The Feast of the Assumption

It is the Feast of the Assumption. In the Church calendar, this is the day Mother Mary was taken bodily up to heaven without the inconvenience of dying first. But in the older calendar of Europe, this was the time when it was recognized that the heat of summer was breaking. The Dog Days end… Continue reading The Feast of the Assumption

Lammas Muffins & Myths

It's the probably not-terribly-ancient festival of bread, Lammas, Hlaf-mas, Loaf Mass. This holiday is possibly an English variant on the Irish first fruits and fair festival of Lughnasadh, but compacted into one day and generally lacking any ritual or narrative. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, churches in East Anglia constructed elaborate displays… Continue reading Lammas Muffins & Myths

Autumn Planting

It’s planting season!  And here you thought it was harvest, right? You’d be forgiven for thinking that. There is very little talk about autumn planting. For that matter, there’s also very little talk of spring harvests. But both are integral to having a food supply all year long. If you don’t have a harvest of… Continue reading Autumn Planting

Language of Flowers for Ecologists — Autumnal Hues

Sunflowers & morning glories in August This is my favorite time of the year. There is the food, the cooling temperatures, and the lengthening night. But there are also the best flowers! This is the garden I wait for all year long. Sunflowers to asters, these are the flowers that speak to me. They are… Continue reading Language of Flowers for Ecologists — Autumnal Hues

The Wednesday Word: 4 August 2021

I spent today marinating my hands in capsaicin. I roasted, chopped and froze twenty pounds of Big Jim chiles. It took about seven hours in my rather small oven. For over an hour afterwards, my hands were searing. I don’t think my skin would have felt any worse if it was actually on fire. But… Continue reading The Wednesday Word: 4 August 2021

Lugh’s Blessing

It is nearly Lughnasadh, fair season. This is the time of year when we gather together to celebrate and share and boast about our handicrafts. The Irish have a such a deep passion for these crafty clan gatherings, they put a deity in charge. Lugh was the primary god of the Tribe. These days, he… Continue reading Lugh’s Blessing

Lughnasadh 2041

I am engaged in building a future for my kids out of this mess of a present, largely created by my parents' generation. One of the most wearing aspects of this project is not giving in to despair. Merely seeing what might be good — or even survivable — is difficult. So from time to… Continue reading Lughnasadh 2041