Blackberry Winter.....Spring Inspiration and Positive Views

By
Mortgage and Lending with First Choice Mortgage Group

Mother NatureOver the weekend, Blackberry Winter has krept up on us here in Georgia. Blackberry winter marks the last major cold snap before the warm weather of Spring finally engulfs us for the remainder of the season until the first cold snap of Autumn emerges in mid-October to mark the changing of the leaves.

Blackberry winter is well known to the older generation and those that remember Southern folklore, usually associated with gardening. It arrives around the third week of April, which coincides with the average last frost date around Georgia.Blackberry Blossoms

Gardeners who take heed to nature's signs recognize Blackberry Winter as the last freezing temps.before the Blackberry buds blossom out into the snowy white blooms that mark the time for safe summer harvest plants, such as tomato, cucumber, zucchini and crook-neck squash, radish and eggplants to name a few.

While lettuces, turnips and collards are best grown in early Spring, while the weather is still cool (hot weather turns lettuce bitter), summer harvest plants need to have the last chance of frost gone before safe planting is begun.

I'm not sure how this particular piece of folklore began, but my guess is hat since Blackberries are native plants, and many wild animals feed on them, nature takes care of it's own. Nature wouldn't allow the tender blooms of the Blackberries freeze and die, leaving our woodland creatures without for the year. I figure the people of our past made observations of this and learned what nature had to teach.

                                                   Buck with Fawn

My granddaddy was born in 1896, and began gardening around the turn of the 20th century, under the watchful eyes of his father. Of course, meteorologists weren't around to advise on planting time, so people had to depend on their senses to guide them. As a boy, I spent much of my youth down on my granddaddy's farm, learning how to turn a field, build pole-bean tee-pees, churn butter, and how to observe nature and learn from it's lessons. My granddaddy died in 1994, at the age of 98. I miss him greatly, but the memory and lessons he passed down to me are mine forever. The great thing about them, however, is that the more I share them with others, the fresher in my memory they remain.

                                          vegetable garden

While some folklore holds true, and other may be more myth than reality, I've found that watching for the Blackberries to bloom has always been a great guide for me to realize that Winter is finally behind me, and warm weather is here to stay.

I'm not sure whether this particular piece of folklore is shared around the country, but I am curious of the folklore handed down from generation to generation in other parts of the country... the "sugar snow" of Wisconsin, and other lessons that may have been taken from nature's whisperings.

Do you have a piece of knowledge/wisdom handed down from generations gone by in your part of the world?

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Rainer
5,369
Benjamin Smith
Apex Appraisals & Consulting - Powder Springs, GA
Atlanta Area Appraiser

Hey Bo,

I was just tilling the ground this weekend. I am looking forward to some fresh veggies this summer. We also have a couple of fig trees and we usually make about 3-4 dozen jars of preserves every year. I 've got one scuppernong vine that is finally starting to mature enough to get a couple of gallons. I would like to get some blueberry bushes started but I can't find a good spot where they will get enough sun.

Apr 14, 2008 11:16 AM #14
Rainer
10,786
Bo Hunt
First Choice Mortgage Group - Douglasville, GA
Metro-Atlanta Mortgage Professional

Hey, Benjamin... It is a great time to get the garden prepared! Cool temps. help with not feeling miserable while working the ground. We added dirt/organic matter to our garden this weekend, getting ready to plant.

You have got some great Fig trees... I used to enjoy picking figs and getting high up in the trees, back when I was small enough for the limbs to support me!

Scuppernongs and Muscadines are great. Tasty right off the vine! Also, these make some great native varietal wines! An interesting side fact... The grape vines brought over from Italy for wine production were grafted to Scuppernong and Muscadine roots in order to produce a healthier, more disease resistant plant. 

Blueberry bushes are great producers... I have a place I go to each year that I am able to get all the blueberries I can handle... I usually pick enough for muffins, cobbler, and my kids to eat. I also freeze several gallons and am still able to give about 5 gallons to my grandmother!

