Sunday, 2 October 2011

Celebrating Harvest Festival

It was Harvest Festival at Church this morning, a Family service with all the Scout and Girl Guide groups, and as the Primary school had already had their service the church was full of produce.    I was so pleased that we had lots of my favourite hymns and especially, 'We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the land'.  There seems to be so many modern hymns these days and for several years this wasn't sung in our service which always seemed a real pity.  I know the Church has to keep up to date to attract a younger congregation but there is a place for the traditional too, especially those hymns that always seem so timeless, and personally I can never see a ploughed field without wanting to burst into song.

We went gathering our own Autumnal harvest this afternoon, suncream was needed as it was so hot and sunny and I cannot remember needing suncream in October before!  We soon found what we were looking for.

Blackberries, but why is it that the best ones are always just out of reach!


We had a wonderful walk, the hedgerows were full of hips, elderberries, sloes and huge numbers of haws. 

 When I was looking in a recipe book later I found a recipe for Hedgerow Jam that uses haw berries, I haven't ever tried cooking them and had always thought they were only suitable for the birds.  Has anyone else cooked with these? 

We walked by a lake with a wonderful wooden bridge crossing over the stream and then later on went alongside the canal, where someone decided he had picked enough blackberries!

The geese in this field were happily 'chattering' away, "gobble, gobble, gobble".

Home with our harvest, some stewed, some frozen, and suitably refreshed from his rest, my dear son volunteered to make some into blackberry and apple crumbles.


The extra items in the basket are now added to my Autumn plate, can you see the hazelnuts?  They are the total harvest from the twisted hazel in the garden.  Just one each, perhaps I should save them for a special occasion!


  1. Oh, how wonderful! I do miss Harvest Festivals (as far as I know they are UK-only). I think modern music (which I enjoy in church) has a very short shelf-life. Only the best 5% or so can stand the test of time - and this means that the old hymns we still like are the best of everything that has gone before. Think of all the Wesley and Moody and Sankey songs we DON'T sing any more, compared to the ones we've kept. But I adore the poetry, the theology and the rosy nostalgia of the old hymns too. But presumably they weren't recieved with rosy nostalgia when they were new. Sorry - I'm wittering! But of course I'm in a French church with no ancient traditions, so you've set me off down memory lane. Thanks!

  2. What a truly wonderful post, Sue. You've given a lump in my throat, as it takes me right back to picking brambles in Scotland as a child. Can smell the air in all of your beautiful photos. As for the hymn, I haven't sang it in years - in fact, on reading Floss's comment, I'm in the same land - far away from these traditions and miss that part. You've got me humming that tune now! Thanks for taking us down your lane.