Early October Fresh Harvest

Clear October days are great for taking walks and picking up bright fall leaves. If you are headed to the farm market this week, keep in mind that in many regions of the the northern hemisphere the first true frost of autumn is just around the corner.

Eggplant and peppers will soon be making their last appearnces of the year. So now is the time to savor just a little more of the fresh summer harvest.

The final pickings of beans, broccoli, and squash are not far off, and while tomatoes often survive a light frost, you should enjoy them now as well.

Fried green tomatoes should be one of the rituals of the first frost.Slice hard greentomatoes, dip them in salted flour, andd fry them crisp and brown in butter. Serve them with baked corned beef hash.

When you get to the farm market this week, here’s a list of what your growers are likely to have on hand:

First-of-season: Apples, kale, lima beans, pears, pomegranates, potatoes, pumpkins and decorative gourds, new walnuts, squash (Delicata, butternut, Kabocha and acorn), sweet potatoes.

Peak-of-season: Apple cider, apple cider vinegar, arugula, basil, Asian pears, basil, beets, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbages, cantaloupes, carrots, cauliflower, chard, chilies, chipotles, cilantro, collards, pickling and salad cucumbers, dried fruit, eggplants, figs, garlic, grapes, green beans, green onions, guava (pineapple and strawberry), heirloom tomatoes, herb starts, kale, leaf lettuce, leeks, melons, mushrooms, nectarines, new potatoes, peaches, plums, olive oil, onions, radishes, raisins, raspberries, red onions, Romano beans, rutabagas, salad mix, scallions, spinach, squash blossoms, strawberries, summer squash, sweet yellow onions, table grapes, tomatoes, tomatillos, vegetable plant starts, yellow waxed beans, zucchini, and fresh herbs including chives, dill, French tarragon, garlic chives, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, Russian tarragon, sage, oregano and culinary bay leaves.

End-of-season: Apricots, Bartlett pears, corn, lemon cucumbers, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, shelling peas, snow peas, turnips, watermelons, winter vegetable starts.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

How To Grow Tips

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How To Grow Beans

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How To Grow Peas

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How To Grow Zucchini and Summer Squash

How To Grow Onions

How To Grow Potatoes


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