|Community Garden March 2012|
My family heritage is from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Germany. I celebrate this day with my family on the weekend - because I have more time to cook this meal. We have a spring into spring meal based on my family heritage. The main color of the meal is green, because this is a time that the greens may be up in the Northern Countries. The ritual for my garden is done on the calendar date. I have included a working menu and my garden ritual that I do with my garden spirits.
Irish Soda Bread:
Everyone knows by now, the Irish did not invent soda bread. The bread became associated with the Irish in the mid-1800s due to the Great Irish Famine. It is estimated that over 1 million people died during this time due to hunger, poverty and diseases associated with hunger and poverty. What happened was a tragedy and we still could learn from our human mistakes as to what happened back then. This tragedy is about planting one crop, the potato (not a native plant) and not caring for the land by rotating the fields. It was about landowners and the rich not sharing what they had stored. It was elevating one religion over the other through the use of discrimination and bigotry – a tragedy in my mind (as if one religion is "the only way"). To me, this bread is appropriate to eat as a symbol for starting over by learning from mistakes in our human past.
Irish Soda Bread was easy to prepare using at a minimum 4 ingredients: baking soda, flour, sour milk and salt. It is a quick bread and baked in a cast iron pot over the fire. It is bread or carbohydrate that could fill hungry bellies.
The bread traditionally has an X on the top. Some say it is an X to ward off evil. I believe it is the rune Gebo. Gebo is the rune representing balance, hospitality, sharing gifts and having equilibrium – symbolic for the beginning of spring.
Spring into Spring Menu:
Devilish eggs with dill (grown in my garden last year)
Green Salad with mustard herb dressing
Beef Brisket or Potato, Leek and Kale soup (this depends on my mood)
Mashed kale and potatoes (a variation of Colcannon - mashed cabbage and potatoes)
Irish Soda Bread
Rice pudding with strawberries
Music to cook by
Here comes the sun by George Harris
Warmth of the sun by the Beach Boys
Waiting for the sun by the Doors
Three sunrises by U2
Balance the Egg
Activity for children and adults - Balance an (not hard boiled) egg on the table. This takes patience. It is thought that because the earth is at center balanced on its axis – an egg can be balanced. Truthfully Z and B are better than me in doing this. Patience.
Blessing of my garden ritual – this is what I do. My ritual is based from Scott Cunningham’s work and the work done at Findhorn and Perelandra. Also – my garden’s Spirits know that I am a square foot gardener when it comes to vegie planting. I’ve been up front on this point and the Spirits of my garden knows the amount of time and energy I have. It’s all about being a team player by working together and this includes open, honest communication and active listening.
Grid paper – on the side I list the vegies I would like to grow
At night – I go down to my space at the community garden. I lay the grid paper on the ground and take a handful of dirt. I put this on the paper. I take the beer and toast to the devas/angels, spirits/fairies of the garden to bond our team for working together in creating the garden that will feed my family and help heal the earth. I toast promising that I will help them with their work and that I’ll listen to where they’d like the vegies and flowers based on their needs. I ask if they will help keep the vegies healthy and produce vegies. I toast to the soil that it may have all the nutrients needed to grow the vegies and flowers. I toast to the returning sun and the rain and the winds that will help the vegies and flowers grow. I ask that the insects and animals be gentle on my vegies – like the beetles who like my beans and the deer and the rabbits who like the basil and greens.
I ask the Spirits of the garden where to bury the egg, because it isn't all about me (good team work example). I usually use my pendulum or intuition – depends on the evening. I bury the egg there. Then in the 4 corners I dump some beer toasting thanking Motherfather Sprit for this coming planting season. I then take a handful of rye seeds and thank Motherfather Spirit for allowing the Garden Spirits and myself to co-create.