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may day baskets farm style

My maternal grandma was the queen of the May basket. 

Hers weren't necessarily fancy. She just used plastic strawberry cartons, those holey ones that were a lovely shade of green, and threaded ribbon through the holes.

She'd fill them up with popcorn and M & Ms and wish us a happy May Day.  

We girls were always game for a good May Day basket. She had us at junk food.

I think the May Day tradition is languishing, probably because we don't actually know why we celebrate May Day in the first place. At least, I never did. 

Heck, I was just happy to have a reason to eat candy. 

This year, I'm advocating for the return of the May basket. {Confidentially, I just really wanted a reason to be able to participate in a reverse Halloween, where you leave a basket of goodies on someone's doorstep, ring the bell and run like the dickens.}

But before I got too far, I figured I should at least know the history of May Day, and that required an old trick my my dad taught me. 

Are you ready for this? It's a family secret. 

I can't even believe I'm about to reveal it. 

.  .  . 

Go to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, find the topic you're interested in, and read. 

Turns out May Day has its origins in celebrating the return of spring, especially with regard to its implications for agriculture, for planting and preparing for the warm days of growth ahead. 

Of course, it also sounds like it was mostly a pagan festival, focusing on dancing around maypoles and wearing garlands made of flowers in the hopes that the gods would shower fertility down on animals and crops. 

Well, we can't win them all. 

So, this May 1, my farmer and I won't be parading ribbons and bouquets around. 

But we are praying for a productive planting season, for chickens that lay eggs, for just the right amount of rain and just the right amount of sun, for a bountiful harvest and for all the gifts the Lord has to give us when it comes to being good stewards of land and animals. 

And we're encouraging you to do the same! Use your strawberry cartons. Make a cone out of paper. Heck, just dump a bag of chocolate into a bag of popcorn. It doesn't have to be fancy. But spring and all the agricultural joys that come with it are on their way . . . and we believe that's something worth celebrating! 

And if my grandma were still here, she would too. 

Do you have any May Day memories? 


  1. Very nice, Sis! I slacked on the May baskets this year so no sweet and salty goodness for any of our neighbors :(

  2. I love this idea! one year, my sister and I decorated a paper tablecloth with crayons and made May baskets for family members out of cupcake liners and filled them with mini marshmallows and Cheerios. I think I was in first grade and she in fourth, but next year, I want to hit this trend! Time to save strawberry baskets and make cinnamon almonds!


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