As we move into September, many rural churches are getting ready to celebrate Harvest Festival. This is a great opportunity to give thanks for our food and those who produce it. This has been a challenging year for some; parts of Lincolnshire were flooded in June destroying much of the cauliflower crop; the north of England experienced flooding in August and some in the Yorkshire Dales lost animals and forage; the harvest across northern England has been slow due to the wet weather.
Commodity prices are down on last year, and they weren’t particularly generous then. You may remember that last year the prolonged dry spell particularly affected livestock farmers as they found it difficult to cut silage for winter feed.
UK farmers are responding to the much-needed discussions on the climate emergency by committing to being carbon neutral by 2040. However, they increasingly feel beleaguered by some who suggest a vegan diet is the only way forward, and a minority of whom who can be quite aggressive in the way they engage with the farming community. In the UK, transport and domestic energy use produce more carbon than agriculture. We also waste the equivalent of 40 million wheelie bins of food each year which increases our carbon footprint.
All of which can mean that farmers feel increasingly unappreciated. This Harvest support your local farmers, why not:
- Pray for them
- Send them a thank you card from the church
- Invite them to a harvest meal
- Work at limiting food waste and use up your left overs
- Resolve to use British produce at church events