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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in harvest

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Joan Sugarbeet Must Die

As always, we'll be singing this one just before the dessert course tonight at our Harvest Supper, courtesy of (who else?) those incomparable satirists of British folk idiom, the Kipper Family.

You can sing it to the standard Traffic John Barleycorn tune, but up the tempo some and think “cheerful” instead. And if you happen to have a squeezebox or accordion to accompany it, so much the better.

Joy of the Harvest to you and yours.

 

Joan Sugarbeet

 

There was three men come out of the East, their fortunes for to try;

and these three men made a solemn vow: Joan Sugarbeet must die.

They've plowed, they've sown, they've harrowed her in, threw clods upon her head;

and these three men made a solemn vow: Joan Sugarbeet was dead.

 

They let her lie for a very long time, till the rains from Heaven did fall:

then little Lady Joan sprung up her head, and so amazed them all.

They let her lie till Midwinter, till she looked both flaccid and green:

then little lady Joan, she grew a big bottom, and so became a queen.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Here's a nasty little piece of pagan satire along such lines. Some things deserve to be remembered. Down we go to the world below
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Sign me up on the list, lease!
  • Mark Green
    Mark Green says #
    Once, back in the 90s, I made a comedy song tape of Pagan songs and chants, called "The Carcrashic Records". Someday I hope to col
Not Only Lammas: Other August Harvest Holidays and Traditions in Europe

Grains are goldening, apples and other fruits are ripening, and beehives are thick with honey. The harvest season has come and is rapidly maturing. While Lammas and Lughnasadh have passed in the UK and Ireland, other harvest holidays are still just beginning. Each festival celebrates the culmination of hard work and good luck, and marks the turning of the year, the slow fade of summer into fall, and the gratitude that people still feel for the benevolence of their lands.

Grains, Apples, and Honey

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Praise to the Farmers

    Walking out of my office is like opening an oven. The heat is a wall, strong, searing; there is a scent similar to baking bread rising from the grass that is toasting under the sun's unrelenting rays. My drive home takes me past farms along Route 5 in Deerfield: potatoes, tobacco, and corn growing strong and green despite the heat. We are not experiencing a drought; in fact the other day a thunderstorm hit on the way home with wind and rain so strong visibility was brought down to just a few feet. I am sure the rain was welcome just the same. 

    I think often of the local farmers. I am grateful for the countless hours they spend at their vocation and I recognize that it is a life I could not live. My own grandparents were farmers and factory workers, supplementing a life of hard work and unpredictable yield with wages earned by working in a foundry. Hard work and luck seem to be the mantra for farmers. Hard work, luck, technology, and engineering, farmers rely on many factors to answer their calling to serve. How did my grandparents manage? And their grandparents, and theirs? Go back generations, centuries, eras, and eventually everyone's forebears were farmers of a sort. They had only their own hard work, luck, and the grace of the gods to ensure plenty. 

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Calendar conundrums: harvest time in Modern Minoan Paganism

Over the past few days, my family and I have celebrated Lammas, a European harvest festival. But we don't include Lammas in the sacred calendar for Modern Minoan Paganism. Why not? First, there's the fact that the modern Neopagan eight-fold wheel of the year hadn't been invented yet back in the Bronze Age. But there's also the fact that in the Mediterranean, this isn't harvest time.

Many of us live in the northern temperate zone - the parts of North America and Eurasia that have four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter. Those seasons may be milder or more severe depending on the local climate, but they're still there.

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Frau Harke, Goddess of the First Harvest

Around Lughnasadh or soon after, I saw my first mourning dove at our Appalachian farmhouse. We’ve lived here since March, and while I’ve seen blue jays, cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches, falcons, crows, and more, mourning doves were conspicuously absent. And then there it was on our white post-and-rail fence. The next day, I saw another, and then more appeared in the bushes and trees over the next weeks. This morning, there were five perched on the fence, observing me as I let out our dog.

