There’s a good reason — make that plenty of good reasons — why local foods are so popular. Produce that’s been grown nearby is typically fresher, riper, and better tasting than fruits and vegetables from afar. (After all, it’s grown for taste and nutrition, not so that it can withstand cross-country travel.) Buying locally supports independent local farmers, the local economy, and global sustainability. And, because local foods are easier to track and less vulnerable to contamination than commercially grown products, their purchase even supports food security.
Your own backyard is as local as it gets, of course, so if you’re growing much of your own produce, congrats! There are plenty of other options for scoring local bounty, too, though. Farmers’ Markets are growing in number and scope. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) enables communities to share in the harvest of local farmers. Food co-ops typically offer a good selection of local fare (produce and other goods, too). And many commercial grocery stores now offer an array of local fare in their produce aisles. (To find local farms, CSAs, Farmers’ Markets, and other opportunities to support local foods, visit the Local Harvest website.)
Here’s a selection of recipes that make the most of in-season fruits and vegetables with just-the-right seasonings! What’s in season varies a bit according to where you live, of course. So keep an eye out for what’s in season in your area. We’ve based our suggestions on some of the most available fruits and vegetables in the major North American growing regions in the Fall.