Wednesday, 1 July 2020

July Country Days

The July pages  from Tasha Tudor's book 'A Time to Keep'. Being an American author and illustrator these pages celebrate the 4th July.

July 4th started off with fire crackers under tin cans. The boys loved the noise but the corgi's didn't.

We would hang the flag from the loft window and fix a huge and delicious picnic.

 July is a bit short on weather lore, maybe everyone was so busy harvesting and storing food they weren't interested in what was going to happen in the future.

July is named in honour of Julius Caesar, July usually contains some good hot days and these are sometimes referred to as Dog Days. At this time of year Sirius, the dog star, rises at the same time as the sun and was thought by the ancient Romans to give the sun extra heat. The Dog Days are from July 3rd until August 11th . Although the weatherman on Countryfile at the weekend said there will be no settled spell until around the 8th of July this year.

As the dog days commence, so they end

Anglo-Saxon names for the month are Heymonath or Meadmonath referring to haymaking and the flowering of the meadows, and the full moon in July is called the Wyrt moon or Mead moon . Wyrt is an old English name for herbs and July was the traditional time for taking the first honey from the hive and making mead.
I bought a jar of very local honey last week after seeing an ad on the local village facebook page. Someone was selling jars of their first ever honey crop - only quarter of a mile away - but it must have been very popular as he'd already sold out of the set honey.

 I've put my jar in the fridge so it's sets a little as at the moment it would just run off toast! I'll need it to use for breakfasts if I do the "one week eating local" challenge again - I'm thinking about it now that I have lots of my own food to use.

 The main date in July that people associate with weather rhymes is St Swithin's day on the 15th, although there is no record  of this day ever being followed by 40 days of rain even if it pours on the 15th, the average is 17 days with rain.

The 15th is also the day after which windfall apples were traditionally OK to pick up and use, before this they were considered too green and sour.

Back Tomorrow


  1. Dad does exactly the same thing with his honey - keeps it in the fridge so it is a bit 'stiffer'. I always think it's a shame about the hot toast that rather defeats the purpose!
    Really windfalls after the middle of July? Wow.

    I love your folk lore entries, thanks, Sue.

  2. I adore Tasha Tudor and have several of her books, both by her and about her unique lifestyle. I could only aspire to it! I have even kept the copy of Victoria magazine from the early 1990's where she first came to my attention.
    Call me decadent, but I have two jars of honey, a set one for toast and a runny honey for my Honey Mustard salad dressing.

    July 1st, heating on. Something not quite right with this.

  3. Fantastic post - thank you. We love reading these 'passing on the knowledge' type posts and can imagine a time when such learnings or understandings were passed from one generation to the next in a story-telling; one keeper of the knowledge to everyone, some one of whom will eventually become the next.

  4. The 15th is also my wedding anniversary! The Tasha Tudor book looks delightfully innocent...oh for a simpler life...without lockdown restrictions of course! x

  5. What a lovely book Sue, my D tried to get me some local honey for it's supposed to be good for hay-fever but she could not get any. It's my birthday this month and my GS is on the 15th. so hopefully the weather will brighten up for we want to have a birthday tea in the garden with 8 of us. I have not seen by Son since the end of February although he phones a lot. Take care. 🌈🌈🌈Hazel c uk

  6. Who needs Google when we have you Sue! Interesting to know all about July as it is my birthday month and usually a good one especially the weather.

  7. Ooh, lots of interesting facts there. Have you ever watched the Tasha Tudor films on YouTube, her garden is gorgeous and watching her pottering around it lovely. Here's one of them, there are lots.

  8. My windfall apples would definitely be a challenge to peel as still small (we've only just had the June Drop!) Lucky you to get such local honey.

    Loved your July history and must go to Sue's Tasha Tudor link. My brain needs unfrazzling today!

  9. Being in the US, it is clear that we have some dog days ahead. Temps for the next week at supposed to be 30-35c. Fortunately, we have a/c. A necessary item in a climate where there are very few breaks in high heat/humidity from May until late September.

    Enjoy that honey!

  10. Always fun to learn something new, love the folklore.

  11. I love the Tasha Tudor books and the illustrations are lovely. Your first of the month posts are always special with much information and history! It's wonderful that you found some local honey so close to home. If it sold so well they will probably increase their production next year if possible.

  12. -:¦:-·:*'""*:·.-:¦:-·* HAPPY 4th of JULY! *·-:¦:-·:*'''''*:·-:¦:-