Harvest Festival celebrates the time of year when crops have been gathered from the field and people can reflect and show gratitude for the food on their plates.
This is a perfect opportunity to appreciate Cornish growers and make pledges for the planet to protect future food supply.
Meadow Barns, a children’s education centre based in Par, has lined up busy schedule of activities to keep local families entertained this October half-term. This will culminate tomorrrow on Friday, October 27 with a harvest ceremony at St Bartholomew’s Church, Lostwithiel, where candles will be lit as a symbol of hope for the planet.
Rising temperatures, shifting rainfall patterns and longer dry spells are altering what crops Europe can grow and where these can be grown. Extreme temperatures in 2022 resulted in one of the earliest harvests on record, with worries that a warmer climate is shifting the average start time of the harvest forward.
In the past, harvest was celebrated with a lavish feast, and would be accompanied by singing, drinking games and much reverie. Lostwithiel’s procession will ring in the autumn with singing and dancing, to celebrate bees, pollination, and apple trees. At the end, candles will be lit with pledges made to protect the planet.
This follows a week-long harvest ceremony held between St Bartholomew’s church and Lostwithiel social club, which is a collaboration between farmers, growers, local businesses, and Meadow Barns.
Meadow Barns is a climate education and awareness centre with walks to nearby Luxulyan Valley. The centre is running this ceremony after a successful ‘Ceremony 4 Climate Hope’ event last Spring.
Caroline Stephenson, director of Meadow Barns, said the harvest ceremony is for people of all ages.
She said: “I have often observed the wonderful, informal learning that can happen between grandparents and young grandchildren.
“Add to that, the deep concern felt by many grandparents for the future of the planet and the ways it may impact on the life chances of today’s young people, and you have another strong reason to offer this kind of opportunity. Nobody should be feeling panic or despair when there is a great deal to celebrate!”
People interested in attending should arrive at 2pm for an introduction at St Bartholomew’s Church. The ceremony will run from 2.30pm to 3.45pm.
The event is supported by the Lostwithiel Social Club and St Barts and the Lostwithiel Benefice.