Harvesting our Santa Cruz OreganoAlthough the word harvest probably makes most of us feel warm and cozy and start to dream about cider and sweaters; for some people in almost every part of the world, the word indicates one of the busiest, most important times of the year.
The noun “harvest” comes from the Old English word “hoerfest” meaning autumn, harvest-time or season of gathering crops.
All around the world, the work necessary to accomplish the harvest and the well deserved celebrations that follow the efforts are different in their own way, yet equally beautiful and gratifying.
The storytelling, dancing and music in Africa’s celebrations are religious in nature while in Ireland, bringing fruits of their harvest to trade or sell and drinking Poteen (made from potatoes) is how it’s done. The Czech Republic makes wreaths for their celebration, the Obzinky, and places them on the heads of the girls, then on the landowners; after the celebration, the wreaths are put in a place of honor until the harvest the next year. In Japan, the rice harvest is the main event, but no rice can be eaten until the celebration of the rice spirit is over. The animals are the center of attention in Germany, draped in flowers and paraded down the streets with Oktoberfest to follow, and the Polish celebration sounds like quite a gamble – if the rooster doesn’t crow on top of the village girl’s head, a bleak winter is ahead. If it does, there will be good luck and a bright future.
Here at Creekside Farms, our harvest and celebration is much simpler; lots of hard work for the harvest of lavender, culinary herbs and flowers, then a gratifying smile or a high five or two. Mutual respect for jobs well done.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Thou comest, Autumn, heralded by the rain,
With banners, by great gales incessant fanned,
Brighter than brightest silks of Samarcand,
And stately oxen harnessed to thy wain!
Thou standest, like imperial Charlemagne,
Upon thy bridge of gold; thy royal hand
Outstretched with benedictions o’er the land,
Blessing the farms through all thy vast domain!
Thy shield is the red harvest moon, suspended
So long beneath the heaven’s o’er-hanging eaves;
Thy steps are by the farmer’s prayers attended;
Like flames upon an altar shine the sheaves;
And, following thee, in thy ovation splendid,
Thine almoner, the wind, scatters the golden leaves!