A Secular Calendar for farming | Pictures | Food Newsie

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A Secular Calendar for farming

A Secular Calendar for farming

Years ago we endeavoured to create a simplified calendar to help gardeners who are cursed with two left thumbs. Too often, new flower and veggie farmers are confined to the directions on the backs of seed packets suggesting planting months and spans of growth recommended for the best times to harvest. It all goes back to a calendar; it all goes back to the Julian Calendar – a calendar devised to steer druids and pagans as far away as possible from their roots and traditions.

By this author’s reckoning, gardening and farming naturally are seeded in those traditions and roots (pun intended). So why not, with the help of research online, rediscover what farmers long ago used to measure time for farming Tasks and Chores? It quickly became a project that outgrew my patience. However, with the goal of designing something reasonably attractive, a secular calendar emerged right away.

A Secular Calendar for farming

Growing a garden by the phase of nature and cycles of the moon.

Farmers in the Northern Hemisphere could arrange their annual tasks not by months like March and April, but by astrological signs like Scorpio and Capricorn. Regular chores like pest control and pruning were dictated by phases of the moon. Were the project a success, all the seed packets could be thrown away and ideally, one neatly designed graphic would announce, clearly to everyone in growing climates when to do what.

A Secular Calendar for farming

Chores for gardening orchestrated by phases of the moon.

The challenge of design is too tantalizing to walk away from fully, but it seemed a good idea to present the rough draft and start of the effort to the masses. We’ll continue at a slow pace to tinker with the calendar and, we hope, this acts as some inspiration to a few readers out there!

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