Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Giving Ember Days a shot

Sam Venable, columnist for the Knoxville News-Sentinel, makes a big deal out of reporting Ember Days, four sets of days each year on which you can cut brush and weeds and they won't grow back.

The first Ember Days of 2009 are March 4, 6 and 7. It's always a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The Farmer's Almanac lists the days, but the origin of the mysterious practice goes back to 400 A.D. in Rome. Ember Days apparently started as a religious period of fasting. How it made the transition to brush cutting escapes my research.

Folks today in the Ozarks are adamant about Ember Days. Ash and privet are two troublesome types of brush in the Ozarks and around East Tennessee. Any person who is in the know cuts those types of brush only on Ember Days.

So, tomorrow is the first Ember Day of the year. I have on my calendar to whack away at the brush all day. Sam, if the brush doesn't come back, I'll buy you a lunch. If it does return, bring your scythe over here next March and help me.

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