Tag Archives: onion snow

The Onion Snow

I know — I’ve been completely ignoring this blog for a long time. I’ve been caught up in transitioning my genealogy database to RootsMagic as well as some other research activities. I’ll post some updates on that shortly. But this morning when I looked out my window and saw snow — yes, snow covering the ground and clinging to the trees — I just knew that I had to write about the onion snow!

onion snow - March 25, 2013

the view off my front porch this morning

What’s onion snow, you ask. Well, a couple of weeks ago I was discussing a forecasted snow shower with my Mom. (At this time of year in this part of Pennsylvania we don’t usually get snow — and on the rare occasions that we do, it does not amount to much. So to call it a snow storm at this point in the year is typically a bit of an exaggeration.) Anyway, at that time she told me about the onion snow.

Now I had probably heard this story before because as she was telling it to me a vague recollection was tickling at the back of my memory. But now that I’m trying to be more of a family historian, I am trying to pay more attention to the stories being passed down. You know, not letting it go in one ear and out the other! (See – I was paying attention to the theme of this year’s recent RootsTech conference.)

But back to the onion snow. According to my Mom’s Mother, my Grandmother, the farmers in our area plant the onion bulbs in the early part of March. Ideally, there should be a small snowfall after the onions are in the ground. This is called the “onion snow,” and it should happen by about March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day. The onion snow enables a better crop when the onions grow and are harvested. At least that’s the family lore from the farmer ancestors and relatives of my Grandmother!

So when I woke up this morning and saw the snow, my very first reaction was that the onion snow is here, but it’s about a week late! Hope all you farmers out there have the onion bulbs planted. I am ready for spring and once this melts away (which should be soon) I don’t want another, even later in the season, onion snow this year!