The Vernal Equinox

Happy Spring!

It’s been a mild and sunny winter, none-the-less it is so very good to welcome spring today!

The Vernal Equinox is an astronomical event that marks the sun’s movement from the southern hemisphere into the northern hemisphere across the celestial equator. You know, you’ve seen the sun move further and further south through the fall until the solstice where it stood still for a couple days and then slowly turned itself around and started headed north and higher in the daytime sky.  Today, this morning, marked the moment when that movement exactly touches the equator and the length of daylight is equal to the amount of night. We call it the first day of Spring. Astrologers call it the Aries ingress.

It’s important to step away from the paper calendar and turn our faces toward the sky on such days as today. When we honor the seasonal calendar, we remind our hearts and souls that we are of the earth, radically connected to her cycles through mood, and food, and ritual (conscious and unconscious). You may have your own rituals (formal and/or informal), here are a couple of recommendations to jump start your day if you are at a loss:

Notice where the sun is in the sky today: I have a kitchen window, over the sink, which faces east. During the equinox, the sun is exactly center to this window as it rises over the mountains behind our home. I can step out and greet that sun and marvel that no matter what is shaking current events, at this moment that sunrise is exactly as it has been for millennia and will continue on as such well past my brief time here. Where is your sun rising this morning? Where will it set tonight?

Forage for wild edibles: everyone knows what dandelion greens look like. If you have access to a lawn or pasture that is fairly wild and clean, harvest some of those greens and add them to your salads and smoothies today or this week. You can also look for chickweed, dead nettle, and the first tender shoots of stinging nettle. Use those hotlinks for recommendations on how to add them to your meals today. If you are new to wild edibles, only add one to your diet each day to see how your system responds to these nutrient dense foods.

Start some seeds: it is so very easy to stop by most any general store this time of year and pick up a seed starting kit, especially for herbs. Once the seeds have sprouted, you can move your planter outdoors during the day to give them added hardiness. Then, clip and add these windowsill flavor factories to your favorite soups and salads. With each taste you can mindfully remember this first day of spring and your celebration of it!

This weekend, on Saturday, we’re celebrating the return of spring by planting potatoes. If you’d like to attend the workshop you can find out more here and here. We’d love to see you!

Happy Spring from Stony Ridge Farm!