Harvest Time!

Lots of farm-centered programs are cropping up.

It’s autumn, and this gal’s fancy turns to…fall produce.

I’m awaiting New Jersey’s cranberries, likely to roll out in earnest the first week of October. Pumpkins arrive then, too, and the kinds of apples I most love—tart and super crisp.

Collards are especially keen this year, and I love cooking them in a little bacon fat, serving them sprinkled with shards of bacon. Cabbage is prime at this time, ready for shredding in slaws that partner with pulled pork from a shoulder or butt, which I don’t mind slow-roasting now that the temperature’s dropping.

Beets, fall lettuces and greens, a new crop of arugula as well as cilantro: These are the things that make me happy to be a home cook. Cauliflower peaks in October, and I aim this season to run the table on all the recipes I’ve been collecting for this vegetable that came into chic-ness several years back and continues to flourish.

I can’t wait to see what New Jersey’s restaurant chefs are going to do with the fall crops. See? Make that eat—eat what our chefs cook up.

Meanwhile, I wanted to get you in the farm-fresh mind-set by calling to your attention the programs at the Garden State’s living history farms, of which there are myriad and many in all parts of NJ. Check with your county park system for guidance and contacts.

For example, the Morris County Park System’s Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, 73 Kahdena Road in Morristown, has a steady lineup of programs and events to educate and stimulate your Little House on the Prairie dreams.

There’s “Save Your Seeds,” a seminar starting at 2 pm on Saturday, October 1; “Farm Know-How on the Go,” starting at 2 pm Saturday, October 14; and “Farmhand for a Morning,” from 8 to 10 am and “Pumpkin Creations,” from 1 to 3:30 pm, both on Sunday, October 22.

Interested? Call 973-326-7645 or e-mail [email protected].

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