Eating locally, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables, is a great way to support your local farmers and economy, while also ensuring some delicious produce. Knowing what is in season as autumn rolls into town will help you choose wisely while out shopping, but before we dive into those delicious fall fruits and veggies, how do you know if the produce you’re buying is locally grown?
Shopping at locals farmer’s stands and markets is one way to guarantee fresh, local produce, but that may not always be the case. In fact, I lived next to a roadside farm stand for five years and was actually surprised by how much of his produce he imported from the west coast.
Ask about the produce and search for signs that say outright that the fruits and vegetables in front of you are locally grown. Knowing what is fresh and seasonal before you even start shopping will help you rule out items in the produce section that can’t be locally grown because they’re out of season.
What is in season, now that fall is upon us?
- Apples: Just because we can get apples all year long at the grocery store, those of us who live in the northern hemisphere often forget that apples actually have a season. Through late fall and into autumn, locally grown apples can be found just in time for cider season!
- Broccoli: Most people don’t realize that broccoli harvested in the cooler autumn temperatures tends to be sweeter than when harvested in the heat of summer. So if you see local broccoli, now is the time to really enjoy it. Cooking it into casserole with cauliflower is one of our household favorites, especially at Thanksgiving.
- Cauliflower: Just like broccoli, cauliflower is a cold weather crop that tastes sweeter when harvested during the cool months of autumn.
- Cabbage: There’s a reason mom’s make so much cabbage soup and sauerkraut this time of year. While you may not believe it, cabbage that’s been harvested in the cooler months, known as frost-kissed, is so much sweeter than cabbage harvested during the summer months.
- Cranberries: You may be noticing a fall/winter comfort food pattern here, as cranberries, which tend to be harvested in the north, are cold weather fruit that go perfectly with your upcoming Thanksgiving dinner.
- Onions: Onions are available all year long, but when harvested in the fall they are far more flavorful, meaning you can really spice up your dishes with cold harvested onions.
- Pears: Delicious pears come into season in the late summer and are available into the early winter months, which are perfect for fall salads and desserts.
- Pumpkins: I know you saw that one coming! What would fall be without delicious pumpkin pies, cookies, cakes and of course the baked spiced pumpkin seeds we core out of our jack-o-lanterns.
- Zucchini: This is by far my own personal favorite part of the fall harvest. When I’m not chopping it up into salads and pickling it for winter, I’m baking it into yummy breads and cookies!
Now that my mouth is watering, I think I’ll head out to the Amish market to see what locally harvested goodies I can bring home!