Hallelujah! The clouds have broken, and the Sun is shining on us once again….we want to thank you all for your patience in waiting for the veggies to catch up. A few new members have been wondering when the boxes will begin to fill up! We farmers can do all of the prep work such as seeding, watering, hoeing….but then it’s a waiting game for us as well, when the weather is not in our favor.
When we started our CSA program 26 years ago, the farmers made a conscious decision to create a program that reflected what grew naturally here in our area. Another conscious decision was to grow as sustainably as possible, which meant not covering the farm with plastic greenhouses, to rush growth of crops. We honor the earth by doing so, and trust her to supply us with the best fruits & vegetables in return. Thank you for supporting our farm, and in effect, supporting our philosophy and mission. Rest assured that we are doing all we can to fill your boxes each week with the most delicious and nutritious food possible, and soon you’ll be amazed at the abundance you will receive!
WHAT’S IN YOUR SHARE THIS WEEK:
- Lettuce ~ 2 heads
- Kale or Swiss Chard
- Strawberry Jam
SOME SITES ONLY
- Dutch Cabbage
Finally!!! The sun has arrived….the crew was all smiles today as we began the day without rain gear…first time in a while! By the time the sun got really warm, it was time to wash greens and empty harvest bins, and prepare for the delivery tomorrow….let’s hope this is the start of a long stretch of warmth! Of course with the warm weather comes earlier start times so we can get the fragile crops in early….a small price to pay.
The Sun has also arrived just in time for the Summer Solstice, which will occur in our area tonight, at about 9:24pm. I used to think that the Summer Solstice occurred when the Earth was closest to the Sun but have learned it’s the opposite. The Earth is actually farthest from the Sun (called the Aphelion point) during this time of the year.
The Earth’s distance from the Sun has very little effect over the Seasons on Earth. Instead, it is the tilt of Earth’s rotational axis, which is angled at around 23.4 degrees, that creates seasons.
The direction of Earth’s tilt does not change as the Earth orbits the Sun – the two hemispheres point towards the same direction in space at all times. What changes as the Earth orbits around the Sun is the position of the hemispheres in relation to the Sun – the Northern Hemisphere faces towards the Sun during the June Solstice, thus experiencing summer. The Southern Hemisphere tilts away from the Sun and therefore enjoys winter during this time.
Many cultures have been celebrating the Solstice’s (Summer and Winter) since ancient times. The date of the June Solstice was used as a marker to figure out when to plant and harvest crops. Some historians point to the Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England as evidence of the fact that ancient humans used the June Solstice as a way to organize their calendars. Some believe that Stonehenge’s unique stone circle was erected around 2500 BCE in order to establish the date of the Summer Solstice. Viewed from its center, the Sun rises at a particular point on the horizon on day of the June Solstice. Some theories suggest that the builders of Stonehenge may have used the solstice as a starting-point to count the days of the year.
In ancient China, the summer solstice was observed by a ceremony to celebrate the Earth, femininity, and the “yin” forces. It complemented the Winter Solstice that celebrated the heavens, masculinity and “yang” forces. According to Chinese tradition, the shortest shadow is found on the day of the Summer Solstice.
In ancient Gaul, which encompasses modern-day France and some parts of its neighboring countries, the Midsummer celebration was called Feast of Epona. The celebration was named after a mare goddess who personified fertility and protected horses. In ancient Germanic, Slav and Celtic tribes, pagans celebrated Midsummer with bonfires. After Christianity spread in Europe and other parts of the world, many pagan customs were incorporated into the Christian religion. In parts of Scandinavia, the Midsummer celebration continued but was observed around the time of St John’s Day, on June 24, to honor St John the Baptist instead of the pagan gods.
In North America, some Native American tribes held ritual dances to honor the Sun. The Sioux were known to hold one of the most spectacular rituals. Preparations for the event included cutting and raising a tree that would be considered a visible connection between the heavens and Earth, and setting up teepees in a circle to represent the cosmos. Participants abstained from food and drink during the dance itself. Their bodies were decorated in the symbolic colors of red (sunset), blue (sky), yellow (lightning), white (light), and black (night).
In northern European countries like Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, Midsummer is a festive celebration. When the summer days are at their longest, and in the north it is the time of the Midnight Sun, festivals generally celebrate the summer and the fertility of the Earth. In Sweden and many parts of Finland people dance around Maypoles. Bonfires are lit and homes are decorated with flower garlands, greenery, and tree branches.
Some even celebrate the start of summer with sun salutations amid the urban bustle of New York City. Solstice in Times Square, a day-long yoga event now in its 13th year, begins at 7 a.m. on the solstice and continues until just before sunset. Adding to the excitement, the day has also been named International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly. Not in New York? Participate remotely via the event’s live webcast!
No matter how you choose to celebrate the Solstice this year, we hope you have a lovely time, and we hope our veggies are included!
Linda and all of your Winter Green Farmers