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There’s a reason it’s called “Tradition”

25 June

The traditional Welcome Circle at our Solstice Celebration is always special, because it gives meaning to everything Live Earth Farm stands for: a deep bond with nature, where food is the common link that nurtures our health, our environment and our community. Last Saturday, four long potluck tables were loaded with dishes to be shared. Like in all cultures around the world, this gesture – the sharing of a meal – enriches our sense of community; it celebrates and brings joy and beauty to relationships, as well as a more meaningful connection to the earth under our feet. It was a moment of gratitude for the generosity of the land, it’s people, and the power and grace of what sustains our lives, and the miracle of sunshine, water, soil, seed and air contributing to what becomes our food.

The Summer Solstice celebration was abuzz in activities, with something for everyone to do. Whether it was dipping u-picked strawberries into chocolate ganache donated by “The Buttery”, tractor hayrides with me around the fields, or milking goats and making cheese with Laura, fun was had by all. We were happy to see our neighbor Susan, a local painter and owner of Susun Art Gallery, come by to inspire the kids with art projects, while our son David coordinated an all-hands-on creative bread baking session in the farm’s wood-fired cob-oven. The hay fort was as always a popular hangout for kids, especially this year, thanks to the fun design Dale (the farm’s builder and craftsman) came up with. Unlike last year, the day was pretty warm, so ice cream-making with a hand-cranked ice cream maker was very popular.

It was a fine day to come and just relax, or leisurely explore the farm, visiting the children’s garden, fruit orchards, redwood barn, the pasture-raised chickens, baby goats, or hedgerow plantings. Music accompanied us throughout the day. In the early afternoon, “Mountain Folk”, a local band (two of it’s members are Roger, the Discovery program’s Farm & Garden assistant, and Brian Smith, a longtime CSA member), entertained us with lively folk-music. Later in the day, as has been a tradition for at least 10 years, Kuzanga played their wonderful Zimbabwean marimba rhythms by the fire circle. This year I passed the baton for starting the bonfire to our son David, and some of the children, as is customary, helped him light it. Kuzanga’s music always makes people dance, and so it accompanied the fire until darkness settled in. For a special treat Linnea Beckett returned to honor us with her graceful fire dance. Linnea apprenticed here 8 years ago, and brought the art of fire dancing with her to the farm. To our surprise, David and longtime member Azalyne were inspired to add to the magic by accompanying her. We let the land weave its magic and revitalize and nourish our bodies and spirits as we embraced the coming of summer. Many thanks to all who participated, and helped to make this another great celebration.

– Tom