An invitation to return to a simpler time of earth-based spirituality and ritual living, through writings from a small forest-farm in the Appalachian Highlands.
This book looks at the agricultural year as a starting space for a deepening of earth-centered spirituality. It gives a set of backstories to ease the reader into a time between the pre-industrial era and the modern one, into a place where the fast-moving stress of American life can be affected by a better connection not only to the natural world but to the elegant expression of the year as expressed through seasonal festivals and celebrations.
The chapters are broken into four seasons, with the quarter days a highlight within each, and feature simple skills that accompany each marker in the year. Author H. Byron Ballard offers advice on spiritual and physical immersion into the seasons that applies to readers from all areas: rural, urban, and suburban.
This is also a deeply practical book, including insights into the following:
- Farming & gardening: composting, manure, soil preparation, pests, seed-saving
- Food: cooking, preserving, foraging, the summer kitchen, mushrooms and mycelium
- Fiber arts: knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, decorative cut-work, and embroidery
- Sewing: treadle machines, electric machines, hand sewing
- Household crafts: candle-making, soap-making, broom-making, sharpening tools
- Health: medicines, tending the dying, death and death rituals
- A glossary is included for any unfamiliar terms.