Fall in love with Harvest and all things Halloween

It's no secret that I have an allotment and I spend a considerable amount of time there.

I've grown many delcious things and as a family it's really rewarding to reep the benefits of what we've sown. We have a consistant flow of fresh produce and eating aside, the allotment brings us together as a family.

Digging up the potatoes in our wellies, carving pumpkins and sitting down to enjoy our meals together are just a few of the benefits I can think of. 

This year, I've grown a fair few pumpkins - quite successfully too!

Pumpkin is a versatile harvest produce, it can be used to cook both sweet autumn treats and hearty savoury meals. We all know pumpkin spice is a favourite flavor across the globe, but you can get creative with other spice blends and food combinations too of course.

Aside from using pumpkin for meals, we'll also be using some of ours for carving out those Jack-o'-Lanterns! If you aren't able to find a pumpkin, some use turnips and other root vegetables instead for carving them out.

There are many versions of how Jack-o'-Lanterns came about but one version tells us that Jack was getting chased by some villagers because he'd stolen from them. He met The Devil, who claimed it was time for him to die (charming!). Jack stalled his death by tempting The Devil with a chance to have the pesky church-going villagers who were chasing him. Jack told him to turn into a coin so he could pay for the stolen goods. 

The Devil agreed and turned himself into a silver coin and jumped into Jack's wallet. He found himself next to a cross that Jack had picked up in the village. As the wallet closed, the cross stripped the Devil of his powers - he was trapped!

Jack lets The Devil go once he agrees to never take his soul. Years later, the thief died. Now, Jack's life had been too sinful for him to go to heaven; however, The Devil had promised not to take his soul, so he was barred from hell as well.

Jack had nowhere to go. He asked how he would see where to go, as he had no light, and The Devil mockingly tossed him a burning coal, to light his way. Jack carved out one of his turnips (his favorite food), put the coal inside it, and began wandering the Earth for a resting place. 

He then became known as "Jack of the Lantern", or Jack-o'-Lantern.

Carving pumpkins is just one of the Halloween festivities I love. 

Soon, the streets will be lined with creatures of the night (our littles dressed in their favourite costumes!) and we'll show our appreciation by handing out treats to them. I really enjoy decorating the house and helping the boys get creative with their costumes!

This year we can use our own vegetables for our Halloween decorations - this really makes me smile!

It's so lovely to be able to watch things grow, nurture them and have something to be proud of. I'm also going to be using my own chopping boards too for carving the pumpkins and for when I use the other veg in stews and casseroles. I so love all the colours and flavours in a hearty meal like that!

I also made myself a fabulous sign for the garden 'best garden in Berkshire' a bit presumptious maybe but we think it is! I've shared a picture of it for you below.

Whatever you're doing this Harvest and Halloween, enjoy every moment. I know I will. 

Posted by Rebecca De Jager on September 29th 2021

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