Everything you need to know about the harvest moon… and more
The full moon that falls closest to the autumnal equinox is known as the harvest moon.
Though the harvest moon happens every year, this time is unique because of an observable change in the way the moon rises relative to the observer’s latitude.
On average, the moon rises 50 minutes later each night over the course of the year as it travels across the zodiac constellations.
At the fall equinox, the moon travels the part of the zodiac band that forms the most shallow angle with the eastern horizon, making it so the moon rises around 30 minutes or less apart from day to day.
Therefore, we see a “full” moon on the nights before and after the actual day of the full moon.
Why is it associated with harvest?
In European lore, the light of the bright, big harvest moon was advantageous for the farmers whose harvests were cut short by the shorter daytime hours. For multiple days during this time, the light of the moon not only illuminated their fields for visibility, but also helped boost the crops production for the biggest harvest of the year.
Here at the Ranch, we’ll be taking advantage of this lunar power to apply a few biodynamic preps, get a grip on pest control and of course, harvest our long-awaited autumn bounty!
The more you know: what exactly is a microgreen?
Is it a really tiny green?
Basically. Though these greens are planted from seed just like any old loose greens mix, they’re harvested much, much earlier, usually at the sight of the first leaves.
Microgreens are used by chefs because they’re packed with flavor—not to mention, adorable—but science says they’re much more than that. Studies say brassica microgreens (such as cabbage, kale, radish, mustard and many other savory greens) are known as “functional foods” because they contain more nutritional density compared to nutrient concentrations in fully grown leaves.
What makes our microgreens special?
A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry says that light plays an important role in the vitamin and mineral concentration of microgreens.
Many farms grow microgreens indoors or with artificial light because it is more efficient to sprout seeds quickly in water instead of plant them in soil and sunlight.
The study stated that pea shoots (pictured right) were found to have a higher concentration of vitamins and beta-carotene when grown with light.
We grow our microgreens slowly in the good ol’ outdoors with plenty of sunshine, and that’s what makes them so vibrant, healthy and delicious.
Our brassica microgreens mixes are available at PC Greens and Vintage Grocers in either mild (pictured above) or spicy blends.
Produce of the week: Pomegranates
Our first pomegranate harvest was only a couple weeks ago, and we’re looking forward to a bounty of these healthful fruits.
Look for them at PC Greens and at our Sunday farmer’s market on the Malibu Pier.