After a quick break, I am back in the greenhouse getting more plants started. The greenhouse has been empty since the end of December, but just this week I seeded the first seeds of the season. However, the tomato and herb seeds I planted will not produce any food for a couple months. It is great to be able to start the process of seed starting again. It is always a good time of the year thinking of all the new possibilities for the season.
Even though we are seeding, we won’t start harvesting any food for a little while yet. This is why the Native Americans had given the full moon for this month the name the hunger moon. It is true that there is almost no available local fresh produce right now, especially things like lettuce. I often think of how much of a difference the greenhouse has made in our ability to extend the season, but it is hard to think of what people did before food was shipped from California and Chile in the winter. If I was living then, I am sure I too would be hungry when I saw this month’s full moon rise.
It is great to be able to extend the season with the greenhouse. We are able to grow things in the greenhouse through December and now in just a month and a half the greenhouse will be full again with plant starts and our early tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers planted in the ground. For 10 months out of the year the greenhouse is being used for food production, which is pretty cool I think. There are times I wish we’d push through and keep growing through January and February. However, even in the greenhouse, with the lack of daylight things don’t really grow, they just chill. I guess we could use lights, but even with everything we’ve been able to invent to extend the season this month would still feel like there are not enough fresh greens.
Being hungry for good fresh food does make me enjoy the food when it does come in season. In May when I taste the first greens that are harvested or later when I eat the first cherry tomato I know the wait is well worth it. The is the best part of eating seasonally is appreciating what you are eating so much more. A good tasting tomato is available for only a limited amount of time each year. It is the same for farming. I look forward to the first time I get to sit down and put the new seeds in trays every year. I also look forward to transplanting those plants and eventually harvesting them. There will be times when I’ll need to weed, but that can also be an enjoyable part of the whole process. What is not enjoyable is grabbing onto a thistle while weeding. Either way, all the work put into the harvested crop will make it taste that much better because.
I wonder if being hungry (and not just for food) is something that would make for better people. If we experienced times when we didn’t have everything we needed maybe we’d be more grateful or the things we experience would give us more fulfillment. Regardless, it is a nice thing to know that while this month is the hunger moon, there is also a full moon called the harvest moon when feasting will be had. Even though things are lean now when all the seeds we’ll be planting in the hungry times grow and mature there will lots of good food.
I am grateful that I don’t have to be truly hungry during the hunger moon, but as I was seeding I was thinking how much I was looking forward to the tomatoes that would come from the seeds I was planting.