August-the Beginning of the End...of Summer~
In ancient times, when the night sky was un-obscured by artificial lights and smog different groups of peoples in different parts of the world drew images in the sky by “connecting the dots” of stars. The images drawn were dependent upon the culture: The Chinese saw different images than the Native Americans, who saw different pictures than the Europeans. These star pictures are now called constellations, and the constellations that are now mapped out in the sky come from our European ancestors.
They saw images of bears, (Ursa Major and Ursa Minor), twins, (Gemini), a bull, (Taurus), and others, including dogs, (Canis Major and Canis Minor).
The brightest of the stars in Canis Major (the big dog) is Sirius, which also happens to be the brightest star in the night sky. Look for it in the southern sky (viewed from northern latitudes) during January. In the summer, however, Sirius, the “dog star,” rises and sets with the sun. During late July Sirius is in conjunction with the sun, and the ancients believed that its heat added to the heat of the sun, creating a stretch of hot and sultry weather. They named this period of time, from 20 days before the conjunction to 20 days after, “dog days” after the dog star.
The conjunction of Sirius with the sun varies somewhat with latitude. And the “precession of the equinoxes” (a gradual drifting of the constellations over time) means that the constellations today are not in exactly the same place in the sky as they were in ancient Rome. Today, dog days occur during the period between July 3 and August 11. Although it is certainly the warmest period of the summer, the heat is not due to the added radiation from a far-away star, regardless of its brightness. No, the heat of summer is a direct result of the earth's tilt.
To follow the current sky events.... http://earthsky.org/
Change Is In The Air-and Other Places~
We are not in our previous zone anymore...climate change--regardless as to the why and how, is a fact that has established itself in the gardening arena all around the world. From milder winters, to longer and hotter summers, more unpredictable weather patterns and a renegade growth pattern that will keep the gardener up at night...all of these have been a steady show for the last few years.
One major change we are seeing is the early maturation of all fruits, vegetables and even herbs, highly productive but a shorter production time. Sage Hill has kept a careful record of planting times, time span between planting and beginning of production, length of time between start and final production...it has gradually over a period of five years moved us a full zone from our previous one.
I am strongly seeing the need for more and more alternative ways of growing the foods we love and depend on for good health and survival.
High Tunnels and Green House growing I think will become a much needed and sought after alternative.
We must get serious about alternative methods of watering our gardens...both large and small.
Rain barrels for the collection of rain water is a great choice for smaller needs. Larger farms will need to consider drilling wells to take water from deeper in the earth and natural springs over using water from the domestic sources that most use now. ( this is a good option regardless...especially if one is growing without chemicals....using water from the same source as your household needs is releasing a steady dose of chemicals on your gardens each time you water. (Don't overlook the use of a filtration system on the household water supply.)
In a 2009 report titled "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States", the U.S. Global Change Research Program documents changes that have already occurred and provides predictions for the future. Average temps in the United States have risen more than 2*F in the past 50 years, for example, and are expected to increase an additional 4* to 11* F by 2100.
These changes will effect different parts of the country in different ways.
Keep in mind...climate change is not anything new, it is new to us, living in the now...but it has always been a major part of the earth's survival system. We...are the ones who must adjust, some things we can alter to a degree, some/most, we have no part in the cause or the solution.
We are truly living in a time of great change.....the gardens/farms are a much bigger part of that change than many might consider.
I have a sticker on the back window of my Jeep that reads 'No Farms-No Food.' My prayers are for the ability to adapt to the change in ways that will bring a new and hopefully better era of farming for the future generations.
National Smile Week is the week of August 5-11th.
August 13th: Vinyl Record Day...listen to some good music!
Lemon Meringue Pie Day on August 15th.
August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley died.
On August 20, 1630, Lemonade was first served in Paris, France.
Meanwhile back on the farm...
Sage Hill Updates....
Fresh dried herbs, seasonings, tisanes and tea blends now available from this years crop. www.sagehillgardens.com
Gardens are winding down from the summer production...Fall planting will be light and easy=Down Time!!
Now is the time to remove and replace the soil in your Raised beds.....then plant your fall crops, once they have ceased to produce...cover and leave the fodder for winter protection and added compost for the spring....
Now is also the time to adopt any change in our eating habits....Fall is the perfect season to connect with "Eating In Season".
Private or group classes are available during the period of August 23 through Sept 10th...group or private sessions-here at Sage Hill or you location.
JOKE: Why shouldn’t you tell secrets on the farm? Because the corn has ears, the potatoes have eyes and the beanstalks.
32 Old Petersburg Pike
Winds of change...I can feel the breeze.
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