5 Ways to Celebrate the Harvest Weekend

I am lucky enough to live in the countryside and once I have got over the mini grief as Summer ends, I dive into Autumn with glee. Gorgeous low light, stunning colours, cosy evenings and bracing walks are all favourites. What I really love is the celebration of Harvest too.

Memories of decorating cardboard boxes and arranging fruit, vegetables and the odd packet of custard for the school trip to church & loud renditions of ‘Plough the Fields & Scatter’ are fond.

Harvest also brings out the big old jam pan – I’m no expert but bubbling up some pickle or filling large Kilners with gin & damsons just feels the right thing to do.  This, of course goes hand in hand with the change of menu at home. Out goes salad & in strolls mash, soups & slow cooked delights.

The icing on the cake is the first lighting of the fire….almost ceremonial & definitely celebrated. Until we remember that we haven’t had the sweep in & the wood store needs a refill of course.

Clearly I am running away with romance here, but harvest really is special and should have just as much importance today as it always did – grateful for what we have, grateful for the summer enjoyed and the opportunity to renew and regroup at home and grateful for the joy of seasons changing.

Here are a few ways to bring the magic of harvest into our life this weekend.

  • Do what you did as a child and gather a box of harvest items. You may want to take them to church but why not your local food bank instead? Check out what your local bank needs and wants (usually not fresh stuff) and share the love and harvest around. Find your local food bank here.
  • Save some of the season for the dark days of winter by pickling or preserving. This sounds like you might require a culinary degree but no – simply scald a large Kilner jar with boiling water, half fill with sloes or damsons, add 200g of castor sugar & top up with gin or vodka and seal. Swivel & swirl every now and then and you’ll have pink loveliness for Christmas. Alternatively, blackberries and whiskey works well but perhaps with slightly less sugar (recipe).
  • Re invent your home menu. We are animals and, just like in the natural world, our diets change to suit the season. Why not plan out some old and new favourite recipes that will nourish you, keep you warm and which make the most of seasonal, British produce. Try a new pie or stew or maybe get adventurous with soup recipes to freeze in bags for the working week. Stick your list on the fridge for inspiration.
  • Autumn can be brief, especially if we get some windy days, so get out there & enjoy it! Don’t miss out on a walk to kick the fallen leaves or look up at the glorious colours. Savour this special time of year before we descend into the chaos of the festive season. Indie events this Autumn.
  • Finally, slow your pace. Us humans need to hibernate a little too. We aren’t made to keep up the pace of summer year round. We need to do less and achieve more in line with the seasons so that we are renewed and nourished for the Spring when it comes. Gather friends, start a home project, take care of yourself to avoid colds & flu & nourish yourself with seasonal foods.

Happy Harvest everyone, Emily (founder at Simply HQ). 

[follow Emily over on Instagram to get a slice of life through the seasons at Simply HQ]