Equinox & Harvest.
And what is means to me.
I run around hedgerows, I pick, forage and prepare the delights for jars. I am at one with the seasons, the growing moments in the garden and hedgerow, watching how it changes, it’s magical to me. It’s all I am. This is where I belong, growing, hunting, gathering, and of course in the kitchen, that my happy place, it’s where I feel at home.
I love to sit back on occasion and reflect on the delights of the season. And tomorrow I take a step back and wonder at the magic of the world, right across the globe we all witness the equal Autumn Equinox. The day and night are the same length (12 hours) over the world. As us on the north of the world celebrate the harvest, whilst the southern side will celebrate the arrival of spring, the perfection of nature is really quite remarkable, it never fails to surprise me of its knowledge.
However it was this that made me stop and wonder at the connection of us all across the globe and how we all celebrate food and the harvest. Be it here on with our “very British” quaintness in Sunday church services collecting hampers of goodies, to hand out or in our school assemblies highlighting a need to share our bounty at this time of year. However in Italy they do it daily, be it in small hamlets, villages, towns and even houses holds alone on hill side they all stop and celebrate the weekly harvest delights. Anything from the humble chickpea, to the prized white truffle with everything in between be it soft basil or hazelnuts. Just about every little herb, fruit, vegetable, is held up and has place in everyone’s garden, and the plate playing an important role of nutriment and well-being giving balance to the harvest. Just like a mother with her family.
So tomorrow I wait in the morning dark for the first glimpse of the sun rising above the cliff tops and from behind the island nestled in the Solent. I will count my lucky stars and feel at one with nature and the world. It’s harvest time, a time of crazy busyness for me. Its not just a moment, I will celebrate on a day basis, the different fruit and vegetables coming into season and being ready as if by magic all at once!
The long days have suddenly becoming shorter, as if nature is telling me to preserve, pickle and gather in all the bounty. However my days are not shorter, they are long in hours if not daylight so I can fill my shelfs with jars of all sizes and shapes. I just love it.
So I urge you to stop look and apprentice the food on your plate and celerabte how it arrived. Go on pick apples from a tree and make an apple pie with your finds. Take time to visit a harvest festival or even have your own. Celebrate the seasons and make the kitchen the heart of your home, it may take you back to a happy place of childhood memories and smells of a happy kitchen or even your favourite restaurant where ever it takes you make it happen create and build on happy moments. Freeze frame that moment and celebrate now, don’t wait for tomorrow.