The Harvest Moon is named such for a reason. Now is the time to stock up on all sorts of veggies and fruits for the winter.
Farmers everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere are chock-a-block full of the bounty of their efforts. There are deals to be had!
Find out where the nearest Farmer’s Market is to you and make a point to visit it. See the Almanac Farmers' Market Directory.
Bring a large basket. Or, call your local farmer and ask what’s available and if you can come by and pick up some goodies.
Onions, potatoes, carrots and beets are relatively easy to store (click links to read my tips on each crop). Many farmers will sell 25 or 50 pound bags at this time of year. See if you can get them to provide you with unwashed produce as it will keep better.
Winter squashes are abundant and very easy to store. See how to store squash. Butternut, acorn, Hubbard, delicata, kabocha, pumpkins and buttercup all keep well with a little bit of preparation. Be sure to pick perfect ones—they need to have no nicks, dings, bruises or bites and a solid stem. Bring them home and place them in the Sun for a couple of weeks, turning every few days. If frost threatens, take them inside for the night. Eventually, they can reside on a counter, shelf or beam. It’s a good idea to place some newspaper down under them. When they do decide to turn to mush, it happens quickly. The newspaper will protect the furniture.
Cabbages are also abundant in the fall. This is the time to make sauerkraut or kimchee. (See how to make kimchee.) Not only does this give you food during the winter months, but it also provides you with beneficial, probiotic bacteria and digestive enzymes. A little fermented nourishment with each meal can help to keep you healthy.
Sunflowers are also ready to pick now. I set mine out in the Sun on trays until they are very dry. Then, I store them in a bag inside. See my post on sunflowers.
I give the sunflower heads to the chickens when it snows. Chickens won’t go outside in the snow and this gives them something to pick on in the coop besides each other. Read how to keep chickens happy in the snow.
A little fall preparation can make the winter months more comfortable and cozy. It’s well worth the effort to spend a bit more now in order to save big later on. It also supports our local farmers which, in my opinion, is the best national security of all.