We’ve literally sweated our way through one of the driest, hottest summers on record, with endless opportunities to enjoy all the delights of summer, and it’s felt fabulous. Ive really felt for those of ye who have been going through treatment and those who are at the post surgery recovery phase. It must be so difficult during these balmy nights. I know only too well how hot flushes can affect sleep.
But what does this weather system mean to our harvest production, that we sort of take for granted. Well it makes for a tough year, crops of barley and peas are down, as are most vegetable crops, reducing profits to the bare minimum. In many cases, just breaking even is good!
All of the intense long days of hard work to bring in the harvest stay the same, but the yearly yield is proving to be far lower than normal, making life on a farm even more of a challenge.
A couple of weeks ago we joined our friends Emily and Jamie for a harvest party at Emily’s dad’s farm, to celebrate the bounty of the land and the hard work of the farmers who bring the harvest home.
The farm looked amazing, all of the tractors, combine harvesters and ploughs were set up for us to play with, you can imagine how delighted the kids were. Jamie’s mum brought her two adorable ponies over for pony rides. Emily had made a hook-a-duck game, the trees were strunded with bunting and hay bails provided great seats.
We had a tour of the farms (Olmsted Honey) bee hives and honey production, met the recently hatched chicks, petted the sheep and of course enjoyed some food and drinks.
It was absolutely fantastic. It should be a ticketed event, it was the most perfect party (and the day also provided just the right amount of rain as a reminder of its life giving qualities!)
Many schools and local churches celebrate the harvest festival around the time of the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox, this year its 24th September. So most churches will celebrate on Sunday 23rd. I have fond memories of attended the harvest festival as a child, we all brought in foods to share and to be offered to those less fortunate. It’s a time of great reflection on how lucky we are to have the bounty of the earth, the people who work so hard to provide it and those in our world who are less fortunate. Our kids are at an age now, where I hope these celebrations will start to resonate with them, and help them to develop a sense of community and great fondness for the land. As another years harvest is home and as the nights start to draw in, you can feel the changing of the air as we welcome the start of autumn and all the joy that brings..