The Harvest Festival is a cherished British tradition that revolves around celebrating the year’s successful harvest and aiding those in need with fresh homegrown produce.
The Harvest Festival is a cherished British tradition that revolves around celebrating the year’s successful harvest and aiding those in need with fresh homegrown produce. It is often observed in churches and schools, offering an opportunity for people to get together, reinforce the bonds of their community and contribute to a common cause. Often these establishments organise food collection drop boxes, family crafts sessions and friendly competitions designed to engage participants of all ages. The Harvest Festival typically takes place in late September and October, with specific dates varying among communities based on harvest timings and convenience.
This presents a wonderful opportunity to organize a related event within a large Build to Rent (BTR) community. Such an event would bring tenants together, fostering a sense of collective spirit and unity. Hosting seasonal gatherings like these can instil a sense of belonging among tenants and pride in their community, enhancing their overall satisfaction and introducing them to fellow residents.
The concept of harvest makes us think of the distant past when most people lived in close-knit villages and hamlets, almost solely dedicated to agriculture. These smaller settlements promoted a strong sense of community and camaraderie. Work was often done collectively. Families worked together during harvest time to reap the year’s crops. In modern times, people have mostly left the ploughed fields behind to move into cities in pursuit of employment. This gradual migration has fuelled private rental businesses for decades, leading up to the rental industry’s latest innovation – BTR.
The modern rental wants to provide people with more than just a place to sleep and eat, it wants to create communities for its tenants and foster a sense of belonging. This is partially done to offset the anonymity of the big city and create a welcoming environment for all residents, inspiring loyalty and enhancing their satisfaction with their homes. It brings a rural village ambience to the urban environment, creating a welcoming oasis where residents can forge friendships and socialise during their free time.
Fostering and nurturing this sense of community requires effort and guidance. With autumn well underway now is the ideal time to organise your very own Harvest Festival in the communal spaces of your development.
The first thing you need to achieve is to establish a warm atmosphere that encapsulates the essence of harvest time. Use autumnal scents like pumpkin, cherry or cinnamon to set the correct vibe. You can do this either with air diffusers and incense or by using fruit and vegetables as decorations. Incorporate a colour palette of orange, green, red and brown to evoke the season’s hues. You can use colourful armchairs like Neyo and Matty. Create rustic displays that bring the mind back to the harvest celebrations of the past. This will set the base mood for the event and will help the tenants relax and get in the mood for a chill evening.
The best way to help residents interact with each other is by encouraging them to bring their own culinary specialities to contribute to the communal meal at a large table. This allows them to show off their cooking and baking skills. They will be keen to share their homemade goodies with the rest of the guests and exchange food and recipes. Additionally, food donation points could be set up for delivery to a nearby food bank to help those in need, in the spirit of the festival. The seasonal fruit and vegetables used in the display you set up would make great donations as well.
To keep the jovial atmosphere you can organise activities to participate in. Those could be as simple as board and card games, readily available. They could also be tied to the season and event, for example, during the Harvest Festival a pumpkin carving competition would be an interesting exercise to participate in. These games will serve as ice-breakers and facilitate interaction between tenants and the emergence of a community spirit.
Seasonal events, like the Harvest Festival, provide an exceptional opportunity to connect with residents and encourage them to connect with the development they live in and the neighbours they see every day.