The Fall Harvest

The colors of fall show up in everything from the leaves falling from trees to the fashion that hits the runways. Even the culinary senses tend to dull; gone are the uplifting colors of the summer harvest, the tomatoes, squash, peppers, cucumbers replaced by warming, one-pot meals and casseroles that offer comfort from the chilling outdoor temperatures. But can you imagine a fall full of bright reds, sunny yellows, deep greens and vibrant purples, colors that in food scream vitamins and health? For the savvy vegetable gardener, there is no reason to do so.

Oklahoma’s fall largely translates to warm days full of sunshine, followed by cooler nights. According to information provided by the Oklahoma State University Oklahoma Cooperative Extension office, this environment creates optimal soil conditions that are perfect for growing vegetables. Most summer staple crops in the state – including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant and squash – will produce a fall crop when planted in mid- to late summer. Other crops that are more conducive to cooler weather, like carrots, greens and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, also produce well in Oklahoma falls. Of course, if the garden isn’t already planted, it’s too late for a fall harvest this year, but never fear: Many Oklahoma farmer’s markets remain open through most of October. If your fall harvest isn’t in the works already, the vendors will be happy to accommodate.

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