Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon

Written By: Deby Barnhart
Today is a l-o-n-g way from the days when we kept track of time by the moon instead of a digital clock. Time was not measured by the minute, but by the sun and the seasons.  In agricultural-based societies, the primary occupation was growing and harvesting food, timed by the rhythm of the moons. We can partake in our ancestral heritage by following their lead this fall when we gather our ripe crops under the same September Harvest Moon as they did.
The Harvest Moon, Corn Moon or Barley Moon are all names for this strong full moon light that allows farmers to work late and finish harvesting their crops. This year, it appears on September 2nd at 1:23 am.  If you decide to plant at that time of the morning this year, send your photo documenting the planting to: Info@cornellfarms.com! We would love to see and share it!
 
The Farmer’s Almanac recounts the age-old belief that planting Fall/Winter vegetable starts under the Harvest Moon yields "a larger, tastier harvest.” The modern title for this method is called biodynamic farming.   And further, that “all aboveground crops should be planted when the moon is waxing, and below ground crops should be planted when moon is waning”.  So, in addition to harvesting your crops under the full Harvest Moon, you may also plant fruit trees, sow and transplant root plants such as carrots, turnips, potatoes, beets, garlic, onion and leeks for the waning moon cycle.  
 
This year 2020 has changed many people’s routines, slowed our pace down and allowed a focus closer to home.  Sitting out under the summer sky in the quiet of the evening, a new awareness on the changes in the moon each night prepare us for the coming Fall Equinox September 22nd, when the amount of daylight equals the amount of night time and officially introduces the beginning of Fall.  Plants get the signal to begin storing sugars for winter energy during their dormant period, which we notice when leaves begin to change color in the fall.  
 
The Pacific Northwest (parades) a beautiful backdrop to enjoy the dramatic changing fall colors of foliage against our deep green conifers.   Take time to notice the first leaves to color up, change in bird and animal patterns, and watch the slow crescendo of nature on its clock to maintain your connection with the cycles of nature.  




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