Saturday, August 11, 2012

Harvest Time for Witches

The first harvest festival that witches celebrate/particpate in is called Lammas--the wheat harvest.  It's held on August 1st.  It is customary for a loaf of bread be made from the new crop and be blessed.  It is broken into four parts and placed at the four corners of the barn to protect the grain.

With grocery stores filled with food and anything we can get any time we desire, most people forget that harvest festivals were celebrations that there would be food to eat over the winter. 

People had to learn how to preserve.  Witches, too.  The three most common methods are as follows:

Freezing -- the easiest.  Clean, blanch, and freeze. 

Canning - more involved, but easier to store and energy-efficient.  Water method and pressure canning are the most common.  Fruits, vegetables and even meats can be canned successfully. 

Drying - for jerky and fruit.  Requires a food dehydator. 

Many witches like to celebrate Lammas by preserving their own food.  As part of the ritual, they bless the food as part of celebration before perserving.  They ask the gods and spirits for blessings on future harvest activities.  They aren't just celebrating someone else's harvest, but participating in their own. 

Do you can or perserve your own food?

darcy

3 comments:

  1. Growing up with a large garden, mom always preserved food. She pickled and jellied and canned. She made her own tomato juice. Vegetables were frozen and seal-a-mealed to be stored with frozen venison for winter consumption.

    I have to admit the only preserving I do is drying and freezing herbs. Mom had more time than I. :)

    Interesting post, Darcy.

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  2. I've done some preserving - jams and chutneys - but I think you need your own fruit trees to make it financially worth while. Still, it's lots of fun and there's definite satisfaction from it.

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  3. I grew up on a farm, and we used to can our own tomatoes. One year, after a bumper crop of cabbage, my parents made their own sauerkraut. And, upon seeing how the stuff is made, I vowed never to eat sauerkraut.

    I'm getting more into canning and preserving these days, so I'm sort of going back to my roots. You mentioned dehydrating, and one item I would add to your list is herbs. Most herbs dry really well and will keep for a while. And what you can't grow yourself you can always buy from the farmers market and dehydrate. Then, you have herbs available not just for cooking, but for use for spells throughout the year.

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