Ulula is based at Rush Farm, a biodynamic farm in Worcestershire.frozen-scene Between March and October, Rush Farm is supported by a wonderful group of volunteers who find us through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms Organisation a movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers. [caption id="attachment_2639" align="alignleft" width="170"]new-calf our December arrival[/caption] The volunteers are fondly known at the beginning of their stay at WWOOFers, but by the time we are all hugging goodbye, they have become one of the family. This means that we are now very much an international family on the Farm, as is Ulula with all its wonderful worldwide customers. We may not be €˜together' on the farm across the winter months (a time of €˜rest' for the farm so no volunteers are needed), but sharing our winter traditions and memories is very special. frozen-plantOur winter family and community traditions are instilled in us when we are little, and these memories and feelings stay with us as we grow up, and we bring them into our world anew when our own little ones arrive. For us, we always decorate the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve - our German roots! These traditions are unique to each family, region, country and each generation, and we carry them with us, whether we stay in the country of our birth, or find ourselves somewhere different. €˜Different' brings opportunities for both enjoying, and learning other families' traditions. We blend them into our very own happy ever afters. Just as it should be x Christmas Eve in Poland (PL: Wigilia) polish-ceThe Supper. On this special evening, we sit together with our family and have a supper of special food, singing carols (PL: kolendy) and opening Christmas gifts (dedicated only for good kids!). Gifts may be found under the Christmas tree we can be very lucky because on 6th December we have Santa Claus and he leaves gifts under the tree, and then again on 24th Dec under the Christmas tree we have presents again nice! At first we pray together. After that, we share between each other something like communion wafer and we wish each other all the best. People are living in a hurry these days. It happens that it's once in a year when people have time to visit their families to say warm words of love to each other. I hope this tradition will never die and become everyone's daily "routine". We polish-christmas-eveare lucky to have such a great people around us, and it concerns you too, guys. Then, we eat. We eat a lot. Nobody is proud of it, but we do it anyway!! After hours of eating, singing, all the gifts and food, most people start to watch Home Alone. In some families they can sit without telly and talk and sing bit longer. We are going to the Church for ceremony that is on 12:00 AM - in cities that could be earlier. Food: There are some differences between sides of Poland. The old tradition says that should be 12 dishes (but nobody I know is quite sure how to count, for example is bread a dish or not :-) ). Main thing is that the dishes are not with meat at all. Mostly is Fish, things are made from flour, and vege stuff. Menu for Wigilia:
  • Beetroot soup with small raviolis with mushroom stuffing (PL: Barszcz czerwony z uszkami)beetrot-soup
  • Mushroom soup (PL: GRZYBOWA)
  • Polish dumplings (ravioli, pierogis) - with cabbage and mushroom stuffing, and common ones with potato and cottage cheese stuffing. (PL: PIEROGI)
  • Very popular are fried Carp Fish in the bread crumbs. But other fish is sometimes now used, and is cooked in different ways
  • Second popular fish is vinegar herrings with onion apple and sour cream pierogi
  • Beverages: drink is special compote from dry fruits
  • There are always some cakes - a popular one at this time are poppy cakes
There is also a tradition that one chair & one plate by the table is empty. That means we are ready to welcome any refugees or homeless people on this day, so they might join us. [caption id="attachment_2507" align="alignleft" width="194"]radek-and-asia Radek and Asia, Poland x[/caption]