The fall harvest season has finally arrived, along with the Harvest Moon, and Central New Yorkers can look forward to a bountiful produce selection as cooler weather sets in.
Farmers gathered at the Syracuse Regional Farmers’ Market on Thursday to sell fruits and vegetables with the familiar tastes of fall. Wayne Haas, of Farmer Haas in Onondaga, worked for the Syracuse Fire Department for 30 years and decided to farm his land when he retired:
Haas says he has gradually expanded to raising a diverse set of crops. He plants “everything you can grow in New York State. I start off in the spring with spinach and snow peas, and then after that I start having summer squash and zucchini, yellow beans, green beans, and finally the tomatoes come in, peppers – I’ve got three kinds of sweet peppers, three kinds of hot peppers.”
Chilly weather and its annual cravings for hot apple pie and spiced cider are just around the corner, and this year’s apple harvest won't disappoint. Susan Brown, a professor of horticulture and world-renowned apple breeder, said in a Cornell University release about the fall harvest, “All that rain caused the abundant fruit to size well, and high temperatures and sunlight have helped to develop the flavors and sugars.”
In the same release, farmers express anticipation for a healthy harvest of grapes and pumpkins. Steve Reiners, a professor of horticulture and an expert on pumpkins, offers this advice:
“Make sure you get your pumpkin soon, as the crop is a little early this year and growers will have a huge selection to choose from… if you want one that will last for more than a couple of weeks, I suggest looking for a pumpkin with a sturdy or hard stem. It’s okay to buy one in early October that has a little green on it, because it should be totally orange by Halloween.”
The official beginning of fall is at 4:44 PM on Sunday, and it’s only just the beginning for fall crops such as pumpkins.