About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
Born in Illinois, I grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. I am married, for the 2nd time now, to Butch & got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me grandmother 25 times over & great-grandmother to over 20!. After many years working in industry, I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication, & was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 & returned to school & got my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore & genealogy - & add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/author/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play many folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I write the "Aunty Jeff" column for the Informer, newsletter of the Jefferson County NY Gen. Soc. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega & Sara Cochran as Genealogy Journeys® where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that: genaandjean.blogspot.com. More on our podcasts: genjourneys.podbean.com. More about my own projects: Circlemending.org.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Sunday Singalong - Growing our Food by the Moon


Is everyone ready for Summer? Last night we were graced with a full moon – the Strawberry moon, according to Native Americans of the Algonquin, Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota tribes. It stands to reason that the month strawberries ripen should have a moon named for them, but I’m in Southern California where our strawberries are ripe for the pickin’ starting in April, or even before (much depending on the rainfall in the prior months). This year, our intense rainy season is costing strawberry growers in California an estimated $200,000,000 (yup, 8 zeros)! In Central California, the overall yield has been dropped by 50% to 70%. Of course, this means that the price of strawberries is out of sight and it might be cheaper to visit that strawberry moon than pick up a pint of the fruit. In spite of all that, the belief is that the flavor of the berry is not affected and may even be better and the berries larger – I’m not sure why; I only know what I read on the Internet, where all truth is . . . _________ (suspect, or some other appropriate word). The FreshFruit Portal website explains some of the particulars. I just know that the state’s strawberries, sometimes even showing up as early as Valentine’s day, have missed that holiday, and probably a couple of others.

Library of Congress
unidentified photo, unrestricted use

Well, where are we going with our song topic of the week? I’m glad you asked. I thought that, with all the gardens being planted in the last 2 months and into this one (of course, where I live, produce can be, and is, grown year-round), a song about fruit, veggies (does anyone even use the word “vegetable” any more?), and herbs would be quite appropriate. Even if you aren’t planting your own garden, the chances are you will be eating at least one thing produced in the ground. And one of my absolute favorite garden songs is called (ready for this now?) “The Garden Song,” by David Mallett. Fun to sing, enjoyable to listen to, and even somewhat inspirational.

Released in 1975, performed here live in Virginia on 8 April2016.

Any favorites on this general topic to share?

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