I think of Frau Harke when I see them, thanks to Jacob Grimm, who wrote in Teutonic Mythology that "Harke flies through the air in the shape of a dove, making the fields fruitful” (Vol. 4, p.1364). Harke is a giantess of German folklore in the Brandenburg and Thuringia regions. Her name means “to rake,” calling to mind the harvest and care of the earth. While usually a dweller of wild mountain forests, she does travel about during her holy days, like other goddesses of her type. Folklorist Benjamin Thorpe wrote that "At Heteborn, when the flax was not housed at Bartholomew-tide [August 24], it was formerly the saying, 'Frau Harke will come'” (142).

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Bad harvests

From Lammas (loaf mass) through the autumn, we tend to think about harvests and to reflect that in rituals. The normal procedure is to focus on the things we have grown and harvested in our lives because most of us aren’t intimately involved with growing and harvesting food.

However, bad harvests are very much part of nature. Too much or too little water, too much or too little sun, and your crops can fail. Insects, disease, people too ill to work the land, and other random natural acts can mean there is no harvest. This is a good time of year to look at the harvests you didn’t get to make because circumstances thwarted you. It can be oppressive having to be all joy and gratitude about life when life is not full of delight. If you are suffering, if you are restricted, if your scope to harvest has been denied you, it’s important to have space to acknowledge that. Gratitude is good, but not when it makes us ignore genuine injustice or go into denial about what isn’t working for us.

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(YOU'RE GOING TO) REAP JUST WHAT YOU SOW

With Lammas now underway, harvest season is here in abundance. If you haven't been visiting them this summer already, now is the perfect time to take advantage of fresh ripe produce and more from your local and regional vendors. Since I myself reside in the Midwest, I thought I'd point out some area highlights.

WEST ALLIS FARMERS MARKET
Milwaukee, WI
https://www.westalliswi.gov/index.aspx?nid=201
If you prefer a leisurely start to your harvester perusing, this is the one for you! West Allis, otherwise affectionately known to Milwaukeeans as "Stallis," "Mustalliche," and "Stallica," prides itself on providing the freshest produce possible. A later start allows farmers to pick right from their fields that same morning and do just that. This is primo time for herbs, squash, and of course, sweet corn. Tomatoes will be coming to fruition (sorry I had to go there), and soon after apples and cider will be on the way. There are also a variety of shopping vendors offering oddities ranging from records to hats. The West Allis Farmers Farmers Market is open from noon to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 1-6 p.m. on Saturdays.

DANE COUNTY FARMERS' MARKET
Madison, WI
https://www.dcfm.org/

A decades-old tradition going strong since 1972, the Dane County Farmers' Market on the Capitol Square of Madtown is the perfect marriage of country mouse and city mouse. EatingWell Magazine even voted this one as a favorite of theirs. Fashioned after the European-style open markets, this cherished state event is now one of the biggest produce-only farmers' markets in the country. A Wednesday morning market has been added to compliment the ever-popular Saturday showcase, and it runs all the way into November. Early birds flock to Saturdays as it runs from 6:15 a.m. - 1:45 p.m. Wednesday times are 8:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m. For an intriguing read on this popular forum's history, fresh recipes and more info, visit their website.

KENOSHA HARBORMARKET
Kenosha, WI
http://kenoshaharbormarket.com/

Referred to one TripAdvisor traveller as “Farmer Market Heaven not far from Chicago into Wisconsin,” this happy medium between Chi-town and Cream City fits the bill. There is ethnic fare to be enjoyed, particularly at a seat by the lake, while watching the boats drift in the harbor. Also a happy medium with the time frame, this rialto is available to you on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Located in downtown Kenosha behind the Civil War Museum, and Kenosha Public Museum, this mixed marketplace provides performance art, crafts, and cooking demos. They also operate in conjunction with special events such as the HarborPark Jazz & Blues Festival and the Kenosha Classic Cruise-In.

This is but an appetizer of all of the farmers markets to partake in. Make a point to get out there and have fun supporting your resident agriculturalists today.

References



http://www.eatingwell.com/article/10372/americas-top-farmers-markets-dane-county-farmers-market/

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60003-d6867210-r290234815-Kenosha_HarborMarket-Kenosha_Wisconsin.html

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