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Showing posts from August, 2015

Lammas Tidings, Late Harvests, and the End.

I have a friend, a Celticist, who calls Lammas the most movable of all the “movable feasts”–the agricultural festivals that also shape the Wiccan Wheel of the year.  This only makes sense: harvest festivals follow the harvest, and the harvest varies from place to place and from crop to crop.

Seasons ripen as the land tells them to, and as local conditions dictate: one year, I harvest my black raspberries in June; another year, not until the second week of July.

The shape of Lammas as we know it follows the harvest of barley in the British Isles, a matter of a mere handful of centuries ago.  Barley for bread and–more important still–barley for beer.  The feast of John Barleycorn celebrates that most popular of all forms of stored calories, alcohol. But still, the heart of the festival is the harvest of crops to store.   
I am a locavore.  Not a fanatical one: I drink coffee, I eat chocolate, and though grain for flour is raised locally–and organically–it costs the earth, …