Fall is here, and cooler weather along with it. There are less open farmers markets in October, and we are headed to only having winter markets soon. You won’t find a lot of fruits but there are still plenty of vegetables!
Now is the time to take advantage of fall vegetables, and do what you can to preserve them. The farmers markets in October have lots of veggies that keep well longer term in a root cellar. Look for cabbage, apples, squashes and pumpkins.
Markets that are open have less vendors, but there is plenty to find still. There are a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables to be found at Maryland farmers markets in October.
Farmers Markets in October – Fruits
Farmers Markets in October – Vegetables
Now is a great time to preserve tomatoes, by canning, freezing or drying them. After October, you’ll be limited to greenhouse grown or non-local tomatoes until next year.
You’ll find more “keeper” apples available now. Talk to your farmer about which keep best, so you can buy apples to store. Otherwise, making applesauce or apple butter is a great way to keep apples around.
Even without a root cellar, you can keep veggies and apples fresh for a long time. Look into the best ways to store them, and see where in your house you can offer those conditions. Most like it colder, well ventilated, and humid.
Enjoy fresh salads while local options are still available. Cucumbers, lettuce, and tomatoes are all still sold fresh and local this month. Next month they will be gone.
Since there are less open farmers markets in October, start thinking about strategies to continue eating locally throughout the winter. If you have to travel farther to a market that is open, look towards buying things that keep longer.
Hopefully, you’ve taken advantage of the summer markets and have canned a lot of produce. Salsa is an easy option for water bath canning, and there are many recipes for salsa available for canning.
Homemade salsa is a great thing to use in many dishes, it’s not just for chips and tacos! If you canned a bunch of salsa and now don’t know what to do with it, there are lots of great ideas.
An easy option for extra salsa is to make Mexican themed meals. Salsas are great with tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, etc. Mix it with queso for dip, or add it to nachos.
Try adding salsa to different meats, like lean chicken breast that doesn’t have a lot of flavor. A complex salsa mixed with chicken or other lean meat can make an easy meal with few ingredients.
Serve your salsa covered meat with tortillas, rice, potatoes, or simply have more vegetables on the side for a low carb option.
Fish and eggs also pair well with salsas. Try poaching fish in salsa, or scrambling eggs with salsa. Both are easy, quick, and tasty meals when you are too tired to cook something more complex.
Try substituting salsa for pizza sauce. Add cheddar cheese and toppings that work well with the salsa flavors. Homemade pizza can be anything you want it to be.
Add your homemade salsa to soups, chilis, and stews. Your secret ingredient can add spice and depth to the flavor of your soup.
If you have fruity salsas, try adding them to ice cream or other dessert.
Any salsa can be mixed with a soft cheese like cream cheese or goat cheese. Take your cheese and salsa and use it as a dip for veggies or as a spread on crackers or sourdough bread.
If you haven’t made yourself a bunch of salsa to enjoy during the winter, hopefully you’ll plan to make some for next year! Preserving your favorite foods is a great way to ensure you are eating locally all year long.