As I write we are experiencing a heat wave and the nearby fields have long since gone to brown grass and the long grasses have been cut and made into hay bales. This time of year is of course associated with harvest, throughout August and September was and is all about gathering in the year’s harvests.
On a more ethereal level of course this can equally be applied to our year’s activities, whatever they may be. Personally, for various reasons, some very obvious, I find my basket looking a little bare this year. The silent and still, spring and summer is finally showing up in my harvest for the year.
This makes me reflect on the fallow land. The land that is left fallow for year, where it has faithfully every year been used and produced a harvest and finally is set to rest for a season. Often producing the most wonderful wild flowers and variety of plants that any peace of land could possible be expected to produce.
Of course the more disappointing and in many ways devastating is the land which was planted up and seeded and then failed. The full on crop failure. Traditional practice is to burn off the stubble of the failed crop to bring new nutrients back into the soil.
Personally at the moment I am not sure whether my harvest is that of the fallow land or the crop failure. Gladly I can find a few wild flowers that have flourished during this time of stillness and being fallow. The greatest fear is that it will not recover and come back from this. One thing is for sure is that each year produces a very different yield, they are always determined by the quality of the soil and the weather of the year.
You can’t always control the environment in which you find yourself but you can work on the soil in which you plant. So if you too are looking at a strangely assorted harvest basket this year perhaps it’s time to nurture your soil.