The Fall Harvest

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pumpkin fall harvestPhoto by Bonnie Kittle

It’s Time to Pick Your Pumpkins!

Fall is perhaps the most delicious time of year because we are now harvesting the largest bounty of fresh food from our gardens. It’s also arguably the prettiest. As the trees start to change, there are many vibrant colors in our Maine landscape and in our gardens as well. Now is the time to get your mums. Your local garden centers are fully stocked with a wide array of colors, so pick your color scheme and get to it!

It’s also time to start picking out pumpkins. Whether you use them for decorating, carving, or eating, local pumpkins are in season. In addition to adding beautiful color to your front porch, pumpkins are a healthy treat! According to Whole Living Lauren, “Consuming one cup of cooked, canned pumpkin provides over 100% of our daily needs for vitamin A, about 20% of the daily value for vitamin C, and provides a good amount of vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, copper, manganese, thaimin, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. Not bad for this delicious squash!” Visit this link for a delicious and nutritious pumpkin soup from Minimalist Baker.

fall harvest mums

Get a Jump on Spring

Fall is actually the perfect time to plant trees and shrubs because they will concentrate their energy towards rooting instead of growing. With shorter days and cooler nights, newly planted shrubs and trees will require less watering. It’s also the perfect time to start new beds. The ground is typically drier this time of year, making it easier for trucks to deliver mulch, soil, and compost without leaving ruts in the lawn. Building new beds or mulching existing ones is a great fall project and will help you get a jump on spring! You will want to get your bulbs in the ground now for early color next year. Daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, snow drops, and crocuses are all good choices for our climate.

spring blooms crocus
Photo by Matt Aunger on Unsplash

Pick Your Own

Fall is pick your own apple season! Find a local orchard and take the family; it’s a great way to spend some time outdoors and enjoy the cooler weather and delicious apples. Preserving the harvest is what it’s all about, so use this recipe for applesauce to make a nutritious treat that can easily be canned and preserved. And for hands-on workshops to learn the art of canning, check out this schedule from UMaine Extension.

Make the most of Maine’s beautiful fall season, enjoying your favorite fresh food or harvesting and laying the groundwork for next year’s garden. Remember that when you plant something, you are doing something good for your health, the planet, and your community.

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