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Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival

Harvest festivals in Surrey and Sussex are taking place to mark the end of the main harvest season. It’s time to give thanks for the crops that have been grown and also celebrate the hard work in harvesting them – here’s our terrific trio of seasonable fruit and veg you should be enjoying right now at their best!


Few things beat savouring the lush, intense flavour of a plump, sweet and juicy blackberry straight off of a British hedgerow. Blackberries come into their prime this month – pick them when they become soft and it’s best to pick them early in the day so they don’t spoil as quickly as those picked in the afternoon.

Quick & Tasty Tip
Try adding a handful of blackberries to an apple crumble or for a sweet treat, warm-up some blackberries in a pan with a little good French brandy and some sugar – delicious served with ice
cream and sprinkled with toasted flaked almonds.

Runner beans

Be full of beans for this age-old favourite – long, coarse and crunchy, runner beans are synonymous with late summer when they’re piled on a plate and buttered-up with the addition of some cracked black pepper, or as an accompaniment to a home cooked roast dinner.

Quick & Tasty Tip
How about a quick stir-fry using a little oil, garlic, chopped red chilli, rice vinegar, a sprinkling of sugar and splash of sherry? Or, try them in a late summer salad with new potatoes, crumbled pancetta and an olive oil and lemon dressing – a taste of the Mediterranean!


Go green! The courgette is very versatile and easy-to-cook, so it’s little wonder that this humble vegetable is so popular. It’s dark green sheen, firm cream flesh and sweet flavour are enjoyed from late August into September – so, however, you serve it, this vegetable is most definitely in this season!

Quick & Tasty Tip
Finely slice a raw courgette and place it in a lemon dressing (using both the juice and zest), adding some olive oil and salt and pepper for flavouring. To add an extra touch, add chopped chilli
or mint. Another delicious idea is a courgette omelette with basil or mint and some feta cheese.

Festival fact file

  • Harvest celebrations pre-date Christianity and traditionally symbolic corn dolls were made out of the last sheaf of the harvest – thought to contain the spirit of the corn.
  • St Michael’s Mass on September 29, also known as Michaelmas celebrates the end of the productive season and is traced back to the 5th century.
  • The harvest festival in Judaism is called Sukkot, an eight-day holiday the first of which is a full festival celebration with special prayers and holiday meals.
  • Harvest celebrations are not just about agriculture. In October there are festivals giving thanks for the fishing seasons, including at Billingsgate in London.
  • Traditionally, harvest festival is held on the Sunday nearest the harvest moon – the full moon occurring closest to the autumn equinox (22 or 23 September)

Are you doing anything to mark the harvest festival?
How are your children celebrating at school?
Do you have fond memories of celebrating harvest festivals past?

We’d love to hear from you! Facebook: RH Uncovered Twitter: @RHUncovered

By Jacob White

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