What To Buy At The Farmer’s Market This Month: Thanksgiving Edition

What To Buy At The Farmer’s Market This Month: Thanksgiving Edition

Can you believe that it’s almost November? I feel like this year has flown past!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I am so excited for this year! I love to find seasonal foods at my local farmer’s market for Thanksgiving. Eating local food tastes sooo much better and that makes it perfect for Thanksgiving!

In my area it’s still 80 degrees (can you believe it? ugh) so the growing season is a little bit longer here. But I know for many of you, especially those of you who live further north, the farmer’s market pickings are getting slim in November.

Because of the variety of climates in the United States this is farmer’s market guide is pretty general. If you want to know exactly what’s in season in your area you can head over to The Seasonal Food Guide. I love this website because you can put in your zip code and know exactly what’s in season throughout the year in your area!

So let’s get started! Here’s what you should be looking for at the farmer’s market in November!

Apples

I’ve said it many times before, but I LOVE fresh apples. And fresh apples are perfect for making apple pie for Thanksgiving! In my opinion, there’s nothing better than homemade apple pie. You can check out my favorite homemade pie recipes here: Homemade Pie Recipes For The Holidays

You can also use fresh apples to make homemade apple cider vinegar! I have a guide for how to make apple cider vinegar here!

Mint

If you’re lucky you might be able to find some fresh mint at your local farmer’s market this month. It’s still in season in my area at the beginning of November, so keep an eye out for it! Having mint around during Thanksgiving is a must have for me because mint soothes upset tummies. I like to chew on the leaves, or I’ll make mint tea if I have an upset stomach (from eating too much!)

Plus mint has tons of benefits for your chickens! I use dried peppermint in my hens’ nesting boxes! You can get dried peppermint in my shop here: Dried peppermint 

Potatoes

If you’re lucky you might still be able to find some local potatoes for your Thanksgiving mashed potatoes. Since potatoes are fairly easy to store long term you can usually find farmers who have stored their crop from earlier in the season. When I lived further north I would go to a local farmer who stored potatoes in a massive root cellar! It was awesome because you could get local potatoes year round!

Check out my favorite recipe for Southern Style Mashed Potatoes and Gravy that you can make in your instant pot!

Sweet Potatoes

Yum! I love sweet potatoes! And good thing they’re in season in November, so you can make candied yams for Thanksgiving! This recipe for candied yams looks delicious (This recipe does call for sweet potatoes, not yams. Typically in the U.S. the words sweet potatoes and yams are used almost interchangeably which can be confusing!)

You can also try my favorite recipe for Southern Style Sweet Potatoes!

Winter Squash

I’m really looking forward to trying some recipes with winter squash this year! There are so many varieties of winter squash (spaghetti, acorn, butternut etc.) and I’m really looking forward to trying some out!

Some recipes I’m dying to try this year are:

Pumpkin

There are still fresh local pumpkins hanging around after Halloween, I promise! I love using fresh pumpkin to make pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice because it’s perfect for the holidays! You can find my recipe here: Pumpkin Puree & Pumpkin Spice. But my favorite thing to do with fresh pumpkin is make pumpkin pie! You can check out my favorite holiday pie recipes right here!

Carrots

Where I live, fresh carrots start showing up in October & November (since summers are so hot!) This recipe for Maple Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots would be the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving!

Mustard Greens

Yum! Mustard greens are perfect for salads and they would be great for a Thanksgiving side dish. Check out this recipe for Sautéed Mustard Greens With Garlic and Lemon!

Thyme

I love fresh thyme! Typically November is the last month there’s fresh thyme at the farmer’s market, so I’m going to enjoy it while I can! I just made a recipe for meatball orzo stew tonight for dinner, and the best part was it featured fresh thyme! You can find the recipe here: Slow cooker meatball orzo stew.

Well that’s all folks! If you’re looking for Thanksgiving décor ideas for your home, I’ve got your covered! Head over to this article here for my favorite fall themed décor! What are you going to buy at the farmer’s market this month?

 

What To Buy At The Farmer’s Market: October

What To Buy At The Farmer’s Market: October

Fall is here! Bring on the pumpkin spice!

I love fall, but I’m always a little bit disappointed because as October hits, the farmer’s markets in my area start winding down. It gets too cold around here for much to grow and so the farmers markets get smaller and smaller each month as we get closer to winter.

I love eating locally grown, fresh, seasonal produce, so each month I’ve been creating a general list of items that are in season each month. This is obviously a very general guide as things will definitely vary from area to area. If you want to know what will be in season in your area specifically, head over to the Seasonal Food Guide and put in your location! It will tell you exactly what’s in season in your area and when.

But let’s get started! Here are some of my favorite things to buy at the farmer’s market in October!

Apples

I’m pretty sure apples have been on my list every month since August when they first start showing up at the farmer’s market, but that’s because I love fresh apples so much! They just taste so good! October is when fresh apples start winding down in my area, so I stock up and eat as many as I can! And you know what fresh apples mean…apple pie! I love making homemade apple pie! Here’s a great apple pie recipe right here.

