Maybe the name I’ve given to this moon is inacurate.
The harvest(ing), after all, began months ago – with the first service berries and, before that, the strawberries, the rhubarb, the early, foragiable wild greens. Likewise, I’ve been getting apples in for about a month now. (Maybe I should call this one “Pear Moon”, since the Ontario Pears just started showing up in the grocery store about five days ago).
Regardless – and maybe it shouldn’t be “regardless”, since these names are supposed to mean something, after all – it’s the time of year when my modeling work picks up again (school starts, and day-camps finish, which means my figure-drawing clubs and fine-arts & animation classes get going); when the temperatures drop (briefly) and the leaves start turning in earnest; and when I start dreaming about long-simmering soups and hearty, stick-to-your-ribs hot meals.
This is the time of year when we stock up – set aside a whole weekend to get the Major Canning done so that we can have “fast food” (and fruits and veggies) between November and June, paid for (as Barbara Kingsolver puts it) in time up front.
We fill our freezers with trays of individually-quick-freezing berries and butter beans, then bag them up, saving those late-summer tastes in sub-zero stasis ’til we’re craving them in February. We have the slow-cooker, or the dehydrator, or the stove on all the time, always with a pot of something bubbling away for putting up – fruit butters and berry jams for long-distant gift-giving; chutneys, sauces, pickles, and spreads for later home-use (in solstice baking, in hot sandwiches, in root-based remoulades). Tomatoes, apple, pears, and currants drying (in my dreams) for use in wintery waldorf salads, slow-cooked stews, and snowy weekend breakfasts.
I am not currently canning anything (I hang my head in urban-homesteader shame), but hope to make up for it – about nine days from now – provided I can get ahold of some free (yes, I’m holding out for free on this one) tomatoes to turn into sauces and other goodies.
Now is definitely the Moon of Stocking Up.
But. It’s also the Moon of taking stock.
If Lilac Moon is Misha’s moon, then Apple/Harvest Moon belongs to Mattaer: She of the full harvest, the bread rising, the Earth that gives and feeds and, yes, even overwhelms. (Can you tell I’ve never really gone hungry? ;-)) The promise in the full larder. The pantry brimming with jewel-tone jars.
Even though (almost) all my attempts at cultivating my own veggies went belly-up this year (😦 ), I’ve kept up with the bread-making and the foraging (to the tune of 4-5 kilograms of serviceberries, 2 kilograms of sour cherries, and about 12 cups of blanched and frozen wild greens) that I began in the spring. I’m pretty pleased about that. Donated and goblin-harvested fruit (and with luck, next weekend, veggies) have given me a heretofore unheard-of yield of Approaching Free (I re-use my jars, and my canning sugar is about $1/kg) Preserves, which I’m really happy about.
Energetically, we can look back at the things – activities and goals – that we planted during Lilac Moon, and remember why we planted them – why we were so keen to devote our time, energy, and attention to them – and have a good hard(?) look at what our yields are.
I have to admit – rather happily – that my days are looking a bit more like those ideal scenarios that I described back in Leaf Moon.
Yes, there’s still a fair amount of Internet going on, but there’s also better, and more consistent, writing habits (although I’m still a long way away from having a chapbook written), frequent physical activity, and a few successes in the New Business Activity that I was digging into back in May.
What I don’t have is much in the way of yields coming in from my older business venture. There’s still a promotional trick or two that I’m game for trying, but my Etsy harvest for this year has been… pretty awful. To be perfectly honest. Still. We’ll see what we can do.
While I don’t have a book of essays on Non-Monogamy and Power Exchange (yet), I do have some interest from possible contributors, have spoken briefly (briefly) with a possible publisher (Cuir and Queer), and continue to host my Poly and Power salons (on the same theme).
I’ve also submitted two workshop proposals for Unholy Harvest so, as far as pushing myself into kink educating, that another item on that plate (though we’ll see if either of said workshops are accepted).
What have your summer projects yielded?
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 Or, okay, in my oven on a very low temperature. (That link is for apples and pears. Here’s one for tomatoes (you have to store the end result in the fridge, mind you) and one for seedless grapes that I think would convert easily to other berries – like currants, blueberries, serviceberries, and even cherries if you futzed with the timing a little bit).
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