Seasonal Cultivation : Summer  

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As many of you probably already know, Summer is here and it's in full swing! The farm is full of lush, deep green growth and we are only a week away from the Summer Solstice. The nodes are the smaller mini-seasons and provide a closer look at the transformations of change in the natural world that the larger segments of the four season cannot specifiy in as great detail.

As mentioned in our Spring Cultivation, each Node is roughly 15 days long, and each has a name in Chinese that attempts to describe what is happening at that time of year in symbolic terms.

Beginning of Summer - May 5-6

  • Mole Crickets Croon
  • Earthworms Emerge 
  • Snake Gourds Grow

Minor Fullness - May 20-21

  • Sow thistles are in Seed
  • Sheperd’s Purses Expire
  • Minor Summer Heat Arrives 

Bearded Grain -  June 5-6

  • Praying Mantises are Born
  • Shrikes Begin to Sing
  • Mockingbirds Stop Vocalizing

Summer Solstice  -  June 20-21

  • Deer Shed Antlers
  • Cicadas Begin Singing
  • Pinellia Grows 

Minor Heat - July 7-8

  • Sultry Winds Arrive
  • Crickets Take up Residence in Walls
  • Young Hawks Learn to Fly

Great Heat - July 22-23

  • Decaying Grass Transforms into Fireflies
  • The Earth Lies Damp Beneath Sweltering Heat
  • Heavy Rains Periodically Fall

As Dr. Henry McCaan writes, how can we use an understanding of Yin and Yang in nature to better allow us to harmonize with the external envronment?  Doing so prevents disease and ensure better health.  while this seems like such an easy idea, it would seem that modern people don’t think along these lines.

People in agrarian societies live closely with the movements of the seasons.  Once we moved away from the farm and into modern cities with indoor lighting and perfectly controlled interior environments we seem to have forgotten that humans are an integral part of nature.  So remember to be aware of what is happening outside, and how we can use that observation to preserve our own life.

Helpful Summer Tips for Balance:

  • Increase water and herbal teas - those prone to excess heat can drink chrysanthemum tea
  • Foods to consume include bananas, peaches, plums, umeboshi plums, asparagus, cucumber, corn, millet, tomato, melon, and mung beans.
  • Best times for sleeping well, or making sure you sleep your best are during 11 am - 1 pm - (nap time) and 11 pm - 1 am
  • Getting to bed and making sure to sleep through 11 pm -1 am ensures that we really rest, and we really go into a state of storage that replenishes our vital substances.

Enjoy Summer!