I never guessed back in 2012 what this would become. I set out to chronicle our adventures in homesteading. To create a template and how-to that we wish we had. We weren’t able to find information on how to farm high altitude, or how to bottle feed a goat, or how to do any of the hundreds of things we did by trial and error on Pumpkin Hollow Farm.
Those years on the homestead were some of the best times of our lives. Re-reading the manuscript was like reading about an old friend. I laughed and recollected. I finished the book with a smile. As if I had read it for the first time.
This book is priceless, I tell you, it has everything a new homesteader could possibly need to get started on their journey. Organic gardening, high altitude farming, canning, dehydrating, root cellaring, freezing produce, back yard chickens, bottle feeding goats, taking care of ducks, candle making, soap making, herbal remedies, recipes, homemade gifts….goodness, the list goes on. The textbook we needed, but in a humorous storytelling method.
Lughnasadh (loon-ah-sah) is one of the Gaelic harvest festivals of old. The word is from old Irish text and is a Pagan holiday celebrating the first of the harvests. A harvest festival is always a welcome holiday in this farmgirl’s mind! Tonight is also a full moon and I can just imagine my grandmothers of old times dancing under the moon celebrating the harvest of grains and other summer bounties.
I study all religions and see the similarities in all of them, the same God with different names, the same holidays, many customs “borrowed” by other faiths, and the joy in all of the different ways to honor the great Creator. Paganism was not a religion pre-Christianity since everyone from childhood was brought up with great respect for Mother Nature and the holidays were based on the agricultural calendar. Paganism reminds me greatly of the Native American ways of worship a continent away. The Christians use many of the same elements and traditions as the early Pagans. I was always brought up thinking that Pagans were Atheists, this is not so apparently. I love the various celebrations.
Did you know that the local county fairs were originally the celebration of Lughnasadh? The first harvest festival, showing off goods and livestock, morphed into what we now know as the county fair.
This year’s county fair was more fun than ever with rides and a two year old who loved everything from the young people competing with their horses to the motorcycle ride she would not get off of until we were completely broke from buying tickets!
So tonight, the holiday brings with it a bright full moon, a promise of more crops, and a sense of peace. The traditional way of late is to enjoy a beer (grains) and a bit of bread (or pizza?) and celebrate and have gratitude for the harvest. And maybe a little dancing in the moonlight is in order!
There are things we have really missed since moving out to this homestead in Calhan. We miss the people of Elbert County. We are there quite often for this or that, our bank is there, our daughters work there, but we are also far away. I love going to the grocery store and it taking two hours because I know someone in every aisle and stop and visit with them. I love knowing everyone in a restaurant. The ladies at the bank ask how the kids are. I miss the smiling faces of the girls at the library. I love Elbert, Kiowa, and Elizabeth and their shared camaraderie and all the people they hold.
Our wonderful, long-time friends are letting us move into their guest room this week. We will be two blocks from our friend who has sweet Isabelle the goat. Back in a small town where we can walk to the convenience store and the library, take in the sunrises, and wave to folks walking by at dusk. A place to garden and a place to paint. Friends to laugh with.