Autumn is a time to learn from our ‘harvest’ and consider how we move into the following year. The extreme weather conditions this year, wet and cold at the beginning followed by a hot drought later on, has been demanding for everyone, especially farmers working with the land to produce food.

Memories of my childhood harvests are filled with images of fruits, sheaves of corn and hedgerow abundance. Here at Trill Farm, we are enjoying apples from our orchard and fungi from the woodlands. I’ve learnt that harvest is not merely the gathering in of the ripened seeds and fruits, it’s also a time for considering how well our plans, hopes and endeavours have come to fruition.

As guardians of the environment perhaps we could consider our collective ‘harvest’. What are the consequences of our actions? Our ‘harvest’ could be seen as the result of our actions. How much waste or carbon dioxide did we generate or what have we have purchased or built that does not support a healthy future planet? It’s all about making informed and healthy choices.

Going forward it is very hard to plan not knowing how the European dice are going to fall or indeed what climate changes we will experience. Farming is a long-term business. At Trill we are planning lots more educational work next year as well as new crops to plant and sow. We’re also building on great feedback from the young unaccompanied refugees who came to stay this summer and from groups of campers who love our eco-campsite, wild swimming ponds and ancient woodlands.

Learning from the harvest is the key to good farming. Perhaps we could apply some principals of farming to our collective actions. The time to learn is now.