Book review: All Year Round

Do you find that the year rushes by, seasons zoom past, and before you know it you are nearly at midsummer?

For the past twelve years we have eaten very seasonally through only eating locally grown vegetables and fruits and this has lead to a much greater connection to the earth around us.

Admittedly it is easier for us than most to do this – we live in Kent (UK) – the Garden of England – and the farm shop down the road sells locally grown produce considerably cheaper than the supermarket.

At the beginning of the year we decided that we would like to try to connect with the seasons a bit more. I was recommended this book ‘All Year Round’ which looks at the whole year through celebrations.

I personally love the style of the foreword, the three authors hold a discussion and it is lovely to imagine them sitting around a kitchen table with cups of herbal tea and some handwork whilst discussing the reasons for writing the book. The overall feeling is that it is about engaging in simple ways – a vase of flowers, a candle, or a bowl of chestnuts.

As someone who puts far too much pressure on herself to do everything I felt that this was permission to build slowly each year. There is no need to do everything in the book.

The book is then split into the traditional seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter and breaks each season down into the festivals. The book is especially relevant to the United Kingdom combining traditional Christian, folk and pagan festivals but it could easily be adapted for other climates or religions.

For each festival there is some really juicy information abut the origins of traditions and then simple activites are suggested – games, crafts, baking and ideas for the seasonal table.

Finally there is a ‘For All Seasons’ section which lays out various techniques for making, templates for the crafts and stories.

If you are interested in engaging more with the seasons around you with your family or class I strongly suggest this book as a starting point.

Click here to buy the book from Hawthorn Press for £16.99.

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