What Fall Harvest Means to Me

Woman is picking tomatoes in the greenhouse and puts into a basket; farming, gardening and agriculture, concept
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HARVEST—THE VERY WORD MAKES YOU THINK OF FARMERS IN THE FIELDS, the abundance of crops, and hands eagerly picking the bounty from gardens. My harvest memories start in England, where I was born, and travel all the way to my adopted home in central North Carolina.

Granddad is a wonderful gardener with a large vegetable plot and a green house. When we used to visit as children, we'd eat vegetables straight from the garden, and I remember  Grandma taking out special bags of frozen broad beans from the freezer with "Christmas Dinner" written on them.

Another of our English traditions is the "harvest thanksgiving day." On this occasion, schools and churches across the countryside are decorated with hay and fruit baskets. It’s a time to be thankful for an abundant harvest – in fact, the tradition dates back to pagan times. I remember taking cans of food to school to leave at the front of the classroom or the altar to donate to the needy.

After becoming a mum and joining the food blogging community I felt compelled try to garden and harvest some of my own food. My dad kindly built us a couple of raised beds on his visits from the U.K., and my daughter and I started our very first garden this year.

I am proud to report that we have successfully grown, tomatoes, spinach, okra, lettuce, peppers, green beans, eggplant and zucchini. It wasn’t even that hard! I always happily harvest from the garden and feel fortunate to have it, but on a deeper level I feel fortunate for all that I have.

I volunteer at Clemmons Pantry, my local food bank, assisting with social media. In a land of such abundance, it saddens me to hear how great the need for food is. So if you had a good year, join me in reflection and let's share a traditional English harvest thanksgiving day and give extra food to local food banks. Hungry families look just like you and me going about their daily lives. Hungry kids are sitting next to your kids in school with empty bellies and struggling to concentrate. Parents are pretending they have already eaten or are not hungry to offer food to their kids.

If you're reading, please help hungry families and share your harvest.

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Rebecca Subbiah
Rebecca Subbiah, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist in both the UK and the US with a wide range of experience in different clinical areas and social media. From her home in North Carolina, she blogs at ChowandChatter.com and created the Chow & Chatter To Go recipe app. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.