Farm and Sing

Calling out to singers, farmers, craftspeople, homesteaders, folklorists, pagans:

Farm & Sing


On our farm, we tend organic apple trees and other fruits and berries; we raise lambs; we milk sheep. And we sing, and gather with friends and neighbors to reimagine and perform ancient animist agricultural folk rituals: to thank and honor our flock, the trees, the land, the sun, the earth, the clouds, the stones.

We invite you to join us in work, in song, in crafts, in foraging, in creating ritual on our beautiful farm.

2023 Offerings:

“The songs, the feasts, the reverence, and the spirit that infuses every gathering at Cate Hill Orchard is pure magic.  Singing to the ancient orchard, eating from the land, immersing into magic and history, and gathering with their incredible community is deeply nourishing, inspiring and fun.  Maria and Josh are incredible people and hosts and it fills my heart to know that they are singing just on the other side of the hill.” – Beana Bern 

The 12 Fridays of Makosh: Women’s Slavic Magic, Craft and Ritual Working Group

When:  January 6-December 17 2023

Cost:  $660-$1980 sliding scale plus materials fee (approx. $175)

Meeting once month for a year, this group will take a deep dive into the folklore, magic, craft, and sacred traditions surrounding the powerful Slavic Goddess Makosh.

Makosh is the patron deity of women, women’s work, fiber arts, and fate. She presides over marriage and childbirth; spinning and weaving; magical knots and sacred springs. In pre-Christian times, Friday was a sacred day to her, and 12 Fridays a year were considered especially auspicious. On these days, women took time out from their busy workdays to honor her with fasting, offerings and rituals.

This class will be divided into 3 parts. Thursday evenings, Olga Stanton will teach an online class on the significance, magic, and practice of Makosh’s Fridays. On Fridays evenings the group will gather in person at Cate Hill Orchard, a working sheep farm and organic apple orchard in northern Vermont, to practice spells and rituals learned from Olga the previous evening. Saturday, also taking place in person at Cate Hill Orchard, will be devoted to fiber arts and crafts, for it is through working with our hands with natural fibers that we can connect with our ancestors, the natural world, and Makosh.

Our work with fiber will include: Spindle spinning. Natural Dying, including the foraging and collection of natural dye materials. Wild fiber foraging and processing. Ukrainian belt weaving. Slavic embroidery.

Class dates and Schedule:

Thursday evenings 8-9:30 EST on Zoom.
Fridays in person 5:30-8:30pm.
Saturdays in person craft and fiber arts day 9-3pm.

Jan 6– lecture only; Feb  2,3,4; March 9,10,11; April 6,7,8; May 4, 5, 6; May 18, 19, 20; June 8, 9, 10; June 29 & 30, July 1; July 27, 28, 29; October 19, 20, 21; October 26, 27, 28; Dec. 14, 15, 16. NOTE: There are NO Makosh Fridays in August and September, our ancestors were too busy during the harvest season. There are TWO Makosh Fridays in May, June, and October.

Olga Stanton is the writer and manager of MagPie’s Corner Facebook page who specializes in Eastern Slavic culture, folk traditions, and witchcraft.

Maria Schumann is a folklorist, farmer, singer and ritual practitioner. She milks sheep, leads singing groups, and practices bringing to life the ancient calendrical agricultural rituals of our ancestors, through community, song, and dance.

Lydia Wild is a weaver and fiber artist from Craftsbury

Guest teacher Bozena Hrycyna grew up in the Ukrainian diaspora community in Ontario, and has a life long commitment to the folk traditions, crafts, and songs of her ancestors. She’s a founding member of Kosa Kolektiv, a group of women in the Toronto area that aim to revitalize peasant folklore in an urban context, through singing, sewing, cooking, planting, crafting, putting on workshops and sharing ideas over tea and good food.

We are intentionally keeping the price low to make it affordable, and to frame it as a “Working Group” rather than a class. The $660 price works out to just $55 per weekend! If you can afford it, please pay the middle or upper end of the sliding scale. This will help pay for guest fiber arts teachers, support people who cannot afford the class, and make it possible for us to continue to offer classes and workshops. Thank you!!

*Meals and housing not included; contact us if you need help finding a place to stay.

*Class Size limited to 10

“…..deep like the soil, soul-quenching.  Moving like wind through me and us. Seeping through like snow melt.   Healing.  Deeply loving & supportive community…”

Theresa

Women’s Winter Magic, Song, and Ritual Walking Group

When: Wed afternoons, 3-5:30, Nov 16, 23, 30; December 14, 21, 28; January 4, 11, 18 plus evening TBA (10 sessions)

Cost:  $180-360 sliding scale

This group will dive into northern European midwinter calendrical ritual holidays and traditions, with a focus on Slavic folklore. Midwinter is a season full of ancient folkloric magical ceremonies and practices, for the harshness of the winter weather demands community, songs, fire, and ritual to ensure survival. Topics will include: Divinations, Ritual bonfires, masking and feasting. Honoring the dead. Blessing the animals, hives, and trees. The magical art of pavuki — building mobiles out of straw to absorb bad luck. The Year End Walk. The Greater Watercrossing.

Each session will begin and end with singing simple, traditional Slavic, Baltic, or English midwinter songs.

Sessions will take place at and near Cate Hill Orchard in Greensboro, a working sheep farm and organic apple orchard. We will meet outside unless it is severe weather. Walking in nature will be a part of this group, for it is through walking that we can connect with the earth, sky, trees, and wind

 “I want to thank you again for the amazing experience….. Working and living on the farm gave me so much more than I could have ever hoped for or expected, and I’m so grateful to have been able to share that little window of your lives with you…”
Kaitlyn

Sheep Camp

When:  TBA

Cost: TBA

Sheep, sheep, sheep!  This camp will focus on farming, and all things sheep.
Learn to milk sheep by hand, and to make sheep cheese, yogurt, and butter. Pasture management, fencing, medicinal grazing. Working with wool: cleaning, carding, spindle spinning.

FULL -Slavic Magic, Song, and Ritual Working Group

When: Sunday mornings, 9-noon, 2022
April 3-May 29, plus Thursday April 14 4-8 pm (10 sessions) 

Cost: $350 

This working group will focus on a deep exploration of Eastern Slavic (Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine) folk magic and calendrical ritual traditions.  Topics will include: Charms and Incantations for gain and for cleansing.  Spindle, Spinning and Embroidery Magic.  Magical and Ritual Dolls.  Amulets.  Household Spirits.  Working with the elements.   Magic of herbs, flowers, and trees.  Ancestors and the Dead.   

Each session will begin and end with singing simple, traditional Slavic or Baltic songs. 

April and May are a busy time in the Slavic folk calendar.  The spring winds, calling the birds, bringing the animals out to pasture for the first time, honoring the dangerous and generous spirit of spring waters, remembering and honoring the dead and the ancestors— each call for moments of observation and ceremony.  

Sessions will take place on our farm.  We will meet outside unless it is severe weather, then will meet inside the airy barn.   

 

No magic or singing experience, or Slavic heritage, necessary, people of all spiritual paths are welcome.