Column: Our Ancestors’ Connection with Nature

Between today and Wednesday, my genealogy column, Roots to the Past, is available in the following Atlantic Canada newspapers:

Saturday: The Citizen (Amherst)

Saturday: Times & Transcript (Moncton)

Wednesday: The Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin (Lunenburg County)

Title: Our Ancestors’ Connection with Nature

Snippet: In my more than forty years of gardening, I have often heard the old saying, “Plant vegetables that grow above ground by the waxing of the moon”. It was followed by, “Plant vegetables that grow below ground by the waning of the moon”. This meant potatoes and carrots were planted after the full moon, and cucumbers and squash were planted after the new moon.

Although some may scoff at the idea of planting by the phases of the moon, our ancestors weren’t so quick to dismiss the logic. Whether fact or fiction, they had probably witnessed both successes and failures from following and not following this philosophy. They, like those before them, would have shared this knowledge, ensuring the saying survived to this day.

Before standard weather forecasting, people depended upon the wisdom of those who came before them. No doubt they too discovered unique planting techniques to their specific growing area and used them to ensure a successful harvest that would feed them through a long, cold winter. There were no grocery stores to run to when cupboards were bare; our ancestors had to grow much of their food or die of starvation.

The trend of growing your own food didn’t change drastically until after the Second World War. After 1945, Canadians slowly changed from being individual producers to full-time consumers. Backyard gardens were turned into lawns or left to grow wild.

. . . To read more, pick up one of the above noted newspapers.


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