Pumpkins

And speaking of pie, how about some homemade pumpkin pie! I’ve never made pumpkin pie with fresh pumpkins before, but I’m so excited to try! Check out this recipe for homemade pumpkin pie with fresh pumpkins here! I also love feeding pumpkins to my chickens (they love it!) so I always pick up an extra pumpkin for them.

Sweet Potatoes

I used to HATE sweet potatoes. My only experience with sweet potatoes was the sweet potato tater tots they served in my high school cafeteria. gag. They were nasty! But once I tried sweet potatoes in soup (like this one) I realized I had been missing out! Grab some sweet potatoes this month and you can try my recipe for southern style sweet potatoes!

Garlic

Garlic really is a kitchen staple around here. I use garlic in a lot of my meals that I make! So I grab some extra and store it (check out my garlic storage tips here) so that I can have yummy locally grown garlic all year long!

Quince

I’ve never had quince before, so I’m super excited to try some this year! Especially this quince jam recipe!

Turnips

Turnips are in season in October! I’m super excited to get some from my local farmers market, so I can try making these turnip fries!

Tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes should be starting to wind down if you live somewhere that gets chilly in the fall. In my area there are still some around in early October, so I eat as many as I can! I love to use them to make these quinoa stuffed tomatoes.

Rosemary

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs, so I love picking up fresh rosemary from the farmer’s market! It’s a great herb for meals and I’m excited to try using it for this rosemary carrots recipe!

Mint

I use mint for a lot, mint tea for upset stomachs and I put dried peppermint in my hens nesting boxes. It’s great for your hens and for you too!

What is your favorite thing to buy at the farmer’s market? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

How To Ripen Green Tomatoes!

How To Ripen Green Tomatoes!

Are you staring at a bunch of over-enthusiastic tomato plants in your garden and wondering how to ripen green tomatoes without losing them to frost now that summer is over?

 

At the end of summer, there’s always a few green tomatoes that haven’t yet started to turn red. While you can always pluck them off the plant and eat them while they’re still green, they can be a bit tough and sour, especially if they’re very under-ripe.

 

If fried green tomatoes or salsa verde isn’t your thing, and you’re dreaming about pasta sauce, there are a few things you can do to speedily ripen green tomatoes.

 

Before we get started, you should only look to harvest green tomatoes that are healthy, with no soft spots, insect holes, or diseases (these tomatoes might ripen, but also might not be edible once they DO ripen – so use them for animal food or just compost them).

 

Here’s 3 ideas to help to ripen green tomatoes!

 

Got lots to harvest and wondering how to ripen green tomatoes? Here's 3 ways!

 

Choose green tomatoes that already show signs of ripening

Tomatoes that are not fully mature will either take FOREVER to ripen or won’t ever ripen – so for the best results, make sure the green fruit feels a little soft when you squeeze it.

 

If it’s starting to show a little pink, that’s even better, and you can pull them off the vine and they’re more likely to ripen for you.

 

Allow green tomatoes to ripen on a sunny shelf

 

To ripen, some fruits, tomatoes included, produce ethylene. If you leave your green tomatoes on a sunny shelf, eventually they’ll let off enough of the gas to ripen on their own. This is the simplest and most straight forward way to let them turn red.

 

Place with a banana or apple to speed it along

While we’ve never had much of a problem getting healthy, mature green tomatoes to ripen, it CAN take a while. One option to cut the ripening time down is to place your tomatoes in a paper bag with an apple or banana.

 

Both fruits give off ethylene – it will trigger your tomatoes to start the ripening process.

 

Choose a banana that still has green areas on it – just-starting-to-ripen bananas release more ethylene than when they’re fully ripe. This method cuts down the amount of time it takes your green tomatoes to ripen.

 

For larger amounts of tomatoes, place them in a cardboard box (you only want 2 layers to reduce the chance of squishing, especially as they ripen) along with the banana or apple.

 

Don’t allow the tomatoes to touch to increase circulation around each fruit. Place newspaper between layers.

 

Store in a cool, dry place since humidity can attract flies, other insects, or cause mold. Check on them frequently and pull out tomatoes that have ripened, or any that show signs of decay.

 

Got lots to harvest and wondering how to ripen green tomatoes? Here's 3 ways!

 

Allow green tomatoes to ripen on the vine

If you still have a few weeks before the first fall frost date, you can try to speed along ripening on the vine.

 

Pinch off any new flowers that bloom so the plant puts it’s effort into completing the reproductive cycle of the fruits that already have started to grow.

 

If frost threatens but it won’t be a hard frost, you can try using a row cover to keep the temperatures higher around the plant.

 

If you have a sunny, south-facing room in your house, and you grew your tomato plants in pots, then you can try bringing the whole plant indoors.

 

We’ve had mixed results with this, so we usually skip this step and just harvest the remaining green tomatoes. However, if you live in an area with higher winter temperatures, you might have more success.