As the days turn cold and the leaves start to drop, we of course can’t help but think about preparing for the winter ahead. What will we need for the long, chilly nights? What meals will warm our bellies? Do we still have that snow shovel from last year? When facing these wintery questions, there are two Barefoot titles we love to bring out for storytime that focus on harvesting two very different crops.

The first, Laurie Krebs’ The Beeman, follows a young boy and his grandpa as they care for their many bees. Throughout the summer the bees create delicious nectar, and as autumn arrives, the boy and his grandpa are able to harvest what is now honey. As they head into the winter months, they spread the delicious treat on Grandma’s Apple and Honey muffins (which you can make using a recipe in the back of the book!). A golden harvest indeed for this pair!

The second, Stella Fry’s Grandpa’s Garden, also follows a young boy and his grandpa as they tend a garden through spring and summer. As the months roll by, they are delighted by their crop delicious vegetables, the variety and color of which will be familiar to anyone with a home garden or CSA membership! By the end of the summer they have more than enough delicious vegetables to store away for the winter to one day roast by the fire.

Reading these stories gives us a warm glow inside; these harvest rituals are very familiar to our teams in Massachusetts and England! But this got us thinking about harvest festivals around the globe — how else to families celebrate the change in seasons? It turns out, the possibilities are endless!

  • Choosuk: This Korean festival celebrates giving thanks to the generations that came before, and is often celebrated with moon cakes, wrestling matches, traditional songs and a grand feast!
  • Yam Festival: This festival marks the beginning of the rainy season in Ghana and Nigeria and is celebrated with drumming, dancing, singing, and of course, eating yams!
  • Mehregan: An ancient Persian festival, Mehregan celebrates the creation of the world and its intertwining with nature, and is celebrated with the traditional foods of pomegranate, barley and wheat.

These are just a few of the hundreds of harvest festivals observed worldwide. How do you celebrate harvest with your family? Tell us in the comments!

Buy The Beeman: NA / EU
Buy Grandpa’s Garden: NA / EU

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