O C T O B E R
This page will change from month to month - perhaps you can help us with information on seasonal fruit and vegetables, seasonal dishes, observations of customs and the natural world. Contact us - e-mail: info [at] commonground . org . uk.
October the eighth ... ?
Like September, October has moved along the order of months. It was the eighth month in the Roman calendar, but they later added some extra months over the winter period where there hadn't previously been any, so October moved to tenth, while confusingly keeping its 'eighth' name ...
What's happening in October?
What's in Season?
What's happening in October?
- indicates an extract from England In Particular
Callington Honey Fair, Cornwall
An annual charter fair dating back to the 13th century, and a magnet for local beekeepers!
Nottingham Goose Fair
"Nottingham boasts the biggest of all [fairs] - the Goose Fair, held over three days from the first Thursday in October. With 150 children's rides, more than sixty adult rides and 550 stalls, this is a mammoth show that has lost its connection with geese." (From 'Fairs & Fairgrounds', p.153-6 of England in Particular)
"Domestic geese, descended from wild greylags, are hardy grazing birds that resist intensive rearing. Allowed to run loose in an orchard or paddock, they keep pests down and clear up after the harvest. Substantial flocks walked from the East Anglian Fens to London or the Nottingham Goose Fair, with the soles of their feet tarred to save them from wear." (From 'Poultry', p.333 of England in Particular)
Pearly Kings & Queens Harvest Festival, St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden (Pearly Society)
"Harvest festival ... in London sees London's costermongers, the Pearly Kings and Queens, process in their elaborate costumes of black velvet covered with patterns of pearl buttons to give thanks for the abundance of fruits and vegetables that they sell in London's streets." (From 'Harvest Festivals', p.219 of England in Particular)
www . whatsonwhen . com
Tavistock Goosey Fair, Devon
Records date back to 1105 for this traditional goose fair, which begins Goosey Week.
World Conker Championships, Ashton, Northamptonshire 10,30-3pm
Pack Monday Fair, Sherborne, Dorset
Falmouth Oyster Festival, Cornwall
"Falmouth Oyster Festival celebrates the start of the oyster season and the diversity and quality of Cornish Seafood and in particular, one of the last remaining traditional oyster fisheries. The festival ..[features].. a packed programme of cookery demonstrations by leading local chefs, oysters, seafood, wine and ale, children’s shell painting, sea shanties, town parade, live music and marquees packed with Cornish produce and crafts. The festival has broad appeal and is a must for all oyster, seafood and marine heritage enthusiasts."
Punky Night, Hinton St George, Somerset
A countrywide celebration of the 2,000+ varieties of apples we can grow in this country. For nationwide event list see: www.commonground.org.uk
Littlehampton Bonfire Celebrations, West Sussex
British Summer Time ends
Clocks go back one hour at 2am BST and Greenwich Mean Time returns.
"The ... Celtic festival of Samhain ... was the start of the new year, the moment of the death of summer and the onset of winter ... The Christian calendar tied All Hallows Eve - Hallowe'en - to 31 October ... This is a time when ghosts, hobgoblins, witches, fairies and demons are abroad, and one ploy persists to frighten the spirits away. Heads with scary faces are made from hollowed-out and carved turnips and swedes, lit by candles from inside and carried as lanterns on poles or long wires. In many places these have been supplanted by the much-bigger pumpkins." (From 'Hallowe'en', p.216 of England in Particular)
What's in SEASON?
Fruit, Nuts & Vegetables
Beetroot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage (red, pointed, Savoy and white), calabrese, cauliflower (Romanesque), chard, courgettes, curly kale, leeks, marrow, onions, parsnips, potatoes (maincrop and Pink Fir Apple), pumpkin, squash, sweetcorn, swedes, turnips, watercress.
Apples include: Allington Pippin, Arthur Turner, Bloody Ploughman, Bramleys, Catshead, Charles Ross, Cox’s Orange Pippins, Egremont Russett, Gascoynes Scarlet, Hoary Morning, Howgate Wonder, King of the Pippins, Lord Lambourne, Michaelmas Red, Norfolk Beauty, Ribston Pippin, Queen, Sunset, Tom Putt, Worcester Pearmain.
Pears: Comice, Concorde, Conference. Blackberries, cobnuts, quinces, raspberries, strawberries, walnuts.
The Apple War
The storm troops have landed,
The red and the green,
Their pips on their shoulders,
Their skin brilliantine.
Saleable, ambitious –
Sala and Granny
And Golden Delicious.
Quarter them, they’re tasteless;
They’ve cotton-wool juice,
But battalions of thousands
In shy hen-haunted orchards
Twigs faintly drum,
Patient as partisans
Whose time has almost come,
From Worcester and Somerset,
Sussex and Kent,
They’ll ramble singing,
A fruity regiment.
Down with Cinderella’s kind,
Perfect toxic, scarlet;
Back comes the old guard
Costard, Crispin, Russet.
James Grieve, Ashmead Kernel,
Coppin, Kingston Black –
Someone has protected them.
They’re coming back.
This poem is available as a postcard - visit our MARKET PLACE for more information.