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Harvest Moon

The Harvest Moon is the full moon that happens closest to the autumnal equinox, or the official start of fall. For several nights in a row, a large full moon rises shortly after sunset. Long before electricity, farmers would take advantage of this bright moonlight when it was time to harvest. The extra light extended the evening working hours, hence why it's called a Harvest Moon.

The date varies from year to year, but the Harvest Moon usually occurs in September in the Northern Hemisphere. Every so often, it falls in October. (In the Southern Hemisphere, it's the full moon closest to the equinox in March).

Fall is almost here and with the changing of the leaves and breaking out the flannel jackets comes seasonal flavors. Pumpkin spice lattes aren’t the only way to incorporate autumn into your day. There are plenty of other fall foods to try this season. Eating with the seasons can sound intimidating but there is a variety of produce no matter the time of year. Trying new seasonal recipes can be a fun way to mix things up and have some fun in the process.

Different foods are harvested at different times of the year. With modern agriculture you can typically find a variety of foods year round but you may notice that if you choose to eat a food when it is in season it tastes a lot fresher and more flavorful. Seasonal foods may be different depending on your geographical location so it can be helpful to research which fruits and vegetables are grown locally near you. Eating seasonally can also mean eating produce from local farmers.

Why eat foods that are local and in season?

Besides being more delicious and fresh, seasonal produce is also more nutritious. The shorter the amount of time between when the fruit is picked and when it is eaten, the more nutrients it retains. Because the food has not been packed and shipped across the country, it also creates less waste and pollution. It helps support the local economy and small business as well. Lastly, a benefit of eating locally grown produce is that it is safer because there is less chance of contamination. When the food comes from a far location it is at more risk for safety issues in the process. Buying locally also creates the opportunity to ask the farmer more about how the food is grown and harvested. You may find your body naturally craves seasonal foods as the weather changes. Maybe you notice you crave strawberries in summer and apple pie in fall. If not, it can still be fun to experiment trying new recipes with fresh ingredients.

The end-of-summer-harvest-time is unique. It's the time of year when all of the previous months have built to their climax.

All of the winter planning and dreaming, the speaking tenderly to spring seedlings, the transplanting and summertime tending, now offers back a shower of colourful, weighty goodness one is never quite prepared for. This season offers the juiciest flavours, the most eye-popping colours and the inspiration to cook, create and preserve. It is a time that overwhelms the senses.

Now for a few seasonally inspired recipes that will warm the spirit for the upcoming cooler months;

Pea Soup
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Braised lamb shanks with lentils
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Bread Pudding
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And there you have it, a lovely three course dinner! Be sure to join our site to get access to all our recipe archives, free for all site members.

Cheers, and have a great day!

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