It’s Lammas-tide already….the beginning of August has always been a time to celebrate the first fruits of the season. Before the advent of industrial farming and food distribution, early summer was a hungry time. The stored crops from the previous year would be nearly gone, and what was left was in poor condition. The newly planted crops weren’t ready to harvest, so people anxiously awaited the first fruits of summer.
Lammas comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase hlāfmæsse, meaning loaf-mass or bread-feast. It was customary to make a celebratory loaf of bread out of the first ripened grains. Not that harvest labors were over, by any means. Lammas was just a slight pause as the real work of bringing in the season’s bounty began.
At Seven Trees we’re using up the last of the onions, garlic, green beans, berries, etc. we had stored up from last year, to make room for all the food becoming ready now. Potatoes, beans, peas, carrots, chard, lettuce, kohlrabi, tomatoes, zucchinis, bok choi, cucumbers, raspberries, blackberries, herbs, and hay for the ponies are all coming ripe. One of our goals is to grow most of our own food here, and each year we get closer to meeting that goal. There will always be certain things we can’t produce here, or that it’s not sensible to produce here, but the more we can, the more money we save and we end up eating such amazingly high quality food, it makes all the effort worth it.
The lessons we learn in the process are priceless. What veggies are happy here; what foods taste best canned or dehydrated or frozen; what growing methods our neighbors use to get bountiful crops; what critters we enjoy keeping for meat and or eggs…and so on. And as we learn more about our ancestors, following some of their cycles of life on the land connects us with where we came from, who we are. Lammas is a perfect time to pause in our labors to celebrate that connection, and celebrate ‘getting it right’ enough times to be able to pass what we’ve learned on to our friends & family. It doesn’t matter if you farm acres or window ledges. What matters is that you feel the pride and satisfaction in taking an active part in sustaining yourself and your household.
And now for gratuitous kitty porn – Newt, being cute, with a supporting cast of parrots & dogs.