By Emma Grace:
Now is a wonderful time for produce because of the overlap of summer and early autumn. We are able to enjoy the freshest foods of summer like tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and green beans, and fresh herbs like basil and parsley, while simultaneously seeing autumn foods like new potatoes, pumpkins, grapes, and more. Even living in a city, one can look for farmers markets selling fruits and vegetables at their peak of ripeness. Eating foods when they are naturally ripe is ideal for many reasons. Produce typically tastes better when harvested in a timely manner, and eating seasonally often means eating locally, which reduces emissions from transportation. Some of these foods can be grown easily in a home garden, wild harvested or foraged. It’s the perfect time for warm, grounding dishes like soups, warm salads and pies. Check out this list of seasonal autumn produce to enjoy, and let us know how you use it.
With all of the bounty of autumn, you may want to consider how to store produce. Storing produce in the correct manner can extend its life and keep your seasonal produce long into the winter. In a cold climate, storing apples, hard squash, potatoes, celery root and other root vegetables in a cool dry place like a shed or cellar is easy.
Don’t forget about preserving the harvests of autumn. Canning, while labor intensive, is a great method of preservation and really captures the flavor of fresh fruits and vegetables, and even goods like apple juice and pumpkin butter. Drying can be done even if you don’t have a dehydrator: take advantage of the sun if you’re in a hot climate, or simply use an oven at low temperature. Many things, from fresh herbs to whole cranberries, can be frozen as well — it’s the simplest method and doesn’t need any additional equipment.
Here are some fruits and vegetables you can find:
- winter squash
- celery/celery root
- jerusalem artichokes
- brussels sprouts
- Swiss chard
- sweet potatoes
- Mushroom harvesting is still very common in parts of the world, especially many European countries. There are delicious and healthy mushrooms growing all over the world (maybe even in your neighborhood) that are just waiting to be sustainably harvested. If you’re interested in hunting for your own mushrooms, be sure to go with a trusted guide. You can read more about this here on Green-Mom.
- Although sometimes hard to find, if you have a source for fresh chestnuts there are countless delicious recipes to You can read more about eating and preparing chestnuts here.