Normally, I might be planting a few vegetables this time of year, but I dare not. Where I was raised, it was an absolute given that one did not plant until after Good Friday, the Friday before Easter. This year, that will not be until April 19. In 2018, however, Good Friday fell on March 30. I could have been planting crops almost a week ago! Whenever it falls, Good Friday always will be in the early spring. Obviously, it is a convenient marker, a reminder to get off one’s winter duff and get to work. So it is in the deep South. Historically, though, the American South has been an agrarian, pious and not overly matriculated region, and there is a subtle aspect of superstition to this rule of thumb. To this day, I think there’s a vague uneasiness around here that violators are in peril of being, in some manner, smote by the Deity. Myself, I subscribe to this rule with one caveat: if Good Friday comes early, as it did last year, it’s best to wait, but if it comes late, as this year, God will let you slide.
Speaking of Good Friday, do you know how the date for Easter is chosen? You may think you know. I thought I did. It’s the first Sunday after the first full moon that falls on or after the Vernal Equinox, right? Well, it can get a lot more complicated than that. There is something known as “Ecclesiastical Spring,” when the church takes it upon itself to tell us when the first Sunday after the first full moon is. And there’s other stuff, and it’s all right here, in “The Farmer’s Almanac.” I have exhausted myself on this subject. Anyway, it is unimportant to me, for I define “spring fever” more as Arlo.