Well, this afternoon at 4:59 Pacific Daylight Time (which is my time so it is all about me), the Summer Solstice officially begins!
What does this mean? Well, aside from being the first day of Summer, its also an astronomical event, caused by Earth’s tilt on its axis, and its motion in orbit around the sun.
(Note: LA Farm Girl is not a scientist, nor an astronomer, and couldn't possibly explain this so its understandable, the following wonderful description comes from Earth & Sky: Clear Voice for Science, http://www.earthsky.org/).
"Because Earth doesn't orbit upright, but is instead tilted on its axis by 23-and-a-half degrees, Earth’s northern and southern hemispheres trade places in receiving the sun’s light and warmth most directly. At the June solstice, Earth is positioned in its orbit so that the North Pole is leaning 23-and-a-half degrees toward the sun. As seen from Earth, the sun is directly overhead at noon 23-and-a-half degrees north of the equator, at an imaginary line encircling the globe known as the Tropic of Cancer. This is as far north as the sun ever gets.
All locations north of the equator have day lengths greater than 12 hours at the June solstice. Meanwhile, all locations south of the equator have day lengths less than 12 hours."
OK, it’s me again. So, that means for us, it's the "longest" day of the year, in terms of daylight at least. And since ancient times most cultures have marked the solstice because it's a day to celebrate this time of warmth and light, which we should all do. And, what better way to do that than to celebrate and recognize the importance of our family farmers?
Take this weekend to go and visit your local farmers' market, farm stand, or farm (we do have a few left still) and thank them for the bounty that starts coming in full force with the Summer Solstice including stone fruit (you know, apricots, plums, pluots, nectarines, peaches), melons, summer squash, and of course, tomatoes.