I say "country wisdom" for lack of a better term - I know there is one, but I can't think of it. I'm referring to that intangible knowledge that older people/country folk have that others don't - call it a "hunch". My friend Darren, neither old nor country (but a master gardener), saw signs of a cold winter a couple of years ago. Oaks were putting out massive quantities of acorns, squirrels were busy gathering them up. From what I remember, he was right.
Our neighbor Mr. Hiers has a feeling that we haven't seen the last of the brutal cold this year. I went by his house last week to see if he wanted me to by him any seed potatoes. Over the last couple of years we have talked about gardening and he seems to get his plants in a haphazard way. I thought I would offer to get him these same plants when I go get mine. So, when I asked him if he wanted potatoes, he said no. He thought we were going to get more cold weather and was going to hold off until March. I tried to tell him there probably wouldn't be any potatoes available in March, but actually he was the one that had me second-guessing my decision to plant in mid-February. I wasn't worried about it until I talked to him. I'm still planning to plant potatoes this week - the weather looks fine for the next week, except for a couple of nights near freezing this weekend. The average low for the rest of the month is 40 degrees.
I bought potatoes today - I got red and white from the feed store (they had sold out of Yukon gold) and I got some Purple Majesty potatoes from Walmart I want to try. I'll probably be planting a bed of each potato and then growing lettuce and spinach on top of them until the weather warms up.