Friday, 1 October 2010

Down to earth

Buddy and Daisy's school celebrated Harvest Festival yesterday; we sent in tins and packets of food for the The Salvation Army to distribute to the elderly, homeless and those in need in our local area. I couldn't attend the assembly myself but apparently Buddy's class sang a harvest song:

Push the trolley with the basket
Down between the rows of shelves.
See the tins and jars and packets
This is how we serve ourselves.

Not quite Keats then.

I asked whether the song went on explain the source of the tins and packets but he said he didn't think there were any other words. While I'm sure it must have gone on to cover the growing and harvesting of crops it got me thinking about how children living in an urban environment are often far removed from that aspect of Autumn. So in an attempt to get Buddy and Daisy thinking, I dug out these photos taken just over a month ago when they helped 'bring in the harvest' from my aunt's huge and bountiful allotment.

We discovered giant runner beans hiding in the beanstalks.

We searched the soft soil to reveal treasure of the potato kind.

And after picking sunshine yellow courgettes and crimson red tomatoes, we pulled onions out of the earth by their straggly stalks (as the top picture shows). These were tumbled into a bowl destined for the kitchen where all the vegetables were transformed into a rather delicious vegetable soup.

Tomorrow, I will try sharing Keats' poem To Autumn with Buddy and Daisy. After all, it is the quintessential description of those halcyon days of a rural harvest. You never know, it might even remind them of some other verses to that school song.

From John Keats' To Autumn:

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.


  1. you are soooooooo brilliant Ms Julia

  2. Re the trolley song - we are singing it in church next week and, to be honest, I found your blog because I was googling the words to see if it would save me typing... all 8 verses.

    I'm sure you will be pleased to hear that those 8 verses do explain how the foods in the supermarket come from farmers and growers throughout all the world - from the Jamaican sugar, to the Brazilian coffee, Argentinian beef, New Zealand butter, Spanish oranges - and fruit and veg, eggs and so on from farms and market gardens nearer home.


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