Thursday, August 02, 2007


In honor of Lammas, the pagan celebration of the miracle of the harvest, I decided that our evening meal last night would be almost exclusively fare from the garden, so I cooked some green beans, made some yummy collard greens (yes, made with bacon grease), threw together a yellow squash dish with hot peppers and dill, and sliced some ruby-red tomatoes. Along with the veggies, I served a free-range rotisserie chicken from the store and some organic rice.

I can't begin to describe the joy I feel when I eat produce that I've grown. Good, organically-raised vegetables taste so much better than shipped-in wax-coated ones from the store, and I love the satisfaction of knowing that what my family consumes is basically free (to the extent it's possible in the area in which we live) of all those nasty things which come with non-organically grown items.

According to my Llewellyn's Witches Calendar, the time around Lammas was also recognized by the Native Americans as The Green Corn Moon, a period of joy and feasting. It's a time of ripeness,fullfillment, and gratitude for all one has, and it's a time to share with others. I like that idea; it always gives me great pleasure to share the bounty of my garden with other people.

Around Lammas, the grain fields were believed to "be inhabited by a harvest spirit. As the harvesting advanced across the field, the spirit fled into the grain still standing. The last stand of grain was left standing until next year, or else a young girl was selected to cut the last bit of grain--hence the belief in the Corn Maiden...Life-sized female figures known as Harvest Queen were made from the grain....The Harvest Queen would be brought to the door or yard of the farmhouse, a huge supper would be served, and many times, folks would make music and dance, a tradition that probably gave birth to county fairs and the like."(-James Kambos, August: Llewellyns' Witches Calendar)

Appropriately enough, two nights ago, I pulled up my two rows of corn that the raccoons had thoroughly stripped and placed the cornstalks around the bells I had hung as a critter deterrent earlier in the summer. They sort of looked like a corn person standing there, so now I'll just dub the drying stalks as my Harvest Queen and let her take reign over the garden.
(Harvest Queen art credit: Jennifer Hewiston / August / Llewellyn's Witches Calendar)

No comments: