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many moons

October 17, 2011

A feast of a book!

This past weekend was the Bioneers conference and, as always, it was ultra inspiring! Scott and I have been attending this conference for a decade now. What I love most about the Bioneers conference is its diversity and range of positive insight. Whatever your current focus, you can find lectures, films, discussions or workshops that relate to that area at the conference. It is that diverse. Right now, my focus is on raising a kid and coordinating a home. That includes food, garden, health, parenting and much more. I was easily able to delve into these areas at the Bioneers conference just as easily as an activist focusing on wetland restoration, unions, city planning or rainforest issues could find plenty in their area of focus. It is incredible. More about the conference later in the week. For now I want to talk a little about this book: Full Moon Feast by Jessica Prentice.

I always buy a few books at the Bioneers bookstore that relate to my current interests and focus because they have hand selected a wonderful group of books that I can not always find or find out about elsewhere. Full Moon Feast by Jessica Prentice is one of two I took home from the bookstore. I love cookbooks, and the idea of the names of the moons has always been intriguing to me. But this book has turned out to be so much more than just a seasonal cookbook. Most of it is based on our culture’s and other cultures stories of food and an historical discussion of indigenous and traditional ways. The chapter on the moon we are in now is called Blood Moon and it is about meat eating over the human timeline. It ends with a few meat recipes. Snow moon discuses fermentation and storing up for winter and gives a few fermentation recipes. Moon of Long Nights shares a lot about our need for sleep in the winter and how it is possible part of our hormonal and health problems could be attributed not just to poor diet, but to staying up all night in the winter with electric lighting. Really we should be sleeping more in the winter. This late light could be placing our body in a state of perpetual summer, causing us to crave sugar and carbohydrates to store up for the winter, which never comes… The recipes in this chapter are hearty winter recipes. It is a lot of intertwining stories, and a lot of intriguing things to think about, and in the context of what I have time for right now: cooking, sleeping schedules, projects with the boy like making yogurt and gardening, etc. And it’s great to have an intellectual aspect to add to my brain too.

It is beneficial and imperative to tune in to the seasons, not just healthwise but sustainability wise. We need to do the entire cycle, not just the parts we like best, or we deplete in those areas. Plus, it feels good to have variety. I want to raise Lukas to tune in to what is happening around him, whether it’s wind, ripening squash, early darkness, or high tide. He’s inclined to do this anyway and I am learning from him. This book gives us more thought-provoking information to help us connect in a deep way to the place we live and to each other. Highly recommended!

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