All over the country, many farmers are busy putting in as many hours as possible to collect this year’s late harvest. They include the farmer brilliantly captured in this photograph, who is working on his farm near York.
Typically, harvest season starts in late September or early October for those farming and growing crops outside. These crops are cut and collected, ready to be used for cooking and eating, which is all done before the weather changes and ground cools as autumn properly sets in.
For arable farmers, the main jobs are cultivation and the drilling of the winter wheat, in readiness for next year’s crop.
This time of year is also when crops such as potato and sugar beet will be harvested, so a lot of farms in the North, including many here in Yorkshire, are busy during this period.
Hedge cutting is also an important task that begins around this time of year.
Farmers are often asked to help with hedge cutting on countryside roads, and this can continue all the way through until March.
We also have harvest festivals in Britain. The festivals are believed to date back to ancient Britain when most people planted and grew their own food in fields.
Farmers would give thanks for a good harvest during the full moon closest to the autumn equinox. It was important to them because it meant they could store the food and eat well during the tough winter months.
The celebrations became popular again in Victorian times as a kind of ‘thanksgiving’ service when prayers were given in churches.
These days, of course, we don’t all grow our own food.
Even so, modern harvest festivals still take place and are a useful way to learn about the process of how food gets from farms to our tables, and they are still a key date in the calendar of different religions.
Technical Details: Nikon D4 camera with a Nikon 24-70mm lens, exposure of 1/125th second at f5, IS0 500.