Monday, September 22, 2014

Autumnal Equinox and Gratitude

"The Mystic Wood" by John William Waterhouse
It's official- tonight, at 7:29 pm (PST), is the Autumnal Equinox. In Greek mythology, this is the time when Persephone (the Goddess of vegetation) goes back to the underworld to live with her abductor/husband, Hades. It's also the time that the ancient Celts called Alban Elfed, which means "the light of the water". Traditionally, this is the time of the second (and final) harvest of the year, and a time to be thankful for the bounty that spring and summer gave.

Now, I'm not interested in getting into a discussion on religion versus mythology, but thankfulness... well, I think we can all get behind that. This past summer has been one of the most bountiful times I've experienced here in my garden. Potatoes notwithstanding, I've put away more food this year for the winter than I can ever recall, and there's still more coming.

The chickens have been something else, too. Some of the new girls are still getting their systems up to speed, but even with that plus the shorter days, we're still getting on average 6 eggs a day. I'm going to test freeze a small batch of eggs today, to see how they turn out once thawed- stay tuned for more on that.

The beef "experiment" is also a reason for me to be grateful. We got everything back from the butcher last week, and we were definitely right to get another freezer ahead of time. We have 174 pounds of meat, plus an additional 17 pounds of soup bones. In looking at it all, I don't think Alex and I have ever eaten that much meat in a single year, but I suppose I could be wrong. It's a little daunting, to be perfectly honest- so I'll be scouring cookbooks for creative ways to work through it all. (And there's still rabbit in the freezer too! Yikes.)

I've also had time on my hands, for which I am extremely thankful. For the first time in ages, I've had the summer to focus on things that are important to me. Growing food, raising animals, finding a place to volunteer, working on the blog and writing in general... I've certainly been blessed, in that regard.

Last, but absolutely not least, I'm thankful for my family and friends- and you too, dear reader!- I couldn't do any of this without the support of such wonderful people in my life.

What are you most thankful for?

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