While we may not be jumping for joy at the idea of winter, there is a beautiful romance to the changing of the seasons; how each one serves a purpose in the natural world, bringing to the fore different color palettes, scents and feelings. One of the most salient markers of the seasonal cycle is the new produce that arrives right on schedule, fall produce being no slouch.
While the wild strawberries and rainier cherries may nap, the eggplants and pumpkins are just waking up. Here’s what to look forward to in September. And don’t forget to check out our gorgeous guides to a Farmer’s Market near you: now current as of 2016!
Did you know that when people talk about “the gift that keeps on giving” they meant Spinach this whole time? Spinach grows twice a year, in the Spring and the Fall, so when the leaves start a-turning the spinach starts a-growin’ (again). Though it may look delicate, shrinking to the size of a gum wrapper when cooked, Spinach is quite hearty and can stand its ground in cool weather down to the 20s (and even late teens)! Enjoy this fall produce at baby stage, or when they become large and leafy. Spinach is of course a vitamin powerhouse, packed with Vitamins A & K and so many minerals it’ll make your head spin. Vitamin K is crucial in helping your blood clot effectively.
The only veggie that holds a candle to Beets in terms of tasting like pure, undiluted soil are the stems on a swiss chard leaf. Try blending that flavor away in a smoothie. You cannot. Beets also are the only veggie to leave a trail of evidence in its wake, dyeing cutting boards and porcelain bowls a beautiful fuchsia. The nutrients in this colorful root include a substantial dose of Folate, the thing that our cells need to DIVIDE. Suddenly all this “eat your veggies” rhetoric is just plain high-stakes.
Of all the winter squash, Delicata is our favorite. You can eat the peel which thank gosh, because it is such a pain in the neck peeling the other kinds of squash (sorry other squash). Its interior has the delicate and caramelized flavor of a sweet potato, and you can really use it in just about anything. With its warm-hued flesh, it’s no surprise that the delicata is rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential in producing Collagen, you know the thing that holds together your eyeball and keeps it from gooping away like some sort of ghostbuster. Are you eating your vegetables yet?!
Grapes aren’t just for wine country, ya know. These clusters of rich, vine-dwelling berries can grow in your own backyard if you’ll just let ’em. The world of grapes is a mystifying one, with different cultivars recommended for uses such as snacking, jam-making and wine-making. It isn’t even recommended to let your grape vines bear fruit until the third year, with ardent pruning as the gatekeeper until the roots are strong enough to support the types of grapes that would make Romans proud. Grapes are a decent source of Thiamin, which among other things, helps in Carbohydrate Metabolism. Another way of saying that it makes sure when you eat food, you are able to get energy from it. Nothing to sneeze at, and if you eat enough of this glorious fall produce, it’s unlikely you will be sneezing at all.