and drop from the branches of their knobby-barked trees. Animals love to eat persimmons. You probably will, too— if the persimmons are ripe. If they aren’t, one bite will make your mouth pucker like you drank a whole jar of pickle juice. When a persimmon feels squishy, it’s ready to eat.
Some people claim you can forecast winter’s weather by splitting a persimmon seed into two thin halves. The white embryo inside— that’s the part that would grow into a new tree—will be shaped like a spoon, knife or fork.
Persimmon seeds fresh out of the fruit are as slippery as buttered bullfrogs. Trying to cut one with a knife is a good way to slice your finger. To keep your digits intact, let your persimmon seeds dry in the sun for a few days. Then, use a pair of pliers to squeeze each seed. They should split right open.
Write your persimmon prediction down and check back to see if your seeds were right.
Nichole LeClair Terrill