The 1st of May, known as Beltane, marks the halfway point between the winter Solstice and the spring Equinox. Celtic peoples celebrated this time as the beginning of summer. Cattle were driven out to the hills and farther pastures, bonfires were lit, and people hung wreaths and coloured eggshells on their doors.
The celebrations took place sometime in the first two weeks of the month. Although the heat has taken a well-appreciated break this weekend, I think we will see a grand start to summer as the skies turn back to blue. I have already seeded peas, carrots, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, kale and onions, and I hope these begin to sprout as the moon waxes next week.
I enjoy farming this week. I feel close to the land, and my work has meaning. The tractor puts me in focus; I marvel as it travels over the soil. Smells of soil and vegetation pour into my nostrils as it moves forward. The tire walls bend over ridges and straighten out in the shallows, digging their way through the loose soil.
The spades behind it heave tiny clods of soil and throw them onto the metal guard. An explosion of soil peds crumble to the ground in all shapes and sizes. Not a thing is shredded; it’s action seems so violently gentle!
Otesha has arrived. What a great gang! The energy oozing out of the group is terrific. The farm takes on a new life. I’m happy to see people around, bustling about the usually empty spaces. They will be spending a week on the farm gearing up for their cross-Canada tour. They have graciously agreed to plant trees & shrubs with me tomorrow, 160 plants will see our ground!
If you would also like to plant trees, I would love to see you next weekend, on May 11th. As well as celebrating Beltane, we will also celebrate Whitsun. White Sunday is a Christian holliday, which, along with all other Christian festivals, was timed alongside a pagan(peasant) festival. The chrisitians celebrate the 49th day after easter, when the Holy Spirit is supposed to have decended among the disciples.
Whatever perspective you look at it, these festivals are meant to remind us of the richness of spring in its full vigor. At this transitional time, the earthly and heavenly (or female and male, or yin and yang, etc) forces are in balance, and there is great interaction in between! I’m sure you’re all feeling just as giddy as I am 😉
And what a great day to have Mother’s Day! What better time of year to celebrate those who gave birth to us, and nurtured us in our tiny seedling-like beginnings.
Schedule for the day:
12pm: potluck lunch with the Intentional Eaters Community, Achillea Endeavors and friends. Please bring a simple dish to share with others, as well as your own plate and cutlery. A small blanket or a camp chair to sit on may be nice.
2pm: tree & shrub planting. I have 2000 dollars of plant material arriving from Windmill Point Farm on Friday for our demonstration garden. We’ll be planting hearnut, hazelnut, raspberries, Goji berries, hardy kiwi and more! Bring garden gloves and good shoes or boots. If you have a favorite digging spade, that would be very handy as well.
You are welcome to stay for the whole day, but feel free to stop by for just one of the events, too! Contact me if you have any questions, and have a merry May!
Tilling under the winter cover crops
Hail speckled on the dark moist soil
Tent village in the field
The cows saw the big field for the first time this season Its pretty crowded for this grumpy kitty