Achat local

Colors in the trees and on your plate

Des couleurs dans les arbres et dans votre assiette

With the first frosts come the abundant harvests of fruits and vegetables, a short-lived period when the possibility of making provisions for the cold season is at its peak. How to take advantage of this effervescence?

credit: Martin Pelle


Many people flock to Quebec orchards on beautiful fall days. Some pick apples to bite into them, others to transform them into compote. Did you know that some orchards also have other fruit trees? Yellow or blue plums, pears and grapes will allow you to diversify your jams and compotes.

Some market gardeners also allow pick-your-own vegetables and fruits from the land. Think in particular of squash and pumpkins which can be transformed into delicious dishes and desserts. Artichoke lovers will also be served, as some producers make it possible to pick them.

Ground cherries, tomatoes and tomatillos (“green tomato” from the same family as ground cherries, often used in Mexican cuisine) await you until the first frosts.

Organizations promoting agritourism in each region of Quebec generally offer a pick-your-own guide, indicating the products available at each production site as well as the periods when pick-your-own is open to the public.

Rediscover local fruits and vegetables

Fall is the perfect time to start cooking casseroles, soups and gratins again. Several Quebec fruits and vegetables are delicious prepared this way, in addition to being fresh at this time of year.

root vegetables, diversified and inexpensive during the harvest, are to be discovered. For example, why not try delicata squash, which is very versatile and has a subtle nutty flavor? Know that the peel of this squash is easy to eat and cut, unlike the very hard skin of some other squashes.

Little-known vegetables are also to be rediscovered, such as parsnips and Jerusalem artichokes, both excellent in soup or cream. The parsnip fries are a must!

Fall is, moreover, the perfect time to get a braid of garlic, which will certainly be your herb of choice for the winter months. Garlic from Quebec is on sale in most markets and grocery stores in the form of a braid, and this is much cheaper than bulbs individually. As a bonus, this will decorate your kitchen (right next to your basket of decorative gourds).

credit: Pavan Trikutam

In short, let yourself be inspired, and take advantage of this diversity to learn about local foods and how to prepare them. Perhaps you will discover new ingredients to enhance your winter recipes?


Once back home, the car full of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables, you still have to know what to do with them! Do not hesitate to consult the websites of your favorite cooks or your grandmother's recipe book: you will find many recipes there to ensure the preservation of your crops.

credit: Jason Leung

Whether it's canning, freezing or fermenting, the possibilities are endless!

All that remains is to take advantage of the beautiful days to stock up, and the rainy days to transform everything in order to savor local products all winter long!

Reviewed By Melanie

cover photo credit: jeshoots-com

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