5 harvest recipes
The trip to the cottage takes longer at this time of year. It’s not the traffic—it’s that there are simply too many enticing stops along the way. I just can’t drive past the stands at the farmers’ gates, piled high with baskets of produce fresh from the fields, so I often arrive at the lake with enough to feed everyone within 50 miles.
It’s more than the abundance that makes a stop worthwhile. Picked right at their peak, many fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, corn, or green beans, have a taste unequalled by produce grown and harvested for its ability to travel. You’ll often find unusual or heritage varieties (many farmers like to experiment with new crops) or sizes that never make it to the grocer—is there anything quite like a tiny, freshly dug, new potato? Buying from the farmer helps the environment—no extra gas burned for transport—and, of course, you may even get a bargain. But above all, seeing what’s available and meeting the people who grow our food is just good fun.
Tip: Finding farm-gate fruit and vegetable stands while driving to the cottage used to require a watchful eye and a bit of luck to arrive during business hours. Now, many local farm and tourism groups print maps of their region showing farmers’ markets, stands, and restaurants featuring local agricultural products. Another useful tool is the Internet; use it to find Ontario farm-gate listings. No matter how you find the farm, it’s always best to call ahead to check on hours of operation and what’s in season.