Apr 14, 2008 12:02 PM #15
Rainer
67,172
Keith Perry
Coldwell Banker - Hiram, GA
REALTOR - West Metro Atlanta
Hi Bo, hoping the frost is behind us. Last years late frost killed off all my plums, apples and peaches. I have a rasberry bush that is now three years old. Mabye this will be the year it turns up production.
Apr 14, 2008 01:19 PM #16
Rainer
10,786
Bo Hunt
First Choice Mortgage Group - Douglasville, GA
Metro-Atlanta Mortgage Professional
Hey, Keith... I'm with you... Might better check your trees tonight; I believe the temps. are supposed to get down to freezing, but I understand that after tomorrow, temps. are supposed to warm up (around here for the rest of the week... That being said, we'll see how th Blackberries respond this upcoming week... the buds seem full, but let's see whether they actually burst open in the next few days. Mother Nature is usually pretty accurate, but with global warming, I'm not sure if this affects the accuracy of this folklore or not.... only time will tell...
Apr 14, 2008 02:14 PM #17
Rainmaker
531,769
Liz Moras
Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake - Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack Realtor, Garrison Crossing,Chilliwack, Abbotsford
Well it looks to me like journaling or no journaling, you have some special memories of your grandparents.........the entry here and on my 'lending' one both mentioned your 'granddaddy!':-)
Apr 14, 2008 04:34 PM #18
Rainer
10,786
Bo Hunt
First Choice Mortgage Group - Douglasville, GA
Metro-Atlanta Mortgage Professional
Hey, Liz... Yes, there are many things that remind me of him... This time of year was a special time, as he was a farmer most of his life (my entire memory was of him farming). Spring brings many of his memories back home to me!
Apr 14, 2008 06:08 PM #19
Rainer
301,525
* Rate A Home
Rate A Home - Saugatuck, MI
Bo, cool, I'm so ready for spring!
Apr 16, 2008 09:42 AM #20
Rainer
10,786
Bo Hunt
First Choice Mortgage Group - Douglasville, GA
Metro-Atlanta Mortgage Professional
Hi Duane... Me too! I enjoy sweater weather, but I'm about ready to move on to shorts and a t-shirt!
Apr 16, 2008 11:23 AM #21
Rainmaker
100,239
Liz Carter
Liz Carter & Team Realty-Your Real Estate Resource For Life! - Katy, TX
Broker/Owner of Liz Carter & Team Realty, Katy TX (Houston)
Hi Bo,very interesting post, I love old folkore  Lots of wisdom there, good luck in the contest...pretty pictures too.  Liz
Apr 16, 2008 12:29 PM #22
Rainer
10,786
Bo Hunt
First Choice Mortgage Group - Douglasville, GA
Metro-Atlanta Mortgage Professional
Hey Liz... Thanks! I have found some folklore to hold more accuracy than other, but I enjoy exploring the basis behind the folklore.
Apr 16, 2008 12:46 PM #23
Rainmaker
531,769
Liz Moras
Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake - Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack Realtor, Garrison Crossing,Chilliwack, Abbotsford
Hey I hope you won a mention in the spring inspiration contest for this one!  :-)
Apr 22, 2008 01:22 AM #24
Rainmaker
531,769
Liz Moras
Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake - Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack Realtor, Garrison Crossing,Chilliwack, Abbotsford
I don't get those 'live traffic feeds'....it doesn't show me on it - and my traffic feed doesn't show anybodyI know -so whats it about?  I had a long 'heavy' week....mostly emotional.........today I did a presentation for 4 developerw on a 17 unit project (with me ex...hmmmm) i'm all muddled up!  Whats been happening with your week? i need boblog fix!
Apr 22, 2008 01:32 AM #25
Rainer
10,786
Bo Hunt
First Choice Mortgage Group - Douglasville, GA
Metro-Atlanta Mortgage Professional

Thanks, Liz! I'm not counting on it... there were so many good posts out there... "Raindrops on Roses..."

BTW, went to see the play that night, and the highschool that put it on did such a good job. Absolutely wonderful!

Apr 22, 2008 01:35 AM #26
Rainer
10,786
Bo Hunt
First Choice Mortgage Group - Douglasville, GA
Metro-Atlanta Mortgage Professional

I'm not sure about those either... I got the idea from you tonight... I saw you were preparing for the listing presentation...wondering how it went... your ex? That had the potential to be tough. It sounds like a good deal, possibly...new construction? 4 developers for 17 units... big commercial deal?

I've just been dealing with some crazy stuff... Between credit woes, stated/stated warehouse refis. that take much creativity(for a good cause), and the lady I'm trying to get through her probate mess in order to get her house sold to her daughter in an effort to keep the State from taking it when she goes into a nursing home, I'm considering becoming a burger flipper! LOL

Apr 22, 2008 01:45 AM #27
Rainer
7,025
Terry Ledford
ERA-The Real Estate Connection - Blue Ridge, GA
Realtor - Ga. Mountain
Hi Bo-It is pretty true about the blackberry winter. The old timers here in the mountains can tell you all about it and follow it for planting their garden. I'm just glad that it is here and gone...ready for warm weather...great post. 
Apr 28, 2008 07:53 AM #28
Rainer
10,786
Bo Hunt
First Choice Mortgage Group - Douglasville, GA
Metro-Atlanta Mortgage Professional
Hey, Terry...I have always used this for the planting of the garden. I got mine in right after the last cold snap. Blackberries are blooming!
Apr 29, 2008 10:02 AM #29
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Hey Bo, terrific post!  We are feeling it tonite in the mountains and this should be the last one and we can get on with the spring season and spring sales; Lake Chatuge is nearly full, the Dogwoods are in full bloom and the air is crisp & breezy!  Thanks for sharing.
Apr 29, 2008 08:29 PM #30
Rainer
10,786
Bo Hunt
First Choice Mortgage Group - Douglasville, GA
Metro-Atlanta Mortgage Professional
Hey, Bill... Thanks! It is surely the "last blast" around here.... Blackberries burst open this week, and plants are in the ground... all we have to worry about is how the possible climate changes may affect the natural cycle!
Apr 30, 2008 01:21 PM #31
Rainmaker
531,769
Liz Moras
Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake - Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack Realtor, Garrison Crossing,Chilliwack, Abbotsford

Where oh where can b obbobobobobo be!  You're at the bottom of my subscriber list now - meaning its been the longest since you've posted!  I hope you're doing all right ?  Not health or family problems, hopefully just busy with work..........but GEESH I miss you! Friend!

Jun 12, 2008 06:00 PM #32
Rainmaker
531,769
Liz Moras
Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake - Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack Realtor, Garrison Crossing,Chilliwack, Abbotsford

Oh Bo, one last try to connect -I miss you here - hope everything is ok with you and in your neck of the woods!  Liz

Jul 16, 2008 11:15 AM #33
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