By Danielle French

Magical Moments: Full Moon Suppers

Sunday the 9th is the full moon of July – the Full Buck Moon or Thundermoon and Blackberry Moon as it is called. At this time, a buck’s antlers are to be in full growth. It is also a time of frequent thunderstorms and a time of harvesting blackberrys. If you live here in Ontario, frequent thunderstorms are not just a happening in July – let’s look back over the past two months! Honestly – have we had enough rain yet? Despite the fact that pretty much all that I do is weather dependent, I am not complaining. Compared to the drought of last summer where everything by this time looked scorched; here at the farm, it is lush and beautiful.

 

 

The flowers are in blossom and the grass seed I had to put down in areas needed no extra watering by me, the lawn looks great. For everything else, it’s all a bit late and even soggy. July should be a time of plenty, fruit and vegetable excess( if there is such a concept). So far, the bounty is delayed. Jessica our beautiful vegetable farmer is a few weeks off the mark, strawberries are still in season, no blackberries to harvest yet and our own gardens are just now providing a yield. We shall see what the end of the summer brings for the harvest.

 

 

There are times that we try things that really work and leave me pinching myself that not only do I live here on this beautiful land but that I am part of something very special. Last month, our full moon supper was a magical experience. Despite a day of rain, the clouds cleared just early enough in the afternoon to let us set the tables in the field. We still had high winds and a power outage which kept the greenery off the tables. But just after the power came back on, guests arrived and were greeted with a strawberry cocktail and led out to the field for the first course.

 

 

I was honoured that Kim Wheatley, an Anishinaabe (Ojibway) band member of Shawanaga First Nation and Anishinaabe Cultural Consultant was part of the supper to share her knowledge and traditions of Full Moon Ceremonies. Kim is Turtle Clan and a proud grandmother of 2 granddaughters and mother of 3 daughters. Her spirit name is “Shkoden Neegaan Waawaaskonen” which translates to “Head/Leader of the Fireflower”. Kim’s love of Indigenous hand drumming/singing and Anishinaabe traditional teachings defines her life journey and is always the framework of interaction that shapes her worldview. She is deeply committed to creating and promoting awareness of the Indigenous perspective utilizing her gifts of song, storytelling and Traditional teachings. She shared her talents and her culture with us that day.

 

 

Kim sang in the distance at our ceremony space on the hill. Chef carried his long six foot board laden with canapes and guests followed down the path through the hay field. There were treated to strawberry chevre “truffles” and later, wild rice, grilled duck and quails eggs. Around the fire as Kim spoke about the moon on cue a large pink and red moon rose up over the pond. It was truly magical.

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Danielle French - Ash Naylor Photography

About Danielle

Looking for a simpler way of life for her four daughters and herself, Danielle moved from Toronto to this farm in the Bethany Hills of Southern Ontario, and over time together with her family and her partner Shawn, restored the barn, the iconic heritage silo and the land.

Danielle loves to create unique settings and menus for the many events she offers at South Pond Farms, such as authentic farm-to-table gatherings, bread-making workshops, culinary classes, and weddings. Danielle’s vision is to inspire others to share her vision of a traditional life and way of cooking and to feel the sense of history on this beautiful land.  

Danielle was also the host of a television series called Taste of the Country

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