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The First Harvest

Today, the 1st of August, marks the start of the Harvest season. Here in Kent, we are already starting to see the first signs of summer’s end - ripened blackberries in the hedgerows, farmers fields turned gold with corn and the bright greens of early summer giving way to more muted autumnal tones. This time of year is one of gratitude and thanksgiving, a time to celebrate the fruits of the summer months and the changing seasons.

Lammas, also known as Lughnasadh, is the first of three autumn celebrations in the Wheel of the Year and is celebrated on 1st of August, halfway between the summer solstice and the fall equinox. Traditionally this is when communities marked the first harvest of the season with gathering of grains and baking bread. People would come together to celebrate, taking part in activities including feasting, dancing, storytelling and crafting intricate corn dollies. The festival was a time of joyous celebration, community bonding, and giving thanks for the blessings of the land.

Traditional celebration days like these serve as a reminder to pause and reflect on the accomplishments and personal growth we have experienced thus far in the year. It is an opportunity to express gratitude for the abundance in our lives and the relationships that nourish us. Many people celebrate by sharing a meal with loved ones, engaging in creative endeavours, or spending time in nature, connecting with the Earth's bountiful energy.

At Rove, this is one of our favourite times of year, not least because knitwear season is in sight! It is time to put the wheels in motion and .  To celebrate, we will be gathering with friends and family and cooking up a some seasonal produce. Below is a favourite recipe of ours from Riverford Organic to inspire you should you feel the call to celebrate too -

Courgette & feta fritters with tomato & bean salsa

Serves 2

55 min

These fritters are easy to make, with a good herby flavour, and the salsa adds a nice kick to the dish.

Cook's notes

To test the strength of your chilli before deciding how much to add to a dish, take the tiniest bite from the pointed end first. It’s the mildest bit, but will give you an indication of what’s to come! Add as much or as little as you like to the salsa.

INGREDIENTS

For the salsa

  • 150g cooked cannellini of haricot beans

  • 3 tomatoes, diced

  • 1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

  • ½ red onion, finely diced

  • small bunch chervil or parsley, finely chopped

  • olive oil

  • 1 lemon

For the fritters

  • 2 courgettes, coarsely grated

  • 1 egg

  • 50g self-raising flour

  • 75g feta

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

  • small bunch of dill, finely chopped

  • oil for frying e.g. sunflower or light olive

METHOD

Prep time: 15 min // Cooking time: 40 min

For the salsa

Throw the beans, tomatoes, onion, chillies and chervil into a mixing bowl with 2 tbsp of oil and a squeeze of lemon. Season generously. Taste and tweak the seasoning and lemon to your liking.

For the fritters

1. Line a colander with a clean tea towel. Put the grated courgette in the towel. Fold up the sides, then squeeze several times to wring out as much liquid as you can.

2. Beat the egg in a large bowl. Add the courgette and flour. Mix together. Crumble in the feta. Add the garlic and dill. Season and mix together.

3. Put your oven on to 140˚C/ Gas 2). Heat a thin layer of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. In batches, spoon dollops of the batter (approx. 2 tbsp worth) into the pan, flattening them slightly. Cook for 3-4 mins on each side, until golden. Drain on kitchen paper if you have any, pop them onto a plate and keep them warm in the oven while you cook the rest.

4. Serve the fritters with the salsa and your side of choice.

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