The Farmer’s Almanac described this as the Harvest Moon because it gave farmers several extra evenings of moonlight to allow them to finish their harvests before the frosts of fall arrived. Tender vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, winter squash, and pumpkins must be picked before the first frost.
It is the Harvest Moon! On gilded vanes
And roofs of villages, on woodland crests
And their aerial neighborhoods of nests
Deserted, on the curtained window-panes
Of rooms where children sleep, on country lanes
And harvest-fields, its mystic splendor rests!
Gone are the birds that were our summer guests,
With the last sheaves return the laboring wains!
All things are symbols: the external shows
Of Nature have their image in the mind,
As flowers and fruits and falling of the leaves;
The song-birds leave us at the summer’s close,
Only the empty nests are left behind,
And pipings of the quail among the sheaves.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow