Co-op Guide to Savoring the Season

As summer draws to a close and fall begins, it’s time to transition from summer to fall produce. We’ve got the lowdown on what to pick, preserve, store and savor this fall to make the most of produce while it’s fresh.

Enjoy in-season produce now: Tomatoes, herbs, peppers – depending on the weather, they might still be producing in mid-late September. Fall also means the end of sweet corn season, so celebrate its bountiful harvest while you can.

Pick early: Tomatoes can be picked green, ripened in bags or on newspaper in a dark room. Herbs can be picked, washed and dried in bundles or on sheet pans, or pureed in oil and frozen.

Preserve: Pick tomatoes and freeze or can them, make soup or sauce and freeze. Pick tender vegetables that remain (pole beans, cucumbers, peppers) and make quick refrigerator pickles. Remaining summer squash can be grated and frozen for breads, muffins and savory waffles. Sweet corn can be cut off the cobs and frozen. Pick hot peppers and hang or lay to dry, store in a jar in the pantry.

Store: Let winter squash and pumpkins stay in the garden, past early light frost, but pick before a hard freeze. Store them in a cool, dark basement room. Onions and potatoes can be stored, too, but separate from one another as onion gas causes potatoes to sprout. Root veggies can be pickled or stored, depending on temperature and location.

Savor the fall harvest to come: Enjoy in-season apples fresh, made into sauce or in pie filling. Pumpkins and squash can be eaten fresh, made into soups or purees and frozen. And don’t forget to toast the seeds! Root veggies can be roasted and made into hearty soups, or added to chili or other meat stews.