By Julia Howard
Fall is a sensory experience that ushers in comforting foods, sweaters, and pumpkins galore. While our experiences and needs are unique, we embrace a common ground during the autumn months. Please enjoy this list of shopping tips and local products that are hard to live without right now:
1. Fall Decor
As summer flowers wither, hardy fall plants such as mums and flowering kale offer a fresh burst of autumnal color to front steps and window boxes. The seasonal harvest of pumpkins and gourds of all shapes, sizes, and textures also encourages creativity in indoor and outdoor decor. Many varieties of pumpkins and gourds, festive fall flowers, cut flowers, and wreaths can be found at farm stands at the Wednesday and Saturday farmers’ markets.
2. Warm Meals
Cooler temperatures call for soups, stews, and oven-roasted meals that have the added benefit of warming the house without turning on the heat. Fall produce such as squash, Brussels sprouts, and freshly dug potatoes are ideal for roasting with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stew meat, whole-roasting chickens, and goat, pork, and beef roasts are fall favorites as they are easy to prepare and result in versatile meals. The Wednesday and Saturday markets have abundant meat, poultry, and fresh produce.
3. Building Immunity
First, a scratchy throat and then the sniffles; the common cold is among us again. There may not be a cure, but immune-boosting foods and drinks offer relief naturally. We suggest mushroom teas from The Mushroom Shop and apple-cider-based beverages from Awakened Tonics. If you’re feeling depleted, boost your vitamin intake with a smoothie. Add locally grown garlic to your diet, or try local bee pollen in cereal or oatmeal.
4. Pumpkin Spice Everything
Pumpkin spice is unavoidable this time of year. However, local producers do it right and use natural ingredients. From Pumpkin Pandemonium peanut butter to pumpkin spice chèvre from Nettle Meadow, pumpkin spice products are aplenty at the farmers’ market.
5. Simple Comforts
Comfort can be found in a hot coffee or a custom tea blend from Something’s Brewing. Or maybe a drizzle of Slate Valley Farms’ maple syrup on a steamy bowl of oatmeal. Or maybe some fall fashion like a hat or flannel by Feathered Antler. However you find comfort, fall encourages the pursuit.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is from 3-6 p.m. on Wednesdays and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on. Saturdays at High Rock Park through October. The market moves to a new indoor location at the Wilton mall on Saturday, November 4.
The week’s recipe: Apple Pumpkin Upside Down Cake