Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Celebrating the Light of February

Happy February.  It is a month I always look forward to because it ushers in two important “events” for the farming and sustainable farming community. The first event is all about sunlight.  The days are once again long enough to promote new growth in plants. I have blogged about this fact before, citing winter gardening guru Elliot Colemanclick here to read the 2011 February Johnny Seed blog post full of links to Coleman’s winter gardening advice.

The celebration of light, fire, renewal, and the eventuality of spring are the central themes of Imbolc, St/Goddess Brigit’s Day, and Groundhog Day—all occurring on February 1st or 2nd when the day length crosses the "magic" ten hour threshold. Usually the weather is cold and blustery outside, so the reminder that growth is possible, is a welcome "flame" of hope to get one through the late winter months. I am not quite sure what to think of today’s weather, I will save my rant about global climate change for a future blog posting. I think we can agree that “things” are not quite normal. Click here to read a posting from CSA member Molly Daly for the CBS Local News about the strange recent weather.

The second event is the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s Farming For the Future Conference, that coincidentally also occurs at the beginning of February. The conference is always a wellspring of inspiration and timely knowledge. I encourage you to explore the write up (and links) of the two keynote speakers: Shannon Hayes and Brain Halweil on the coconference website.  After a very tough 2011 farming season, the PASA conference is just what I need to renew my sense of excitement about the season to come. See the video below made after last’s years twentieth anniversary conference and you will get a better sense of the fun, community and knowledge that awaits all those who attend.

Happy Imbolc, Happy Groundhog Day—let us celebrate the lengthening day length and the hope of spring to come.

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