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Sown in the Stars (Hardback)

Planting by the Signs

Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Pages: 168
Illustrations: 1 map, 2 tables, 3 b&w illustrations, 69 color illustrations
ISBN: 9780813197043
Published: 4th April 2023

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"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted." - Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

 

The Appalachian region is deeply rooted in customs that have been handed down for generations. "Planting by the signs," a practice predicated on the belief that moon phases and astrological signs exert a powerful influence on the growth and well-being of crops, is considered superstitious by some but has been essential to gardeners and farmers for centuries and is still in use today.

 

Sown in the Stars brings together the collective knowledge of farmers in central and eastern Kentucky about the custom of planting by the signs. Sarah Hall interviews nearly two dozen contemporary Kentuckians who still follow the signs of the moon and stars to guide planting, harvesting, canning and food preservation, butchering, and general farm work. Hall explores the roots of this system in both astrology and astronomy and the profound connections felt to the stars, moon, planets, and the earth. Revealed in the personal narratives are the diverse interpretations of the practice. Some farmers and gardeners believe that the moon's impact on crop behavior is purely scientific, while others favor a much wider interpretation of the signs and their impact on our lives. Featuring photographs by Meg Wilson, this timely book bridges the past, present, and future by broadening our understanding of this practice and revealing its potential to increase the resiliency of our current agricultural food systems.

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