May 2023

Sown in the Stars

By Sarah L. Hall
Review by
Sown in the Stars is a valuable cultural document, full of experience and wisdom from farmers who consult celestial cycles and the zodiac signs to time their planting.
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For centuries, farmers have been consulting celestial cycles, such as the zodiac and the phases of the moon, to time their planting, with a number of calendars and almanacs printed every year to help them do just that. There’s scant scientific research on this type of zodiac-based cultivation, but as associate professor of agriculture and natural resources Sarah L. Hall muses in Sown in the Stars, “It does seem (even to a scientist like me) that when a practice continues over a long period of time, there might just be something to it.”

Hall interviewed a large number of Kentuckians who follow the folk tradition of planting by the signs (I love how she refers to them as “garden artists”), and their stories shape the heart of this beautifully designed book. Hall gives readers an overview of astrology and astronomy, which inform this method of farming, and she even shares the results of her own season of planting by the signs. Whether you wish to give it a go yourself or are simply curious about traditional practices, this book is a valuable cultural document, full of experience and wisdom typically passed from one generation to the next by women.

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Sown in the Stars

Sown in the Stars

By Sarah L. Hall
The University Press of Kentucky
ISBN 9780813197043

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