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Lost in Lindsey

The Thoughts and Adventures of a Lincolnshire Polytheist

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gardening

May Day weekend

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This image comes from the Fyrnsidu Facebook page, and the painting is by Bottocelli.

 

In Fyrnsidu belief this weekend ends the Eostre season with Blostmfreols, the flower festival. It’s a new holy day and for a discussion of the theory and history behind it, I direct you to the Larhus Fyrnsidu page linked to above.

For other pagans this weekend is the fire festival of Beltane, and also a time of May pole dancing. The May Day celebrations are separate in origin and history to Beltane festivals. Beltane is assumed to be ‘Celtic’ in origin, whereas May Day and May pole dancing in supposed to be more Germanic. It all got mixed up by Victorian antiquarians who were desperate for anything they could claim as prehistoric leftovers. The ribbon dances around May poles are Victorian in origin.

The festivals celebrate the burst of life that usually accompanies the beginning of May, even if it’s a bit chilly at the moment, and I’m pretty sure we’re going to get another downpour later.

May Day, the public holiday, has a different origin, in workers strikes and demands for shorter working days, paid holidays and safer working conditions.

All these are valid reasons to celebrate this weekend.

I’m going to Spirit of the Marsh Festival tomorrow with a friend. It’s a weekend festival in Lincolnshire of talks, workshops and music, from Friday until Monday morning. Day and evening tickets are available. I particularly want to go to a talk by Pete Jennings about medieval elves. I intend to sample the wares of Veganic Kitchen too.

On Thursday my fruit and veg delivery came with some plants I’d ordered. Green Futures Grimsby is a local social enterprise, growing and supplying fruit and veg to local people, selling plants at a reasonable price and providing work experience to the socially disadvantaged. They’re good people who extend me credit. I ordered a few different plants but only the broad and french beans, two sweet peppers and a pack of pansies arrived. They were out of runner beans and something happened to my tomatoes but they will be delivered with my next order.

I planted them all out this afternoon, hopefully they should bed in and I’ll have a selection of veg later in the year, and some pretty flowers for now. The tree seeds the Woodland Trust sent me are coming on nicely in their tray, I’ll have to pot them on soon. The sunflower seeds I was given at the Abus Coritani Ostara ritual in March are starting to come through in their pot, only two of the five at the minute.

In other gardening activities, I turned my compost bins. I have three garden bins, cheap ones from Poundstretchers, that are collapsible. When I got them I put some holes in the bottom for drainage and fill them with garden and kitchen waste. Every six months or so, when the waste has composted down to about half, I tip one of the bins into another and start refilling the empty bin. I have two bins three-quarters full and one with a layer of stuff I pulled out of the front garden this afternoon so I could plant my pansies. There are potatoes growing in one of the full bins, probably from an old potato that got thrown out last year.

I’m not the greatest gardener but I get by.

Have a good weekend.

 

Just sharing something

If you’re in the UK the Woodland Trust, based in Grantham, Linconshire, but with woodlands all around the the country, are offering free tree seed packs to people.

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/seeds/

They hope to increase the tree cover in the UK from the current 13% by planting 64,000,000 trees by 2025. I encourage my readers in the UK to join in if you have the space or could plant tree somewhere unofficial. I have ordered my pack of seeds – they contain rowan, dog rose, alder buckthorn and holly seeds in compost ready to germinate. These trees provide food and shelter to many birds and small animals, and make a reasonable hedge. I plan to document the progress of growth and hopefully planting.

Lammastidings

Morning people, 

I’m spending today at a craft and gift fair trying to make a little bit of money. I’m going to spend the time writing and reading when we’re customer free. I’m hoping we’ll get loads of customers though because I’m ridiculously short of money. I prey Ing, Frijja and Nehelenia bless our enterprises.

The local pagan groups are having their Lughnasadh rite today. It’s out in the country somewhere so I can’t go even if I was free. I hope they have a good day. 
In other news, I went to a local authors event yesterday to network and pick up tips. I also got given 4 books to review. Best be off, the fair’s open.
Edit: Lammastide, evening edition
Evening all, 
I’m back from the fair, had tea and then had a read to settle my frazzled brain; I actually managed sell enough to cover my table fee. My family came to the fair and raided our stall. We also donated a few bits for my nephew’s Lifestyle Challenge raffle next weekend. He’s trying to raise money to get a new bench for the fishing pond. Good luck to the boy. 

