I spent today – Žoline on the Romuvai ritual calendar, the agricultural holiday better known by its Celtic names, Lughnassad or Lamas, celebrating in a pretty traditional way: working in my gardens, clearing away summer overgrowth, planning for fall planting and ultimately next year; and then gathering family together to eat meat and vegetables grilled outside over an open fire. I did less actual harvesting than I’d hoped (okay, none really), but plan to spend considerable time over the next week harvesting, preserving, and cooking wild and feral foods as well as kale, chard, lettuce and herbs from my garden.
I did not bake leavened bread, about which I am sad. But I did bake for breakfast (apricot-cherry upside down cornmeal cake, from Western Slope apricots and cherries bought at the farmer’s market last week), so I’ve touched base, at least, with the rituals. I’ve moved far away from regular practice over the last few years, and getting my hands in the dirt, it seems, is pushing me to be more aware of what I’ve been missing. It is, at the heart of it, an agricultural and a seasonal faith.
I spent some time out in the freshly-weeded upper garden with my camera, just at sunset. The Russian sage and Rocky Mountain bluebells and mint and spirea are in full bloom, and the yarrow is going to pale golden seedheads. There are honeybees and bumblebees in astonishing abundance, which fills me with a delight I cannot describe; the Southern Rockies has a very strong honeybee population (and very few apiculturists here practice migratory beekeeping) and it’s comforting to know that I’m doing what I can to support that with a bee-friendly garden.
Continue reading Sunday Slideshow: First Harvest