How to Make the Most of Fall Farmers Markets

Autumn is the best time to supplement your grocery-store run with farm-stand produce.

Peaches at Arlington Farmers Market. Photo by Community Foodworks.

3. Can It or Freeze It

Some area farmers markets are open year-round, but that doesn’t mean you’ll find peaches for sale in February. That’s why fall—when peaches briefly share the shelves with tomatoes, apples and lingering cucumbers—is the best time of year to pick up a canning habit.

“If you’re going to do canning, this is the time of year to do it,” Tydings says, referring to winter pantry staples such as canned tomatoes, pickles, preserves and applesauce.

Other perishable fall items, like green beans, broccoli and kale, can be frozen now for use throughout the winter. Rinse, chop and spread the vegetables out on cookie sheets to flash-freeze, then transfer to storage containers. You’ll be glad to have those frozen greens on hand for quick casseroles and other winter meals.

For beginning preservers, the Virginia Cooperative Extension offers a great landing page with recipes and best practices for canning food safety.

Categories: Food & Drink