On the 24th July there was a full moon, nothing new there but this full moon was also luna Lughnassadh, also known as Lammas. Celebrated for being the first harvest of our grains and other seeds. Today (2nd August) is calendar Lammas giving enough time between to two to work out harvesting plans in the garden and in life.
I have always lived with the seasons, again something that comes natural in a farming family. My grandad was always in the garden, whilst my grandma baked, and prepared everything to go in the freezer. As children we would help, mainly to shell beans and peas in the kitchen, although as peas are my favourite food in the whole world they always kept an eye on me just so there would be enough to last the winter. Something else I eventually realised happened at this time of year is that conversation had already turned towards the winter (naturally as harvest is when we know how much food we will have to last) and towards the following year. Seeds were saved for the following year from the strongest plants but It wasn’t just about food. Travel plans, ideas on what to do, reflection on the spring and summer past. What had worked and what hadn’t worked in the garden and in life in general.
As far as I know I do not come from a long line of witches, I do know my grandma and her friends were Wiccan, pretty sure my grandma was a christian Wiccan as there were so many rules and superstitions when I was little, that I now know to be from both religions. No one would say anything to confirm or deny this of course but there were books and conversations that said other wise. Plus my grandma would always say “maybe time for a little Wicca?” If certain problems came up that we couldn’t find the answer to. I think she would ask me a lot of the time because I wasn’t Wiccan. I did study and practice various pagan traditions before I decided that the rules of man were not for me. Especially when it came to anything spiritual that follows the earth and anything natural. Besides all other religions just have different names for the same energies that we all experience but I guess that is for a different post.
So In the garden harvesting is going to be easy, cherries are already in the freezer waiting for the rest of the berries to ripen ready for jam making. Our garlic has been harvested as we have needed it but now the rest needs to come up. The same goes with our potatoes, and various herbs. Everything else how ever hasn’t been as successful. With a mix of a lot of planting being done too late, a lot of seeds not germinating, a wet season of me losing the battle against the slugs and snails. I can’t eat that much veg but it is going to be odd for not having enough for me to make many many jars of pasta sauces. The plus side is though that next year the garden will not need to be landscaped and moved around again. I do need a green house to start my plants in as I do not have enough windowsills. I need to make a shed for storage as the old wheelybin is good for now but as you can imagine it isn’t the easiest to get into.
The trees are more than ready to be trimmed after a whole pandemic of being let down by different people who said they’d come and do it. The plus side from this though is that the timber will come in handy building a new chicken run as that will need to get sorted before the winter and the up and coming bird flu season. I need to trim the willow more and plant the trimmings in the places where we get a lot of standing water and also to help with a growing fence and other growing structures in the garden. I am yet to work out how I am going to get the bigger trees trimmed without the branches breaking fences or falling into the neighbours gardens and any dog mess.
As I mentioned the chicken run needs redoing for over winter. They do have a daily decent set up but I need to make more enrichment areas for when they are having to be under cover. They are currently loving how they have freedom to roam around the garden and if you follow me on tiktok and Instagram then you know that they also still love coming into the kitchen to say their eggs behind the coffee machine. This can be done once the trees are trimmed as I will be using the branches to form the main structure. The whole garden is now as it will stay for the up and coming years. It did take up a lot more time than I would of liked this year but it is done which is the main thing. All I need to do with the veg beds is to make sure enough compost goes into it until it is time to plant again. I would love to be able to do no dig gardening but that means having to constantly buy compost as I can not produce enough for what I would need.
Given the space we now have next year will just have to concentrate firstly on what we eat the most. That would be Garlic, peas, potatoes, and tomatoes. We use as many herbs as we can grow, but it would be nice to grow more. Working out a greenhouse solution is going to be my main thing to resolve. I also want to up my wildflower production. The best way I do this is to go foraging for fruits and seeds, that way I can make sure that I only get plants native to my area. I will have to wait until the weather changes for the better though, which means there will also be no fire this time around.