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The Harvest Moon

This year we celebrate two full moons in the month of August. The 1st of August welcomed the first of the two moons. This moon was traditionally called the Harvest Moon by many Northern Hemisphere cultures . This is the time of the year that many grains were put up for winter stores. The first harvest of Lughnasadh is celebrated in August, and it is a time to celebrate all the work and toil of the past months, while still planing ahead for winter. At the homestead, bread would be broken into four pieces and placed in each corner of the home to protect the stored grain and to bring good fortune. The loaves of bread were also believed by our English ancestors to contain magickal properties and thus were used in magickal and superstitious ways. This festival would last all month. In many parts of the United States today, many farmers are cutting wheat crops right now. Gardeners are receiving the bulk of their bounty from their gardens and wildlife will start to feast and find high in fat foods to help sustain their bodies for winter. As we celebrate the coming of fall crops and our bounty, I would like to share with you a cracker recipe that is easy to mix up and a great way to give thanks to the Earth for sharing its amazing crops.

Wild Rice Crackers

2 Tablespoon dry yeast

1 ½ c warm water

2 c whole wheat flour

1 c ap flour

½ c wild rice flour

½ c finely ground cornmeal

1 tsp salt

2 tsp pepper

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes or unitl the yeast begins to bubble. Meanwhile, sift together the whole wheat flour, ap flour, rice flour and cornmeal. Stir in the salt and pepper. Add the flour mixture to the yeast. Mix well unitl the dough is pliable but not sticky.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Set aside to rise at room temperature for 1 hour. Remove the towel and punch down the dough. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan ( 18” by 26”) with parchment paper. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to the length and width of the pan. Score and cut the cracker dough to any desired size.

Transfer to the sheet pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.

The second full moon that we celebrate in August in the Super Blue Moon on August 31st. This moon is a once in a decade experience. The term Blue Moon is most commonly used when we have two full Moons in a single month. This Full Moon is also a “Supermoon.” In fact, it’s the closest Supermoon of 2023. “Supermoon” is a catchy term for what astronomers call “a perigean full Moon” which is when the full Moon happens at or near its closest point to Earth in its oval-shaped orbit. I hope you are going to be able to take it in!

When I received the artwork for this month from Rebecca, a wave of memories rushed through my mind. This time of the year in Montana was always beautiful to see. Driving down highways and dirt roads you are always destined to see fields of beautiful gold swaying with the wind. Wheat. A sustaining crop for many farmers all over the United States. Not only is the grain harvested for multiple purposes but the stalks would be cut to be baled and stored for winter bedding.

For the notion this month, Big Sky Engraving in Billings, MT customized some tassel makers for us! This month the bag includes a groovy llama with shades on which makes a 2" tassel accessory and a rabbit that will make a 1"tassel. This is a great way to add a little extra pop to a cozy shawl or bag.

This month we are celebrating the over abundance of natural dyes. Our gardens, ditches and fields are full of potential! I chose to work with marigolds and amaranth for the dye this month. This past spring, we planted both of the plants in the high tunnel to help keep them safe this fall until we can host our dye classes. Faye has been busy picking marigolds every week this summer. Once she has them brought into the mill, I lay them out to dry for winter dyeing. This beautiful yellow was created with the fresh buds though. The amaranth did not seem to like the high tunnel though. The plants were small and weak through out the entire summer. Sean went through this past week and cut 2/3 of the planting down to the ground. We have a 4 gallon batch working in the mill. If you would like more information on dyeing with amaranth, please see Knitty Vet blog. The fiber that is featured is Corriedale. I was running dye samples with a few different breeds and I loved how this dyed and how it turned out as roving. The Corriedale is the oldest of all the crossbred wool breeds, a Merino-Lincoln cross developed in Australia and New Zealand and first brought to the United States in 1914. Corriedales are a dual-purpose sheep with good meat and wool. Their dense fleece is medium-fine and high yielding, with good length and softness, somewhat between medium wool and long wool. The roving you will receive is a medium length for hand spinning. When the roving was created, I ran the colored down one side of the belt and the white on the other. So when you un-braid your wool you will have the capabilities to pull it apart and play with the color flow on it.

Enjoy! Looking to purchase one of the boxes for the month of August? Click here.

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