Our Catholic Traditions

There’s common folklore among farmers that corn should be “knee high by the Fourth of July.” While that may have been a reference point regarding potential generations ago to ensure that field corn would be ready for harvest before the first freeze, it was always just that — folklore. There’s another bit of garden folklore that has its roots in Christianity: “Plant your potatoes on Good Friday.”

“The Farmer’s Almanac” has some great information on this Good Friday lore as generations of farmers and gardeners have used Good Friday as the opportune time to plant crops like potatoes and cool season vegetables. According to Christian folklore, plants grew better and bore more fruit when planted on Good Friday because as Christ died on the Cross, his Blood fell to the soil and blessed the earth. Some even added a sprinkling of holy water over the loose soil. Since Good Friday can be as early as late march or as late as mid-April, I’m guessing results varied.

Folklore aside — early to mid-April is a reasonable time to plant potatoes and other hearty vegetables like beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots and brussels sprouts. Why not bury some seeds on the afternoon of Good Friday?

— Kim Mandelkow, Director, Office for Worship