Monday, September 30, 2013

Cow Puja! A Cultural/MultiCultural/Agricultural Celebration

Puja ceremony photo by Chris Kasper
We could not have chosen a more glorious autumn day than yesterday for our  Farm Fair & Cow Puja. And with such perfect weather,  we had a tremendous turnout - we think 600 people or more -  enjoying an afternoon on the farm.  The heart of the afternoon was the Puja ceremony, performed in the authentic Hindu manner, by Rahul Kashyap, his wife and several friends. Rahul explained that actually,we are not giving a blessing to the cows, we are taking blessings from them.
When the cows ate their breakfast yesterday morning I had painted a huge butterfly design on LaFonda's  back, which you can almost discern in  this photo, and I covered her collar with sunflowers, some of which are still attached.
Last year, all the cows crowded around Rahul for the jaggery, a crystallized sugar treat that is part of the ceremony,  but this year LaFonda and especially Jitter were a bit more shy.  Incense was wafted around the cows,  red strings draped over their horns, and a red dot dabbed on their foreheads.
After the puja ceremony, we dedicated our  recently mosaic'ed wood-fired oven as the Mike Podulke Memorial Oven.  Mike was an amazing, kind, creative person and most of the mosaic pieces came from him and his wife Stephanie, who had collected them for their stained glass and other art.  Jerry Katzmann led the dedication. (Thank you, Jerry!)
All afternoon, people enjoyed the bands, browsed the artisan crafts, ate  kebabs and kettlekorn, and explored the farm.
Axolotl played Mexican son Jarocho music.
The Nodding Wild Onions featured many original cow songs in their set.
"Ukelele Girl" Linda Drozdowicz and
The Volunteer Tomatoes also filled the air with great music.
So many delightful vendors selling their beautiful and clever wares, such as this upcycled chandelier retrofitted with solar lights for romantic patio dining...
Cheri sold her jewelry, crocheted pieces and famous "LaVermes" worm juice...
Heather Jerdee's  lovely photographs...
Local author Debbie Lampi signed her  just published book, "Shadowplay"...
Laura Rice's gorgeous painted gourds and art...
Beaded jewelry and  bead-trimmed hats , Made by Mara...
Joel's made irresistible hot KetttleKorn...
Kim sold her beautiful fair trade imported Sutra Global by Design textiles and created beautiful mehndi designs on willing arms and hands...
Virginia opened her Poetry Store booth and composed custom verses on a vintage typewriter...
small, mystical, spirit dolls created from soft leather and semi-precious beads, stuffed with a blend of sands from around the world, by artist Mary Rivard...
Brenda demonstrated how she hand-sews the bindings of her beautiful handmade books as her daughter wove...
Nicole's necklaces...
Melissa's Don't Judge a Book bookcovers, nostalgic bags and such created from vintage linens, laces, coffee sacks...
sparkling stained glass, suncatchers and windchimes made by Laurel and Darin from vintage glass nuggets and prisms...
heirloom pumpkins and squashes grown by our neighbor Brian Petersen for sale in and surrounding  the Willys...
Bonnie's recycled garden art found new homes...
as did this horse puppet that was for sale in the Farm store...
and quite a few wonderful poems were created with the giant refrigerator poetry.

And those are just a few goings-on I was able to snap photos of as I raced around all afternoon!
We want to extend our deepest gratitude to the volunteers who made the day go so smoothly and successfully!  I only have this photo of  our joyful entrance greeters - Chris Cross and Betsy Ross.  How did I not get a photo of the intrepid shop keepers - Jonya, Kathy, and Debbie?  We owe you!  Also, a special thanks to Eric for last minute branch trimming, to Jack for making sure Zinnie did not get into too much trouble, and of course to our Hindu guests for performing the Puja.
Finally, THANK YOU to everyone who came to the 3rd Annual Squash Blossom Farm Fair and Cow Puja, supported the artists, musicians and food vendors, gave our cows a bit of special attention, and are helping us make our farm dream come true.  We are so blessed, both by the cows and by you all!

3 comments:

Jocelyn said...

Every year I think "What a wonderful day, full of such creativity and happiness". This year, I can see it's the same. If I lived anywhere near you, I'd be there every year, just to soak up the creative vibes from your festival.

Congrats on another successful one. It looks like it was fantastic.

Catherine Goeddey said...

I have been waiting to hear about LaFonda's calf!

Kathleen said...

Is there a pattern for the chicken quilt? It looks fantastic as a back drop for the musical stage.
Kit