Changeover day is normally a Saturday.
Turns out nature’s no different.
Yesterday marked the autumn equinox – the point when the sun passes directly over the equator and starts focusing on warming up our pals in the Southern Hemisphere.
As a result, this coming Friday we’ll have a Neil Young special: a Harvest Moon.
I found out recently that it’s called a Harvest Moon because the light it cast meant that workers could crack on with the harvest late into the night.
That got me thinking a lot about harvest, and then about Harvest Festival.
Because, at least when I was a kid, Harvest Festival was a terribly dreary, insipid affair: a faint - and faintly ridiculous - facsimile of an important and ancient rite.
Having had the mores of the Church of England rather clunkily superimposed onto it, Harvest Festival as I remember it was largely characterised by tedious school assemblies where bewildered kids would offer up little baskets of random ‘produce’ like packets of McVitie’s biscuits, tins of Campbell’s soup, Heinz Baked Beans and the like.
So not really about harvest at all.
And not much of a ‘festival’ either.
I can’t imagine it was always like this. I hope not, anyway.
Certainly in my mind, Harvest Festival – before the fun police got involved – would have been a drink-fuelled knees-up: a wholly justified bender to celebrate the end of weeks of back-breaking work and, hopefully, having enough food to see you through winter.
Because the truth is that agriculture really ain’t easy. Just ask anyone who’s done it.
That’s why we’re fans of the recent campaign to get better prices for farmers, and to help expose and end the predatory practices engaged in by too many supermarkets and 'Big Food'.
And - importantly - it’s why our producers set their own prices.
So on this Harvest Moon (sorry, had to be done), I’m thinking that we should put the Festival back into Harvest.
Let's celebrate the genuinely amazing produce of our land and seas and, while we’re at it, get a better deal for the amazing men and women who steward them.
PS – our market opens online on Wednesdays at 7am. Like any market, it’s best to get there early.