Saturday, September 1, 2007

The September Harvest Calendar


September is finally here, and autumn - barring our requisite Indian summer - is right around the corner. This month is perhaps the most plentiful and abundant of the whole year. We still have plenty of time to enjoy berries, stone fruit, tomatoes, and melon, but the crops we usually count on cold storage to provide are all available fresh from the field for at least the next 2 months as well. A veritable embarrassment of riches.

In September, the dry bean, brussel sprout, grape, kale, lima bean, pear, pumpkin, and watermelon harvest all get into full swing, and we also have a another chance to enjoy the 2nd harvests of peas and raspberries.


But by the end of the month, there will probably have been enough chilly nights to end the radish harvest until next April and the cucumber harvest until next July. In the coming days, we also lose turnip greens until next May, blackberries until next July, and currants until next August. My advice is to make the most of those cucumbers and radishes, along with beet greens, blueberries, cantaloupes, peaches, plums, prunes, and scallions. This is their last month in season until next year.


As always, this information is available in the sidebar harvest calendar over there on the right all month. The information comes from a guide published by the CENYC, which runs the Greenmarket & New Farmer Development Project. Of course, the best way to familiarize yourself with what's in season where you live is to visit farmer's markets in your area at least every couple of weeks. And I can’t emphasize enough how much I learn from the farmers themselves. So ask questions at the market – it’s the best way to find out which crops are not only available, but at their peak. To locate markets near you in the US, check the Zip or City Quick Search at Local Harvest.

Happy autumn, and happy September!

23 comments:

winedeb said...

Season's come and go so fast. I am back in Key West with no farmers market. That was the thing I enjoyed most being in Ohio. Well, there is next spring to look forward to. It is still summer here in the Keys with temps at night only going down to 84. But...the fishing is good. We do have a good market here that gets very good produce from the mainlalnd. Waterfront Market is a great place to shop for fresh veggies and fish and lots of other goodies. In fact, I have gotten on the "grain" kick this week. So I am into a different type of harvest than the fresh one!

Cynthia said...

And the same good wishes to you and yours. I treasure your harvest calender, I'll be using it to track some stuff down here too :) especially as it relates to imports.

Figs Olives Wine said...

Winedeb, I love hearing from you about the availability down there! The Waterfront market sounds wonderful with all that fresh fish. We have some great fish vendors who catch most of their own, but I'd imagine the waters are so much cleaner down there!

Cynthia, thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoy the harvest calendar! It'll be really interesting to see how it's reflected in the imports where you are - do let me know if you notice that.

Simona said...

Nice photos. I am off to the farmers' market to see what is available today.

Andy said...

I absolutely love our local farmers market. We go 2-3 times a week. Today one of the local chefs put on a cooking demo and made various things from produce bought right there.

Anh said...

Oh your market looks good! I didn;t live by any good market, so I can only go down to the best markets here once every two weeks or so... But I love it!

Figs Olives Wine said...

Simona, thank you! Hope you have a wonderful time at the market. They're so wonderful this time of year, aren't they?

Andy, I love when they do those demos! I see them once in a while at our markets, and the smells of the fresh produce being cooked are divine. So nice to sniff the finished product as you shop for the ingredients.

Anh, that's too bad! But don't you think that even every couple of weeks a visit to the market helps you feel the rhythm of the year as it moves along? Maybe even better as the changes are more pronounced with each visit.

Jen said...

I'm already missing so many things from earlier this summer, but I'm so excited that apples are back with us again. We have a wonderful small heirloom farm that comes with unique varieties almost every week. They just arrived last week.

Lucy said...

I've just finished (literally 25 minutes ago) reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and recall her talking about this (i.e. your) time of the year being exciting, but exhausting - so much to prepare for the cool months ahead. You're so right Amanda - those farmers know so very much that's worth asking about. Love them.

Figs Olives Wine said...

Jen, I do miss asparagus and strawberries, but I just love when the apples get going. I'm always shocked by how different they are than the ones that have been sold all spring and summer. Fresh makes such a big difference, doesn't it? The heirloom farm sounds extraordinary - what great fun it must be to try all the varieties!

Lucy, I haven't read that book - sounds like I ought to pick it up. Thanks so much for the recommendation. And you said it - exhausting is right!

lorraine@italianfoodies said...

Seasonality isn't a big thing in Ireland unfortunately because of the weather. Our summer was terrible this year, rain, rain and more rain. Farmer's Markets are just beginning to become popular but is only held once a week for a few hours in the morning. The markets in Italy are just a breath of fresh air to me as we just don't have a supply of beautiful colourful seasonal vegetables:( We have good Guinness though;)

Rose said...

