County Round-Up and the "Onion Snow"

The “Onion” Snow and Farm Talk

This is one I learned about 25 years ago when I broke into TV in the heart of the beautiful Amish Country of Lancaster County Pa. There the old time farmers would boast of the spring “onion” snow every year.

If you do a universal search, you will see this is a truly Keystone State piece of folk fore as I could not fine one local extension agent (I called 5) who had heard of the onion snow.

Basically, spring onions are planted in late March and early April and most years a wet sprinkling of snow occurs to confirm the onion season is here. Myron Evans, Carter County extension agent tells me right now the peas have been planted, but the onions in Carter County patches are not yet it. See the enclosed picture from Susan May in Grayson for what an onion snow looks like!

While I had Myron on the phone, he told me of the optimism on the farm for this year thanks to the winter rains. With the drought broken and water table replenished, signs are good going into the planting season. “This gives us some moisture to work with as we start the growing season. Hopefully it will set us up for a bountiful harvest next fall.”

Wayne Bennett, Putnam agent, for one lamented the effects of the drought from last year. “We had one half of a first cutting of hay and that was it. The second and third cuts of a normal year did not occur.” That meant the Putnam hay crop was a huge bust last year.

In Scioto County Ohio, Rich Sherman took one look at the flooded bottomlands and predicted a “late start to the growing season. Remember Tony, you can't get in the fields to plow until the soil is dry and you can’t plant until the plowing is done”. Right now the general forecast remains wetter than normal thru April, so Rich’s late planting prediction looks on target.

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