Early fall is an exciting time, isn’t it? It is the official beginning of harvest season, when classic autumn fruits and vegetables are just starting to grace farm market shelves alongside the last of their summer-fresh counterparts. In September, with its warm days and cooler nights, it is the perfect month for fruits like raspberries, apples and pears, which means tasty jams, jellies, tarts and pies. Hearty root vegetables, like squashes and pumpkins, pair deliciously with aromatics like onions and garlic for comforting autumn soups, stews and bakes. It is the season of the land’s rich flavours, and it’s only the beginning!
Make your shopping list
What’s in season in early fall? This is the month of abundance, so think of all those fruits and vegetables which have spent warm summer days slowly ripening to reach their richest and most flavourful state—like apples, stone fruits, squash and root vegetables. But don’t forget those summer varieties which are experiencing a fall resurgence such as raspberries, and those veggies which are still going strong after months of continuous harvesting like tomatoes and cucumbers. Of course, it depends on how the weather has been, but typically at this time of year you can find such a broad range of produce due to the fact that some are ending their harvest season, while others are just beginning.
Have we tempted you yet? Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and get shopping. Bypass the grocery stores and go straight to the source: your local farmer. Fresh from the farm is how the early fall harvest tastes best! Here are just a few of the many farm markets you will find in YDH:
Willow Tree Farm – This multi-generational farm offers over 30 different types of in-season fruits and vegetables, hand-picked from over 125 acres either the day it is sold, or the day before. You simply can’t get any fresher than that. 975 Durham Regional Rd. 21, Port Perry
Brooks Farm – Whether it’s pick-your-own or shop pre-picked from the on-farm market, you will find a wide variety of farm-fresh produce like fall raspberries, apples, squash and pumpkins. 122 Ashworth Rd., Mount Albert
Hy-Hope Farm – A family-run orchard and golf course, Hy-Hope offers 15 different varieties of apples, as well as tender fruits like plums and peaches. Purchase your fall fruits in the on-farm store, and maybe stay for a round of golf to enjoy the early fall weather. 5450 Lake Ridge Rd., Ashburn
Round The Bend Farm – Take part in this working family farm’s CSA program, where fresh fruits and vegetables grown on-site are selected from June through to the end of October for your family. Autumn vegetables include cauliflower, cabbages, Brussels sprouts, turnips, kale, leeks, onions and more. 16225 Jane St., Kettleby
Pine Farms Orchard – It’s not harvest season without a pick-your-own apple experience. All your favourites await from the beginning of September through to October. Be sure to check the schedule for when your preferred variety is ready. 2700 16th Sideroad, King City
Maple Grove Farm – Fresh, seasonal produce is in abundance. Think squash, garlic, apples, and so much more. Produce here is grown both on-site and from surrounding farms to promote sustainability and cooperation. 936215 Airport Rd., Mulmur
Albion Orchards Apple Farm and Country Market – Pick your own apples and pumpkins this fall season. Visit the farm market for pre-picked pumpkins, squash, zucchini and other seasonal vegetables. 14800 Innis Lake Rd., Caledon
In addition to individual on-farm markets, where farmers manage direct retail operations from their own farm, we have no shortage of fabulous farmer’s markets around our region. Here, farmers, artisans and producers gather to welcome visitors for a communal shopping experience with no shortage of variety. If you’re looking for a particular fall flavour, you’ll find it at one of our farmer’s markets. Here are just a few of the many we have in YDH:
The Orangeville Farmer’s Market – 87 Broadway, Town Hall, Orangeville
Erin Farmer’s Market – McMillan Park, 109 Main St., Erin
Uxbridge Farmer’s Market – 85 Herrema Blvd., Uxbridge
19th Avenue Farmer’s Market- Markham – 2931 19th Ave., Markham
Do you have a favourite fall recipe that uses one of these in-season fruits and/or vegetables? Have you visited one of our York Durham Headwaters on-farm or farmer’s markets? Share with us on social media at @VisitYDH.
Story by Katherine Ryalen