Those of us in the northern hemisphere are approaching the fall harvest season. Crazy I know - it seems like it can't be that time already.
Now is the time to take advantage of many fresh and yummy items that are abundant and cheaper during this time.
The days are getting shorter and the nights are cooler. It is that time. I am not crazy about what happens next in line (winter), but I do absolutely LOVE fall harvest time.
Take advantage while you can. Visit orchards, farm markets, road side stands - barter and glean.
Gardens are slowing down and coming close to the end of harvest time. Tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers will soon be a thing of the past (for fresh and tasty). Get what you can now. Can or freeze whatever you can for winter - you will miss them, I can assure you!
Now is the time to reap the benefits of getting beans, greens of all kinds, carrots, radish, sweet potatoes, potatoes, onions, Brussel sprouts (soon), cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, squash and PUMPKINS!!!
I keep hearing people say "pumpkin in cans is no where to be found" this year. (I see it all the time)
FIRST - it isn't the season quite yet - so chill.
SECOND - I read a quote from Libby that said production slowed this summer due to pandemic and they are back and producing and shelves will be stocked soon!!!!!
THIRD - use fresh!!!! Get small pumpkins and bake them down and use the pulp to make your own. You can easily freeze it. You can also substitute sweet potatoes or winter squash in pies and baked goods. Don't be one of those who creates panic - there are many substitutes and there are worse problems in the world!!!!!!
(OK - off my soap box)
Apples are big this time of the year as are pears. So many fresh and yummy options out there. We had a big freeze in May that damaged a lot of buds that had set, but the orchards still have plenty available. Cider is another wonderful side product of apples.
Now is the time to get apples for making applesauce, for baking, frying, canning, freezing and plain good time eating!!!!!!
You can use pears in just about all the same ways as apples.
Nuts are starting to fall from trees. Take advantage of gleaning if you have the chance. Many folks have walnut or hickory nut trees - get those yummy nuts before the critters do! It sure will save money come holiday time when even though plentiful they jack up the price.
If you live in the country or around vacant homes - there may be fruit trees that you can glean from.
There are things like persimmons and paw-paws as well in many areas. We have both here in Indiana. Let them be ripe - before trying to use. You will surely know if they aren't ripe!!!!! Pucker doesn't even begin to define the result!!!!!! LOL
Grapes are ready in many areas.
I know every region has their fall fruit options - take advantage while you can.
I don't consider food the only harvest of fall. Look around at the stores and get whatever deals you can find for yourself or gifts. Summer clothes and items are marked down, school supplies are being marked down already, camping gear, gear for outdoor activities (games and fun), and gardening items. Think ahead to gifts you need to get. A gift doesn't have to be about winter - get something the recipient can use next summer!
It is cookout/campfire time - so look for deals on hotdogs, condiments, hamburgers and chili ingredients, smore ingredients - the list goes on.
My brother has a cookout each fall - to celebrate fall birthdays - and it is always a fall food delight. There is a big pot of thick chili, hotdogs and all the fixings, smores and cider - chips, dip, etc. It is always wonderful! Sitting around a fire with family and eating good food.
So if you have the opportunity to go visit a farm stand or farm market - now is the time. Most will end in a month or so. Healthy, fresh food is available. Check with your family and friends and see if they have any surplus they can share.
Get your fall 'harvest' on and stock up for the days ahead.
Enjoy the first days of a new season - winter is around the corner.