Onions as weather predictors

I read something interesting, gardeners: it was an old English proverb that says "onion skins very thin, mild winter coming in; onion skins thick and tough, coming winter cold and rough." Have you ever heard that? I found it interesting because I read this right around the time when I was frying up a big batch of golden onions for us to have with our perogies at Christmas. The onions had very thick skins, and the skins held their shape after peeling just like orange peels. Except, I don't know if these were our own onions from our garden, or onions that I bought one day. I mixed them all together in their storage bin downstairs, so it is a mystery. Have you noticed that the skins on your garden onions have been thicker this year?

I love reading about "folklore" connected to the garden and weather. Check out the interesting tidbits of information on the Farmer's Almanac site at www.farmersalmanac.com. Among them are comments like this: "for every fog in August, there will be a snowfall the following winter." I don't recall that we had a lot of fog this past August, but we certainly had some outstanding hoar frost in recent weeks. According to the old wives' tale, that means that six months down the road, mid-June, we will get rain. And if the thickness of the hoar frost has anything to do with the amount of rain, I think we'd better have our rubber boots ready!

Another Farmer's Almanac observation was this: "as high as the weeds grow, so will the bank of snow." I guess most of us try to keep the weeds pulled out before they reach any kind of height, but I wonder if we had left them to their own devices this year, if they would have been reaching for the sky? We got a lot of snow early in the year, didn't we.

Here's one more: "If the first week in August is unusually warm, the coming winter will be snowy and long." My memory is good but very short, so I thought I'd look up on the Weather Network site to see what our temps were in August. The average daily high was 24.7 degrees; that's really nice. The average daily low was 10.9. So based on that information, and the Farmer's Almanac observation, who knows, we might be in for a long period of snow-shoveling this winter!

I guess it is what it is: we can't do anything about it, so we may as well just relax and settle in with a nice hot cup of tea and our latest seed catalogue arrival!

After a brief winter break, the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society will be holding their first meeting of 2013 on Thursday, February 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the Sunshine Room at SIGN on North Street.

Please note the new date on Thursday, February 21. Our guest will be Warren Crossman speaking about the Food Security Alliance. (On a related topic, be sure to mark down Saturday, February 23 on your calendar, that's the date of the 3rd Annual Prairie Sun Seed Festival at Dr. Brass School. There will be exhibits and presentations on locally grown food, food security, gardening, food preservation, and much more!)

So gardeners, please remember the new meeting date, Thursday, February 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the Sunshine Room at SIGN. Everyone is welcome; you don't have to be a member to attend our meetings, although we'd love to have you join us!

Have a great week, and if you venture out into your gardens, be sure to take your camera along! The winter garden can be truly beautiful!

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