WE are currently in the middle of British Food Fortnight, which this year is encouraging everyone to celebrate Harvest season – traditionally one of the most important times of years for farmers and a celebration of seasonal British produce.

The word ‘harvest’ comes from the Old English ‘haerfest,’ meaning ‘autumn,’ but came to refer to the season when grain and other produce was reaped and gathered.

British Food Fortnight offers the chance to look for some great seasonal produce, and Powells Greengrocers, Sedbergh, have some great in-season vegetables, with Suffolk corn on the cob (50p each or £1.80 for four) and vegetable marrows from Worcestershire (£1/kilo).

Country Harvest at Ingleton is celebrating Harvest season with lots of tastings, including some wonderful British cheeses.

From the award-winning Appleby Creamery is Eden Chieftain, a creamy close-texture Cheddar-style cow’s milk cheese (£1.35/100g); and Eden Ivory, a slightly nutty, sweet, ewes’ milk cheese (£2.09/100g).

Cartmel Cheeses and Bakery have combined two much-loved British ingredients with their Cheddar and Marmite Bread, which is made on a wholemeal base with both ingredients mixed within the bread – a real treat for this time of year, priced at £2.75 a loaf.

Their Tunworth cheese is a celebration of earthy produce – Camembert-style with spring green and broccoli flavours (£9.60/whole; £4.80/half).

Harvest Festival originally is a chance to celebrate local farms, in which case you couldn’t do much better than Herdwick shearlings from Peter Hutchinson’s Butchers, Greenodd, priced at £45 for half.

And if you want to indulge as the dark nights start to draw in, Peter also has fillet steak available at £29.99/kilo.

A versatile cut of meat, particularly good with a warming winter casserole, Steadmans of Sedbergh have rolled local brisket at £8.98/kilo.

Bread is also associated with the Harvest, and Staff of Life, Kendal, have a wholesome harvest loaf which is wholemeal with hemp and other seeds, including pumpkin, sesame, poppy and golden linseed.

They also have a deli rye, which is 30 per cent rye, 70 per cent wheat and, according to owner Simon Thomas, ‘makes the best toast in the world.’

Both are available at £1.80 a tin or £2.80 a loaf. Bowland Bridge Stores has a range of products featuring the richly-flavoured fruit damson, including damson vinegar made in Bowland Bridge (£3.80/300ml).

They also have damson jam from Crosthwaite (£3.12/225g), damson chutney from Greenodd (£2.85/296g) and damson gin from Cowmire Hall (£15.99/50cl).

For a more modern take on supporting local foods, Lazy Bake Brownies were invented recently in Morecambe, and are now available at Greenlands Farm Village.

Lazy Bake is the first bake-it-yourself brownie – all it takes is one dessert spoon of olive oil and five of water added to the mix.