There’s no wonder that at this time of year, people across the country are exuding harvest time hurrahs. Harvest is an important time in the lives of mankind. It means food, drink, clothing (cotton, etc.), and just about everything around us.
Crops are actually harvested at different times during the year, depending on which crop it is. Some are harvested throughout the year. Tea is a good example, with three or even four harvests per year. However, in the Northern Hemisphere we are used to a big harvest time in the fall.
Of course, pumpkins and squash are the well-known ones, and for many of us pumpkin flavoring is a welcome addition to everything from pies, breads, and muffins to pumpkin lattés. Depending on the climate, farmers can even harvest broccoli, carrots, gourmet greens, beets, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage, and kale. Don’t forget grapes ripened on rows of vines, pears growing in the orchards, and tomatoes that are still lingering on their vines in your backyard garden. Chrysanthemums bloom profusely at this time of year, adding splashes of color to front doorsteps and walkways. Apples and cranberries are more fall favorites, but did you know that guavas and pomegranates are harvested at this time of year, too? And the Florida orange crop is being rounded up about now along with various nuts like pecans that you love for your holiday baking.
“Large scale” crops grown primarily in the midwestern regions of the U.S. such as corn, soybeans, and summer wheat are harvested at this time of year. Corn is especially traditional for harvest festivals, where corn mazes are often featured attractions for young and old alike. These festivals usually take place between the autumnal equinox (about 22nd or 23rd of September) and the first half of October. Events that include parades, band contests, bike races, hayrides, arts and crafts shows, music acts, and “harvest princess” pageants (not akin to “tea princesses”). A few examples:
- The Fortuna’s Apple Harvest Festival in Fortuna, California
- The Annual Milton Harvest Festival in Milton, Pennsylvania
- Lodi Grape Festival & Harvest Fair in Lodi, California
- Fall Harvest Festival in Boise, Idaho
- Sycamore Spring Annual Apple Harvest in Jonestown, Pennsylvania
- The Harvest Festival in Scottville, Michigan
What do a lot of these crops have in common? They are used in tea blends and herbal infusions, such as:
- Apple Spice Naturally Flavored Black Tea
- Brazilian Guava Tea
- Cinna-Vanilla Flavored Black Tea
- Cranberry Orange Flavored Black Tea
- Holiday Spice Flavored Black Tea (rich tasting with cinnamon, orange, and cloves)
- Orange Spice Naturally Flavored Black Tea
- Pumpkin Spice Flavored Black Tea
- Golden Moon Honey Pear Tea
- Mercedes Apple Spice Herbal
- Blue Eyes Herbal (caramel and apple flavors – typical for fall – add to peachiness)
- Harney and Sons Redbush with Cranberry and Orange
- Revolution Tea Citrus Spice Herbal
- Vanilla Cream Naturally Flavored Black Tea
Don’t forget those fall-flavored treats for a tea time that’s complete where a lot of these crops play a major role:
- Ivy Cottage Premium Cranberry Orange Scone Mix
- Pumpkin tartlets with whipped cream
- Sticky Fingers Apple Cinnamon Scone Mix
- Sticky Fingers Cranberry Scone Mix
- Auntys Sticky Toffee Pudding
- Clotted cream and fruit spreads to go with the scones (raspberry, orange marmalade, apple butter, pumpkin butter, cranberry preserves, etc.)
There are always McVitie’s Digestives (good anytime, as far as I’m concerned – ditto for shortbread, especially the kind with nuts) and anything with chocolate in and/or on it (hey, it never goes out of season!).
Of course, a fresh crop of friends and family to help you enjoy it all is good, too. You’ll all say “Hurrah!”
Make sure to stop by A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!