Autumn in our community garden

As the rain arrives, summer departs and autumn gusts in, bearing its beautiful plumage of red, orange and gold to the world. These fantastic colours are mimicked by the vegetables, and whilst we may lose the delicate greens of summer the rich purple of the beetroot, the bright orange of the carrot and the yellow of the squash remind us that seasonal change brings in new wonderful tastes. The season has truly changed, and all that reminds us of summer is the hardy greens of autumn, the dark leaved kale and chard.

Down on the farm, the harvest begins in earnest and the potatoes, whose leaves have long since been abandoned by the plant as it channels its energy deep into the soil to nourish the precious tubers, are gathered. The work is hard, but many in the community have come to dig, filling the cold air with cheer and laughter as they unearth the more knobbly potatoes. Alongside the potatoes, the onions are collected and hung to dry, a peculiar sight to those who haven’t seen it before, as they are strung from rafters in their dozens.

Now nature has abandoned her emerald beauty and begins to die down for winter, and so we exchange our consciousness of nature and focus inwards. At the end of September, we held the feast of Michaelmas, where just like in the harvest festivals of old we celebrated what the land has provided us, with warming soups, bread, singing and dancing.
But Michaelmas is also the time to look inwards to our strengths and also to our weaknesses. It is a time for self awareness and a time for self improvement.