Monday, February 8, 2010

Ground Hog Day!

Ground Hog Day!

Pennsylvania’s official celebration of Ground Hog Day began on February 2, 1886. Although it was on February 4, 1841, from Morgantown, Berks County (Pennsylvania) a storekeeper reported, “Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.”

The tradition originally came from the Germans. When they arrived in the 1700s, they brought with them a tradition called Candlemas Day. It came at the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Superstition held that if the weather was fair, the second half of the Winter be stormy and cold.


So, from 1886 to our present 2010, Punxsutawney Phil, “Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators,” (Groundhog Day movie,1993) and Weather Prophet Extraordinaire, a groundhog named after the settlement Punxsutawney, which is named after the Native Americans who lived there, reports the weather.

The report for 2010: Phil saw his shadow and went back in his burrow to sleep for another six weeks of winter!

Which means that although we have had some break-through days between storms where the temperature actually reached 60 degrees, winter is not over! Thus, it is not time to start planting. This is the time to plan what you are going to plant in your garden. Seed catalogues abound, and I would like to recommend one that is an excellent source as well as being totally organic: Seed Savers Exchange. It offers Heirloom seeds, books and gifts, and an amazing variety of seeds. You can go to or phone: (563) 382-5990 for a catalogue. You can also sign up as a member and receive a quarterly “Yearbook” or magazine and also save 10% on purchases.

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