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Gardening calendar: Persephone Days

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Gardening calendar: Persephone Days

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 1/29/2017, 9:40 pm

In Greek myth, Persephone was abducted to the underworld by Hades. Persephone’s mother, Demeter, who was a Goddess personifying growing plant life and the harvest, was devastated by the absence of her daughter and withdrew from the world resulting in winter. Persephone was allowed to return to her mother, and plant life returned to the earth. But because Persephone ate food (pomegranate seeds) while in the underworld, she must return there for a portion of every year, and her mother again mourns her absence. 

Eliot Coleman, author of the book Four Season Harvest, calls the 3 months of winter, when daylight is the least, the “Persephone months.” Later the term was refined to “Persephone days” to refer to the part of the season when there are less than 10 hours of sunlight during the day. Although they can survive, most plants will not grow with that little sunlight.  Today was the first non-Persephone day for my location!  sunny Since I am trying to incorporate winter growing and nature-based timing into my gardening, the end of the Persephone days seems more pertinent then New Year’s day in terms of defining a new season of growth.  As such I will start a new document on my computer today, for my 2017 garden journal (and leave the previous portion of January at the end of my 2016 journal.)

To find out when your Persephone days end(ed), you can use this Duration of Daylight Table from the US Naval Observatory (thanks to motherofahubbard.com for this info):
http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/Dur_OneYear.php

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Re: Gardening calendar: Persephone Days

Post  trolleydriver on 1/29/2017, 10:02 pm

Here in Ottawa we are at 9 hours and 39 minutes today. We get our first 10 hour day on February 6.

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Re: Gardening calendar: Persephone Days

Post  yolos on 1/30/2017, 12:35 pm

Here in Brooks, GA - less than 10 hrs sunlight on 12/10 and back to 10 hrs sunlight on 1/1.  But, because of the angle of the sun in the winter and the woods behind the garden, 3/4 of my garden gets sun about 4 hrs only.  1/4 gets sun about 8 hrs.
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Re: Gardening calendar: Persephone Days

Post  sanderson on 1/31/2017, 5:21 am

Great daylight table. CA is so long that we have different dates of no growth, though we do have nice winters for good survival rates.

Southern CA, Long Beach: Dec 6 - Jan 14 (a long month)
Central CA: Nov 22 - Jan 18 (2 months)
Northern CA: Nov 12 - Jan 28 (2 1/2 months)

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RE: Gardening Calendar : Persepone Days

Post  newbeone on 2/5/2017, 10:15 am

Down here in San Antonio according to the chart our shortest days are two weeks before  Christmas and that's 10h 16min. Biggest problem down here is the angle of the sun and my small back yard, After reading Your post I went out and checked, two of my beds are getting less than two hours direct sun light at this time of year. in those beds I have Kale, Parsley, Chard, Cabbage and garlic which are doing good Considering the time of year.
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Re: Gardening calendar: Persephone Days

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 2/5/2017, 11:36 am

newbeone wrote:Down here in San Antonio according to the chart our shortest days are two weeks before  Christmas and that's 10h 16min. Biggest problem down here is the angle of the sun and my small back yard, After reading Your post I went out and checked, two of my beds are getting less than two hours direct sun light at this time of year. in those beds I have Kale, Parsley, Chard, Cabbage and garlic which are doing good Considering the time of year.
I figure plants like that do okay with so little sun for part of the year because in other locations they might otherwise be buried under the snow this time of year -- and therefore not getting much light anyhow.
I'm glad your plants are doing well. Smile
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Re: Gardening calendar: Persephone Days

Post  Kelejan on 2/5/2017, 2:31 pm

Where on earth did I post my info on Persephone Days a little while ago?
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Re: Gardening calendar: Persephone Days

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 2/5/2017, 3:49 pm

Kelejan wrote:Where on earth did I post my info on Persephone Days a little while ago?
I thought someone else on here had mentioned them, somewhat recently, but I couldn't remember who or where, and when I went looking I couldn't find it again (either)!
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Re: Gardening calendar: Persephone Days

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/5/2017, 8:48 pm

November 12 to January 29 here are under 10 hours daylight.
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Re: Gardening calendar: Persephone Days

Post  Kelejan on 2/6/2017, 2:12 am

BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:
Kelejan wrote:Where on earth did I post my info on Persephone Days a little while ago?
I thought someone else on here had mentioned them, somewhat recently, but I couldn't remember who or where, and when I went looking I couldn't find it again (either)!

Beetles, I must have typed my info and then forgot to push that send button. Mad

Anyway, after much research I think my Persephone Days end on February 11th or 12th, a little after February 10 after Spokane in Washington State. I think I will celebrate that day as well as the Winter Solstice.
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Re: Gardening calendar: Persephone Days

Post  trolleydriver on 2/6/2017, 8:36 am

This is the day for my location.  Day length today is 10:00:23 (10 hours and 23 seconds). However, a big part of my backyard will still be in shade for most of the day due to the shadow from our two story house.

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Re: Gardening calendar: Persephone Days

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 2/6/2017, 9:13 am

trolleydriver wrote:This is the day for my location.  Day length today is 10:00:23 (10 hours and 23 seconds). However, a big part of my backyard will still be in shade for most of the day due to the shadow from our two story house.
Happy.... Demeter day? sunny !
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Re: Gardening calendar: Persephone Days

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 2/12/2017, 8:00 am

Kelejan wrote:
BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:
Kelejan wrote:Where on earth did I post my info on Persephone Days a little while ago?
I thought someone else on here had mentioned them, somewhat recently, but I couldn't remember who or where, and when I went looking I couldn't find it again (either)!

Beetles, I must have typed my info and then forgot to push that send button. Mad

Anyway, after much research I think my Persephone Days end on February 11th or 12th, a little after February 10 after Spokane in Washington State. I think I will celebrate that day as well as the Winter Solstice.
Happy Demeter Days, Kelejan!
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Re: Gardening calendar: Persephone Days

Post  Kelejan on 2/12/2017, 10:34 am

Thank you, Beetles.  Now, how shall I celebrate?
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Re: Gardening calendar: Persephone Days

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 2/12/2017, 6:52 pm

Kelejan wrote:Thank you, Beetles.  Now, how shall I celebrate?
You could:
Eat a vegetable
Sow something
Have a beverage and toast to the new season
Buy more seeds
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