The summer solstice occurred at 6:28 am Sunday morning. I didn’t go to bed much before that, and I didn’t get up much after. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year, so from here on out our days are getting shorter again. It has already felt like summer for quite a while, and we’re still getting hotter. Festival goers took the heat in stride, dotting the creek along the length of the farm in an attempt to keep cool. The floods carved out several new swimming holes, and every one got well-used.
The music was great this year, so much talent on both stages to try and listen to, there was just no way to see everybody. Two of our CSA members performed this year, Rae Hering and Toby Leonard, both putting on great, entertaining shows. For many people, the highlight is the bonfire ceremony on Saturday night just before sundown. The Love Drums set the tone- tribal beats draw the crowd toward the fire circle, and over 1000 people hold hands up and down the field. Kids run around the inside circumference of the circle, and I was starting the bow-drill fire, fighting against saturating humidity that made everything damp and disinterested in burning.
As the fire catches the crowd builds with energy. The drums have everybody synched together in rhythm, and the intensity starts to build. Dancing breaks out all over the field until the scene is almost frantic, the fire’s glow illuminates the celebration, and for a few moments, everyone connects. One vast undulating crowd moving together to the same beat.
Eventually the stages are up and running again, and the Love Drums move down to their tribal camp, where infectious rhythms can take hold of passers-by throughout the night. The acoustic stage had bluegrass until after 3am, and no shortage of happy campers cheering them on. I found the creek again for a quiet stroll under the canopy of stars. The cool water rushed through my sandals, removing unwanted grass and pebbles, and carrying my mind toward silence. With more tribal beats fading into the distance, I couldn’t help but walk in rhythm to my tent, another successful solstice at the Long Hungry. **
Jeff is inviting CSA members up to his place next weekend to pick blueberries. Some of you may have tasted them last week, and I picked a couple of quarts on the way to Solstice- they are superb! They will come in for several more weeks, and I’ll try and keep you updated on availability. If you are interested in large quantities or blueberries, I will be taking orders for the next several weeks at the pick-up, and buying berries from Hidden Springs Orchard in Cookeville ($30/gallon=5 lbs). They were amazing the last two years, and they tell me it is going to be an abundant year!
This Week’s Harvest: Lettuce, Beets, Garlic, Green Onions, Swiss Chard, Celery, parsley, Basil