This is the time of year that evokes one of my dearest childhood memories – that of Cook permitting me to pop beribboned containers of homemade grouse paté into the bespoke hamper mother annually donated to The Home for Fallen Women and their Subsequently Disadvantaged Status. Harvest Festival has ranked highly in my affection ever since.
Yet, as the seasonal celebration approaches, I am experiencing an unequivocal quandary. And one, in all probability, I am surely honour bound to resolve. For The Parish Church’s imminent service leads me to recall with acute dismay last autumn’s offerings which, frankly, were barely tolerable. Indeed, I recall remonstrating with the newly appointed Vicar, enlightening her of my sure knowledge that a number of local families had the ability, though clearly not the desire, to delve a little deeper into their larders, as well as their wallets.
So, determined as I am to ensure the debacle is not repeated, I will shortly indulge in a spot of casual canvassing in order to prompt a more acceptable level of generosity around the Parish. A tiresome task, encouraging donations, but nevertheless one I feel compelled to undertake.
I mentioned my calling to the Vicar yesterday following her somewhat belated acceptance of my invitation to morning coffee. Though a demanding schedule precluded her from staying little more than eleven and a half minutes, I used the time effectively by airing my discord concerning her pulpit plea for non perishable goods. Surely, I implored, given the obvious need for vitamins amongst the deprived classes, more attention should be focussed on freshly edible offerings. Her politeness warranted praise though her doggedness in refusing to take on board my unquestionable familiarity with village life less so.
I shall, therefore, plough my own field this year as I have no more intention of contributing packaged food than I would venture from the privacy of my private quarters without pearls.
Meanwhile, I have despatched Rodgers to call upon a number of purveyors since a supply of sturdy boxes is paramount. With a multitude of fruit ripening in the orchard, robust containers will ensure my award winning heritage pears remain blemish-free until their delivery to, and consumption by, the needy.
Only then will my Harvest wishes be sated.