Aperitif: Take Part In Local Fall Harvests

The Inland Northwest is abundant in vegetable, grain, fruit, herb, and berry farms, as well as ranches. Throughout the spring and summer, we find much of this produce and meat at farmers’ markets, local grocers, and farm stands. But there are also many opportunities to pick your own from the farm abundance—especially in autumn.

Fall is the perfect time to take part in local harvests. First, it’s cooler. Second, farms often have seasonal activities to accompany the end of the growing year, such as corn mazes, fall foods, harvest festivals, apple pressing, and pumpkin carving. If you’re just out to pick, here’s what you’ll find: apples, pears, squash, pumpkins, potatoes, and some vegetables. Imagine transforming a boxful of apples that you picked into luscious applesauce for the winter.

The most concentrated place to find u-pick opportunities is at Green Bluff in Spokane County. With 30 farms, two breweries, a meadery, a cidery, two wineries, petting zoos, corn mazes, and some of the best pumpkin donuts you’ll ever taste (at Beck’s Harvest House), there is no shortage of things to do for the whole family. The Green Bluff Grange, Community United Methodist Church, and Trading Post also host their own harvest festivals on October weekends.

Other fall u-pick spots include Carver Farms in Newman Lake, Prairie Home Farm in Coeur d’Alene, and Promised Land Family Farm, also in Coeur d’Alene. Experience further aspects of the harvest season at the Kootenai County Farmers’ Market Harvest Festival Downtown on Oct. 28 or enter Pilgrim’s Market’s Pumpkin Carving Contest, Oct. 29-30, to win a $50 gift card. The Spokane Farmers’ Market is also open on Wednesdays and Saturdays through October.

Don’t hibernate too early. Get out there this fall and bring home something delicious.

Visit the OTO archives for more stories about farmers’ markets.

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