A casual look at gardening in the north suburbs of Chicago and a look at our local CSA and Farmers' Market.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Mid Winter Festival
The Winter Solstice has been a celebrated day throughout most of human history and prehistory. It is on this day that the last festival or feast was commonly held before the coming of the wintry months or the times of famine. The solstice was extremely important due to the fact that in early times survival was not certain in the months ahead. Many communities would slaughter much of their livestock, so they would not have to be fed during the lean months of winter. Hence meat was uncommonly plentiful and so was alcoholic beverages due to their coincidental fermentation near this date. Therefore with the uncertainty of life, large amounts of meat and great quantities of alcohol, a party seemed quite appropriate.
Although life is a bit more certain and meat and alcohol is always plentiful, we still celebrate this ancient tradition, through a dozen or more religious celebrations.
Farming and the environment have been a passion of mine for along time. As a kid I would help my grandfather with his garden and I would play in the streams and forests that made up the Arkansas and Ohio backdrops of my childhood. As an adult I have focused my life on educating children about the wonders of nature and the joys of gardening. I have worked at environmental education centers as well as learning farms. For the last five years I have worked and devoted much of my free time to Prairie Crossing Charter School, whose mission is to educate the next leaders of our world about the importance of the environment and sustainable farming.