These bales of hay, stacked near the Tythe Farm estate in Abingdon, could be seen earlier in the month with the spire of St Helen’s Church in the distance.
Harvest Festivals are not as traditional looking as they used to be.
Canned fruit – not this year’s harvest of apples and pears – are more practical.
Last Sunday, St Helen’s Church, had their Harvest Festival. There were autumnal decorations round the church windows.
People also brought the harvest from local shops to be donated to the Abingdon Food Bank.
Abingdon Baptist church also had a Harvest service, with goods donated to the Abingdon Food Bank.
At Trinity, where I am a member, the Harvest will be this coming Sunday. Donations will go to the Asylum Welcome Food Cupboard in Oxford.
Last week’s church notices said … “The needs of refugees fleeing conflict and oppression and seeking asylum are as great as ever. Items specially needed are:- UHT milk; long-life fruit juice; tea and coffee; cooking oil; tins of vegetables, fruit, soup, fish, meat (preferably not pork); couscous; noodles; lentils; jam; honey; sugar; biscuits; crackers. As the Cupboard tends to receive much of its stock at Harvest, please see that items have a “use-by” date about six months on.”
The 23rd September is the Autumn Equinox – derived from the Latin words equus (equal) and nox (night). We are at a point where the long summer days are all but over, and the nights grow longer.
Churches celebrate the harvest at this time of year. At Trinity yesterday the suggested list of harvest offerings to be given to The Asylum Welcome Centre included: cooking oil, sugar, UHT milk, tea and coffee, long-life fruit juice, couscous, noodles, lentils, jam, honey, biscuits and tinned vegetables, fruit, soup, fish and meat (not pork) with best before date of 6 months.
The leaves are turning in the avenue of trees between The Chestnuts and Wick Hall.
In the fields between Mill Lane and the A34, the harvest is over, and a tractor is tilling the ground for the next crop.
However, the garden at St Ethelwolds are still looking bountiful with: strings of tomatoes …
a few late raspberries
and many late flowers.
The garden at St Ethelwolds this year have been open for people to discover – at all seasons.
Wild blackberries are abundant around Abingdon this year. People have been out collecting them with bags and plastic containers.
Beside the Sustrans cycle path, outer branches had been trampled down to create a path into the heart of one large mound of brambles, but the blackberries in the picture were just out of reach.
Nicola Blackwood, MP for Abingdon, and Mike Badcock, Mayor of Abingdon, were there at the Apple Day run by Abingdon Carbon Cutters, and the South Abingdon Children’s Centre.
Nicola planted a representative tree as a symbolic start for a future orchard and forest at Caldecott School.
There were a number of stalls at the event… Ruth Ward was there with her book ‘A Harvest of Apples’ and a display of lots of different sorts of apples. As well as apple folklore, and history, her book contains lots of apple recipes.
There was Grow Your Own Allotment advice, from a lady who runs some training allotments on Peachcroft farm. Email on the board in the picture (gyoveg at hotmail.com). And there was a representative from Drayton Road Allotments.
There was Abingdon honey for sale from Virginia Arnott, beekeeper of Abingdon (v.arnott at ntlworld.com.) You can also get Abingdon honey from Radley Road bees – on sale at Added Ingredients, for they were there too.
But the main business of the day was apples…
and drinking the juice. TV cameras, for BBC Local News, were there too and here is the link to the video story http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-15327064 saying how the people of Abingdon wanted to reintroduce more Heritage apples with a community orchard .