Thursday, January 27, 2011

Name this post and help launch a new tradition!

I think there should be a time every year when devoted food gardeners do as all good believers do - participate in some kind of meaningful ritual. I am a bit hopeless at religion but even I can think of several such traditions which illustrate what I mean. There is the whole 40 days and 40  nights thing that Christians call Lent; there is Ramadan, the Muslims' month of fasting; and, more a cultural event than a religion, there is the week of the Chinese New Year celebrations. I am sure there are hundreds of such occasions where people set aside some weeks each year to participate in a ritual.

So, what would a food gardeners' ritual represent and when would it take place? Well I have a suggestion and I would love to hear yours. There comes a time every summer/early autumn when dealing with the produce you have been watching grow since spring, becomes the dominant activity of every day. Such a time is right now in my house. I can no longer find space to live in my kitchen, so full is it with produce and seed pods! Today some friends helped me pick more yellow cherry plums than anyone has a right to have. Last week it rained for days and days, just when the cherry season had started, so all the farms were picking and selling their crops very cheap before they all split.... I bought 5 kgs for $10..... and there's still all those seeds I wrote about in the last piece! My freezer is groaning with red and black currants and a neighbour has offered me raspberries again.... would you say not raspberries?? If my garden was going better, I would have cucumbers, radishes, lettuce, tomatoes etc etc.... and finally all the chooks are laying so I have 6 eggs / day which seem to be taking up a whole shelf of my fridge. clip art

So, I would suggest the deal be..... no-one cares about the washing up for a whole month. Wherever you go, if you see piles of unwashed dishes, you'll know there lives a true devotee, growing their own food.... the more dishes left unwashed the more satisfied you could then feel that you are doing good for your planet, your community and yourself!

See how excited Michelle Obama looked when she heard about the idea!

What shall we call it?

9 comments:

Melinda said...

There's no way I dress like that for gardening! lol

Pattie Baker said...

Kate: I don't have a name for you beyond plain ole' Harvest Time, but from the other side of the world, I'll tell you, we have been thoroughly enjoying all our summer bounty during this snowy, cold winter! When Atlanta was recently shut down for five solid days, we had the most amazing food, meal after meal after meal. I was so grateful I had done what you're doing right now. Hang in there!

Robert said...

I think the annual site show, which I organise, is the nearest thing we have to a ritual at the moment. I always put something in the Harvest Festival at church, and an Anglican minister who has a plot does a short service on the site on Rogation Sunday (this is an Anglican thin which we don't have in the Methodist Church, but apparently it's often used to bless crops.

Daphne said...

Oh that is so not my MO. During the summer I wash dishes constantly. I have to keep the counter empty of dishes so I have more room for canning and the plethora of food. But one of my local farms has a tomato and corn festival that is fun and certainly a tradition. I'm not sure why as the last thing I need in August is more tomatoes. But the lure of 30 varieties to try brings me in every time.

Maggie said...

Temperatures will reach 42degrees Celsius here in South Australia over the coming days. Our produce is ripening and tomatoes will be bottled, chutneys and pickles made, peaches, nectarines and the end of the apricot season preserved.
I reckon the only name for all this activity would have to be Sweaty Season Harvest.
It would be great to do all this with friends but when it is so hot I think it is best done on ones own.

RodM said...

So, does Michelle have dirty dishes in the sink?

Tamara said...

I love a ritual, and I love harvest time. I like to celebrate the occassion every new piece of fruit or vegetable that is produced here. If that means leaving the dishes alone - I'm all for it.

Deb said...

We celebrate our harvests everyday with seasonal dishes enhanced by stored and preserved harvests.
Not doing the dishes is not a celebration. All it acheives is a mess resulting in a even bigger chore to be done eventually with well stuck on food and a clogged up kitchen!
Sharing with family and friends is enough- you don't need a week you have a whole year and then ,the next.
There are already getting too many gimicks for doing the basic- growing food.
After all christmas was once a harvest festival and look what's happened to it!!!
If your after a garden celebration look to the cosmos, our biggest star-the sun, it provides 4 ideal times - the seasons. Celebrate on the autumn, spring equinox and summer, winter solstice. This way all parts of the world can celebrate together although their harvests will vary.
We have a long lunch group who have a lunch on or close to these times every year.Everyone brings a dish of their harvested food and a bottle of their homemade wine/beer.

Heiko said...

My favourite ritual, which we have started last year and are intending to repeat this year is a fava bean festa on the 1st of May. The appearance of the first fresh green veg of the day celebrated with all your friends washed down with gallons of wine!