Happy September and autumn to you and yours too Amanda. Wishing you plenty of sweetness and goodies. Do you have a way to preserve radishes? Pickles? If so could you please give me an advice on how to do so, or just a link. I know I bother you with my never ending requests.

sognatrice said...

Oh how I love the change of seasons--all new fruits and vegetables to play with! I only wish we had some apple orchards around so I could go on a hayride and pick some apples...may have to take a trip a bit north ;)

These photos, as always, are awesome :)

Truffle said...

What glorious colours! Your post really brightened up my day. I love seasonal produce and your photos are lovely.

Figs Olives Wine said...

Lorraine, I think it's great that you have access to a place even once a week - so many people don't yet. It's interesting to watch such an ancient tradition returning slowly though. I've heard that the summer over there has been absolutely rotten, and I'm so sorry about that! Fortunately, Guinness helps with rotten summers. It helps with lots of things in my opinion!

Rose, thank you, and the same to you! Don't worry about asking me questions - I think it's great, and I'm happy to help! I've never pickled radishes myself, but they do make delicious (not to mention gorgeous) pickles. Chow.com has a recipe for bread and butter radishes that looks very good, though they only last for 5 days in the fridge. If you don't want sugar in the brine, you could try my pickled ramp recipe - it's in the May archives. Just be sure to slice the radishes into rounds before starting. If you want good instructions on canning so that your pickles last longer, I think it's worth investing in Linda Amendt's Blue Ribbon Preserves. It's available on Amazon.com, or you can get it used on abebooks.com. She doesn't give a radish pickle recipe, but she does give extremely good instructions on canning other pickles as well as some fabulous trouble-shooting tips. Please let me know if this helps, and I can't wait to hear about your pickles!

Sognatrice, thank you! It's so good to hear from you, and you just gave me a serious yen for apple-picking! We go to a great farm near Princeton, NJ to pick apples and pumpkins. My friend's daughter is 5 now, and she gets so excited for the hay rides, pony rides, etc. I get excited for the doughnuts and hot cider. It's such a great time of year - hope you can make it north! How cold does it get where you are?

Figs Olives Wine said...

Truffle, oops, we posted at the same time I think! I'm so glad you like the photos - the change of seasons is wonderful, isn't it? And I really love the start of autumn - it might be my favorite!

Rose said...

Dear Amanda. You are so sweet to give me all these links and info. Thanks a lot, I really appreciate your help. I will definitely let you know how it goes. Have a great day.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Amanda, those grapes look so delicious, I'm craving them right now (I'm a total sucker for grapes). :)

ritu said...

hello there, I found your blog thanks to passionate Palate, and I am so glad I did.
I have always said even though I am a chef, that it is the ingredients that matters, not really the techniques.
it really is a very nice blog
cheers

Hannah said...

I have awarded you the Droolworthy Blogger award - pop over to my blog when you have a minute to receive it!

Hannah

Figs Olives Wine said...

Rose, it's my pleasure! You're very welcome.

Patricia, it's one of my favorite moments of the year - hasn't happened quite yet - when there are so many grapes for sale that the entire market smells of grape juice. Unbelievable!

Ritu, welcome and thank you! Don't you love the Passionate Palate? It's a great site, and I look forward to checking yours out too. And I agree! Ingredients are everything.

Hannah, my goodness I'm floored! Thank you so much for thinking of me - I can't tell you how flattering that is, and you're so kind!

Marie said...

Hi Happy Autumn to you! I popped over here from Hannah's page to have a look and I really think you have a beautiful page. Well deserving of the Drooling Bloggers Award she has given you! I love outdoor markets. Over here my favourite one is the Borough Market, but it is very large and can be a bit overwhelming at times. I think as a whole I prefer the little village markets that they hold on the village green once a week. They are alot more personal and it's possible to get to know the vendors intimately. There might not be the same degree of choice that you would find in a larger market, but there is that homey feel to them and you just know that the stuff they are seling you is of the best quality. It's pretty special to be on a first name basis with the lady who grows your carrots or the guy who raised your pork.

Figs Olives Wine said...

Marie, welcome and happy Autumn to you too! And thank you so much! I love village markets too and the relationships between grower and eater that they create. When I visit my parents, I go to a lovely Saturday one over in Vermont, and it's great. Over the years, I must say I've developed relationships with some of the vendors at our markets here too. None are so massive as Bourough Hall though! I can't wait to check out your site - it looks truly beautiful.

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