Now, where did I leave that?

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Thursday was Lughnasadh for those of us who call ourselves pagan. It's a holy day in honor of Lugh, an ancient Celtic god often represented by light and a powerful sun. My path is Goddess-centric, and so I acknowledge the day as the first of the three harvest festivals (the second is the Fall Equinox, the third, Samhain--Halloween). The very first seasonal ritual I consciously observed as spiritual practice was Lughnasadh, about 17 years ago. I remember rising at dawn so I could go into the park across the street from us before the neighborhood awoke, and there I made offerings of corn muffins, gave thanks, and rejoiced at the turning of the Wheel. This year I honored the day in part by slow-roasting and then freezing tomatoes from a local farm, giving thanks for the bounty that will sweeten Winter evenings. 

But I don't like alot of things about Summer; it's a season that leaves me squirming in discomfort, languishing in heat and humidity. I'm deeply grateful for the bounty of this time of year; I know this morning the farm market will yield apricots and plums, tomatoes and zucchini, herbs and corn. And I love that the place I work is closed on Fridays most of the Summer. Friday mornings on the porch, drinking coffee while soaking in the glory of the morning glories and the songs of the birds are a blessing I don't take for granted. I'm kind of backwards; this is my hibernation time, the time when I have little choice but to dream and plan. I come awake as the days grow shorter and the nights cooler, when pumpkins and apples replace tomatoes as farm market staples. But still, there is a harvest here in our corner of the world....

We gathered our first garlic today!  We've never grown it before, and got 28 heads for 72 cloves planted, but there it is, hung in a never-gets-direct-sun north-facing living room window, with a window fan below, our very first homegrown garlic! We have several notes of things to do better in the future (remove the Winter straw mulch and fertilize come Spring among them), but for a few months, we'll savor this very first garlic. 

Garlic is a fascinating thing; for those who haven't grown it, you plant individual cloves. About nine months later (!), after it has lived in the dark, put out tall green shoots into the world, and those shoots have danced in Summer breezes and then died back, you get big heads of the stuff, and you plant individual cloves from the best of those heads....if you get it right, you sow what you reap and then sow the best of that harvest. Isn't that a great metaphor for spiritual growth?  

What are you harvesting this month as Summer begins her final songs?


Dawn Z said...

Garlic is that easy? That sounds exciting in grounded-in-gardening sort of way. Maybe I'll pick some up at the Farmers Market here and give it a try.

Michaele said...

Congrats on a good garlic crop! Love to see them hanging.

Willow said...

Love the way the garlic looks hanging in the window.
Personally I am harvesting new meanings of contentment,.
Physically in the garden I am harvesting a lot of cucumbers , basil , lavender and rosemary this week.
I am on the same page with you about Sumer, when it gets too hot and humid ~ the outdoors sees the most of me early mornings.

Jen said...

What a lovely description of summer! That extra day is wonderful isn't it?

CraveCute said...

Your blog is always a joy to visit! I grow garlic among my tulip bulbs, it is supposed to keep the voles etc from eating them. Not sure if it works that well but I love looking at their tall curly stems!

Brian Kelly said...

The hanging garlic does look awesome. And thanks for refreshing us on how it grows - by planting cloves! So unique and so intriguing.

AkasaWolfSong said...

Hello Sweet Sister...

Took long enough to get over here eh? At any rate, I love the look of your Garlic Harvest hanging at your window...I bet it smells and tastes wonderful. I've never grown it personally but have planted it for someone else and he got a huge crop from it.

I'm one of those too that don't do well in summer heat and literally makes me ill. Raging headaches, nausea, the whole nine yards so like you my body wakes up come mid September when the nights are chilly and the daytime Sun is not as strong.

I'm harvesting new meanings in my life as well. Seems like the journey up to now is finally bringing in the sheaves so to speak.

As for the vege's not so much. My container gardening kind of petered out with all the rain and cooler temps this summer brought to my area...what looked like it would take hold a while ago just sighed and nodded its head at me, lol.

Stay well my friend and know that I'm thinking of you and sending you big hugs!

In Radiant Peace,

Linda said...

Hi Ashling!!! I am getting ready to harvest my first crop this year too...and then plant another for next year...I loved growing them & there is something so satisfying growing your own :) I am trying Shiitake mushrooms this year too...I am like you tho...even tho it hasn't been as hot as the last couple of years here I am a cooler season person...I am so looking forward to Fall...I feel energised this time of year...& I love the harvest...wild & cultivated...keeps me busy & close to Mother Nature...

All the best to you & Linda