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Fall Harvest Festival

Celebrate the harvest season with green recipes, garden tips, and ideas for eating local. For more great green tips all year long, sign up for daily green tips from The Green Life.

Fall Harvest Festival

Green Food Tips

Pick Some Fruit: Even locally grown produce has to be transported from the fields to farmers' markets and grocery stores, and then to your home. So cut out the middleman by grabbing some friends and carpooling to a pick-your-own farm to harvest seasonal fruits and vegetables. The outdoor adventure is a great way to connect to your food, reduce food miles, and support local farmers. And there are few things sweeter on a fall day than biting into a crisp apple right off the tree.

Try Regional Recipes: Traditional Thanksgiving meals tend to favor fall produce, so it's a great time to focus on locally grown fruits and veggies. Consider adapting time-honored recipes to reflect your region's growing season and history. For a fun challenge, plan either one dish or the entire meal with ingredients grown or produced within 100 miles of your home. Check out the Daily Green's 100-mile Thanksgiving meal plans for five different U.S. cities to find examples of creative, local solutions.

Buy a Heritage Bird or Go Meatless: Want to celebrate "Turkey Day" without supporting environmentally destructive factory farms? You can help preserve species diversity by purchasing a free-range heritage turkey from a local farm. If meat isn't a must-have, consider skipping the bird altogether and building a hearty meal around vegetarian dishes such as autumn tempeh salad or butternut squash enchiladas.

Fall Recipes

Seasonal Recipes -- Farro with Curried Apples, Filberts, and Cranberries: Also known as emmer wheat, farro (pictured at left) was one of the first grains cultivated in human civilization. It has a light, slightly nutty flavor and relatively high protein content. You can find it at specialty food stores. Chef Karen Jurgensen from the Quillisascut Farm School of the Domestic Arts provided this recipe.

To prepare apples:
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
3 tart apples, cored and cut into one-inch pieces
2 tablespoons Madras curry
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Kosher salt to taste

Read more on how to prepare this dish.

Wild Green Recipes -- Stinging Nettle Pizza: The leaves of this plant are the bane of every hiker. You'll definitely want to wear rubber gloves while picking and cleaning them. It's well worth it though; in addition to being packed with iron and vitamin C, there's some evidence that there may be medical uses for stinging nettle. Try pairing this pizza with an eco-friendly beer. Serves 2

A large bunch of stinging nettles
1 head garlic, roasted
1/2 cup wild mushrooms, cleaned and dried
1 cup grated mozzarella, fontina, or gouda (we suggest one of these sustainable cheeses)
1/2 lb refrigerated pizza dough.

Read more on how to prepare this dish.

Five Onion Soup: By chef Todd English and executive chef Michael Suppa of the Plaza Food Hall, a European-style market in New York City.

A variation of the French classic using local organic produce where possible. Yield: 14 cups

2 tablespoons Nudo olive oil
1 cup chopped slab bacon*
16 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 whole free range chicken,* about 2½ pounds, cut up
1 ham bone*
5 white onions, peeled and thinly sliced
8 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
4 leeks, well washed and thinly sliced
8 to 9 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves or 1 tablespoon dried
3 bay leaves
10 cups homemade chicken stock* or Pacific Natural Foods organic low sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup julienne scallions

Read more on how to prepare this dish.

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