WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. — One farmer in the mountains depends on an old superstition as a guide to plan for the winter ahead.
Cassandra Bare is a pumpkin farmer in Valle Crucis. Her business, Harvest Farm Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch has been growing fast over the last 8 years.
Her family also grows Christmas trees, but they started growing pumpkins to try to get her kids involved.
What You Need to Know
The beans have been counted in Watauga County. The area ended with 10 big beans and five small
The counting of beans is an old superstition in the mountains. Every foggy morning in August represents snow
Many farmers in Watauga depend on this to plan out their season
"It was hard to get my kids interested in Christmas trees because they take several years to grow, so one year we grew a field of pumpkins," Cassandra Bare said.
The family now plants 125 acres together. They go out in the field daily to check on those pumpkins.
"We like to cut our pumpkins fresh off the vine. We're looking for good colors," Bare said.
They have many different kinds, from gourds to jack-o-lanterns and even pie pumpkins. Bare says it's already been a hard year.
"We have had Tropical Storm Fred, and the most recent hurricane, it's been a lot of rain on the pumpkins," Bare said.
Bare is hoping this years bean count is right.
It's an old folktale in the mountains. For every foggy morning in August you put a bean in the jar. The thickness of the fog depends on how big the bean is. A big bean means more than 6 inches of snow is coming. A small bean is enough to track a rabbit.
"As a farmer, you need all different sorts of things in your arsenal to help you prepare for the next season," Bare said.
This year we had 10 small beans and five big. Bare says this helps farmers prepare.
"That means we have a good long extended season, and that's good if you had a pumpkin farmer with a corn maze," Bare said.