The New Harvest Festival
This is the time of year when churches urban and rural across the nation urge us to attend their services for Harvest Festival. For many of us however this annual celebration is now marked more secularly, observed at one remove, via our newspapers, rather than physically in our communities. Media celebration of seasonal food is the order of the day.
The Guardian, like other similar publications, is hot on seasonal food. A story in that newspaper today gives a flavour of that theme: ‘Green’ shopping possible on a budget, watchdog says.
What then follows is that irresistible combination of knocking the supermarkets (fair enough if they’re not up to scratch), going rustic with references to in-season fruit and veg. (why not, it really is good for you), and angst about affordability and carbon footprint (fair enough again).
So here is the contemporary version of We plough the fields and scatter…
Way back over the centuries people have known about crop rotation and storage and the seasons, and have celebrated all this with Harvest Festivals of one sort or another. Now we know about food miles, sustainability and ethical buying.
Appreciating our sustenance
This is the better informed (or at least more techno) version of the wisdom of the ages, translated for those of us who hope for the future but have no bedrock of faith on which to base an annual thanksgiving.
Perhaps it doesn’t matter how we demarcate the changing seasons and the beneficence they offer. What does matter is that at least we notice.