Anyway, this evening I’ve been reading other people’s Lammas/Lughnasadh posts and I’ve been thinking. Most people write that it’s the festival of the first harvest (Lammas that is; Lughnasadh has a different origin which I’m sure a Brythonic polytheist could explain better than I). Lammas comes from ‘loaf mass’ and there’s much to-do about the grain harvest. 

Some of those writers clearly do not live in agricultural regions. Lincolnshire is very agricultural with urban islands on the north and south coasts and in the centre at Lincoln. Harvest started a month ago, they’re bailing straw already. It’s late this year too. The variety of wheat has changed in the last century or so and the growing season has been extended by new varieties and the changing climate.
Gardeners, either at home or on allotments, have also been harvesting since late May, depending on the crop. I got mine in late and I’ve still been harvesting regularly for at least two weeks. Which reminds me, the garlic is out and drying on the windowledge, I’ve had two or three strawberries a day for the last week, my peas are still cropping but they’re slowing down. Luckily the green beans and runner beans are taking up the slack, starting yesterday. Against my expectations I actually have cucumbers growing. Still waiting for the tomatoes though. The salad leaves just keep on giving. Since poverty and all that, I’ve been thankful to my deities from the first moment I started harvesting because food grown means less to buy (and I recommend sugar snap peas straight off the plant for breakfast). 

Times, they be a’changing; most people are oblivious to plants and farming, so the focus of Lammas has become more flexible, in my observed experience. Which is why many now celebrate the ‘harvest’ of achievements etc. for the year. It’s great to see people’s achievements; I’m proud to say my three youngest cousins have received their Bachelor’s degrees this summer, and I’ve been accepted on an MA course. I’m considering declining it though, because I’ve found one more suited to me that I’ve applied for and I’m waiting to hear from. I’m not getting ten grand into debt for something that’s not right for me. My sister is also looking at Masters courses, and my first two novels are being read by critical friends to help me improve them. Never know, this time next year I might have got them published 😀

Back to my point? Did I have a point? I’m not sure; too tired to think straight. I think I’m rambling at this point and you should draw your own conclusions.
Good night, have a lovely summer.

Food glorious food.

I’ve finally started getting peas from the plants in my garden but that’s not the point of today’s post. I’ve been cooking. My fruit and veg box delivery yesterday had a couple of things in that I didn’t know what to do with and more of a couple of things I already have plenty of. So I had to get inventive.

Stuffed aubergine halves

  1. Cut an aubergine (eggplant) in half the take the seeds out using a spoon.
  2. Chop half a red onion, one tomato, a green or orange pepper, three mushrooms, and one garlic clove roughly (these are the things I have loads of). Mix up together in a bowl, add dried rosemary and grated cheddar cheese.
  3. Load the mixture in to the aubergine, wrap in ton foil and roast for 15 minutes at gas mark 7.
  4. Take out of the oven after 15minutes, unwrap the top of the foil to expose the veg, add more cheese and then return to the oven with the foil open. The cheese will melt, and the veg crisp slightly as the aubergine finishes cooking. I had it with ‘garlic belly steak’, which is something my butcher does. A piece of belly pork is folded in half and tied up with butchers twine and then covered in garlic butter. I only discovered them yesterday afternoon and they are lovely. I’ve been right off meat for the last two months but I’m slowly reintroducing it in to my diet once a week, pork on a Friday.

Summer fruit tart
I can’t make pastry, or I can but you could use it as a projectile weapon so I don’t. So for this pie I splashed out and bought frozen puff pastry from the Sainsbury’s Local across the road. It does the job.

I got some gooseberries in yesterday’s box, I have never cooked gooseberries before. 

  1. Top and tail gooseberries in to a pan, wash them, then put a bit of sugar and water in the pan. 
  2. Add strawberries, raspberries, blueberries etc.to the pan. Mix together.
  3. Boil for ten minutes.
  4. Strain if there’s too much liquid. The liquid is nice warm or mixed with sparkling elderflower cordial, it gets a bit of a foamy head and looks like you’re drinking booze when you aren’t.
  5. Roll out the pastry and line you dish, pour in the fruit mixture and then make a lattice of pastry strips over the top.
  6. Bake on gas mark 7 for 30 minutes or until golden brown (may vary depending on the pastry.

Enjoy with custard, ice cream or a nice thick plain yogurt.

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