In recent weeks, one can’t help but notice that the local markets are abundant with gnarly gourds, smiling sunflowers, delicious artisan preserves and fresh fall fruits and vegetables from the fertile Fraser Valley soil. It’s harvest time, and a time of year when friends and family try to find time to come together to honor the season.
Photo: @samantha_grantewen on Instagram
The word harvest is actually derived from the Old English language and means “autumn” – also known then as the season for reaping and gathering grain and other grown products. Harvest was traditionally associated with the locally grown fruits and vegetables that were gathered yearly to provide food to last people through the winter, for which they gave thanks. In many cultures, harvest season includes feasting, both family and public, with foods that are drawn from crops that come to maturity. “Thanks” are given for a successful harvest and celebrations around the harvest moon are plentiful in many countries.
In Canada, we continue to honor this tradition set forth centuries ago with our national holiday, Thanksgiving, which occurs on the second Monday in October. For many Canadians, this also includes a feast of traditional foods such as roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, brussels sprouts and pumpkin pie. In many households, it also means doubleheader football games, raking leaves, planting bulbs for the spring, and switching out summer shoes for the warmth of socked feet and boots.
Photo: @langleyfarmmkt on Instagram.
We are fortunate to be in a region of the province that is closely tied to the land and be part of a community that find ways to revel in our rich agricultural heritage. From harvest themed menus and entertainment to annual festivals and celebrations, this is the time of year that holds something for everyone to enjoy. This Thanksgiving weekend, we hope you find time to reflect on this plentiful season and connect with family and friends, while enjoying all that our communities have to offer.