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Vernal equinox and breaking news.

March 15, 2011

It sure doesn’t feel like the warmth of spring is coming, with the last 31 out of 33 days of rain and fog (and some hail). But the equinox is upon us and true to form, things are starting to awaken and hurl forward as fast as our spinning planet speeds through space.

What am I talking about?

Equinox: equal day and night… this is the time, twice per year, that the day length is in perfect balance with the night. And for those of you who notice such things, from here on out in the NW our days are going to get longer. Much longer, and much FASTER than since the solstice in December. It’s as if our earth has been stretching away on a giant celestial rubber band in slow motion from mid-winter, spins in perfect balance for a day at the equinox, and then is released snap itself back towards summer at full force.

People have recognized the vernal equinox for thousands of years. There seem to be rituals and traditions surrounding the coming of spring in every culture. We’re all familiar with the themes of fertility (colored eggs and the Easter bunny), resurrection (Easter). Many early cultures celebrated because their food supplies would soon be restored.  It is also probably no coincidence that early Egyptians built the Great Sphinx so that it points directly toward the rising sun on the day of the vernal equinox. This is a VERY important time.
The first day of spring also marks the beginning of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. The celebration lasts 13 days and is rooted in the 3,000-year-old tradition of Zorastrianism. This is the time of Lent, detoxification,awakening and renewal, and nature has a way of reminding us…
All of those spring veggies that are available this time of year? Asparagus, chard, kale, dandelion, nettles, wild onions and spring garlics are as though they were designed for detoxifying and purifying the blood and liver. Something that most of us need after a sluggish and cold winter of eating meat and fat and other stuff to keep us warm. No coincidence. Thanks, Earth, for helping me off the couch.
The equinox is also a powerful time for manifesting things to come for the new year. It is thought that after a long and sleepy winter, full of reflection and newfound wisdom, any wishes that are spoken around the vernal equinox will be granted. And it is so true! While I had been fretting about how we were EVER going to be able to till the wet soggy low-lying soils at the Dirtbox in time to plant early spring veggies,  I thought that if we could only find a plot of land that had a gentle slope and a south-west facing aspect… with good drainage, we might just be able to work it up just that much sooner.
Balance: till too wet and you ruin your soil. Till too dry… and well, you ruin your soil.
Sure enough, equinox wishes are granted. Yesterday, I met with and old friend, Stirling, who donated  a parcel of unused land… perfect for our early season needs. He shares the same ethic as we do, that a farm needs to be loved and tended and taken care of  so that it will in turn take care of us.  And so, the Dirtbox is now going to be loving and tending and caring for another 6000 square feet of beautiful, fertile soil! Which means that we have room now for another 10 or so members in our CSA!
This is big news for us, and reminds me that we are amidst a VERY supportive community out here in the Willamette. Seems like we’re not the only ones who want to see happy, healthy farms in our beautiful valley! The support from our local friends is really what keeps this project afloat and keeps us humbled, grateful and has me convinced that many, many powers are at play to keep this little business alive and thriving.
And so, balance is restored. We now have a site that is perfect for early and late season crops, one that is perfect for long-season summer crops, and one that is perfect for flowers, potatoes and aromatic herbs.  Stay tuned for photos of this new development!
And in this time of new fertility and growth, many congratulations to my dear friend who has had some wonderful news this spring. I am sworn to secrecy for now, but you know who you are, momma! I am BUSTING at the seams!

Meanwhile… try this! It is thought that when the day is at perfect balance with the night, all things are possible…
One Comment leave one →
  1. March 17, 2011 10:58 pm

    oooooh I cannot wait to start seeing the ground blossom with goodness and for the day to lengthen and give us more sunshine! This time of year is so hopeful.

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