Even in November, there’s still fresh produce to enjoy

Fresh autumn produce (Provided photo — Yvona Fast)

It’s November — and there’s still plenty of local produce!

True, I haven’t seen sweet corn, summer beans or cucumbers. But when Mom and I took a trip to St. Lawrence County, I was pleasantly surprised by the season’s last tomatoes at Martin’s Mennonite farm stand! I bought tomatoes, parsley, kale, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and carrots — all locally grown!

Next stop was Miller’s, where I bought local fruit: cranberries, purple Italian plums and four varieties of pears: the common Bosc and Bartlett, as well as Asian and Flemish pears. They also had many varieties of local apples and cider.

On Thursday, while in Lake Placid for another doctor’s appointment, I took a side trip up Averyville Lane to Paul Gutman’s farmstand, where I got Swiss chard, more kale and another Butternut squash. They also had other types of squash.

You can get garlic at Rare Farm Stand on Springfield Road in Wilmington, and more squash on Route 3 in Vermontville. What is your favorite farmstand?

Layered Autumn Crisp (Provided photo — Yvona Fast)

Don’t forget the farmers’ market, which is still on indoors and out from 10 til noon on Saturday mornings at the Hotel Saranac, with lots of great produce.

Plentiful now are all types of winter squash — from delicata to butternut, buttercup and acorn. There are pumpkins and gourds of all sizes and shapes. Roots include carrots, beets, parsnips, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Greens include kale, collards, chard, spinach, arugula and lettuce. Herbs include parsley, cilantro, thyme.

Winter squash are a rich source of carbohydrates, fiber, potassium and vitamin A. Tender and delicate, they’re used as a first food for babies. Low-calorie greens are chuck full of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and other important nutrients. Apples, pears and plums make sweet, nutrient-dense snacks.

So what will you make with all this bountiful autumn goodness?

Bake a pie or a crisp, breads or muffins.

Layered Autumn Crisp (Provided photo — Yvona Fast)

Make soup. Make a salad. Bake a casserole.

Layered Autumn Crisp


A little oil or butter for the pan

2 cups peeled, diced winter squash (I used Butternut)

1 cup cranberries (I used fresh)

2 large apples (4 cups sliced)


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Butter or oil 9” x 9″ or similar baking dish.

Peel and dice the squash. Arrange in bottom of baking dish. Top with cranberries. Cover with foil and bake about 20 or 25 minutes while you peel, core and chop the apples and mix the topping.

Melt the butter.

In a small bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, spices, and salt. Stir in melted butter. Set aside.

Remove the squash-cranberry mixture from oven and layer chopped apples on top of them. Scoop the topping over the fruit and return to oven. Bake an additional 30 minutes, or until fruit is soft and topping is golden brown.

Autumn Soup with Squash, Beet and Apple


About a quarter of a Butternut squash (about 2 cups)

2 beets

1 1/2 large onions

1 stalk celery

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup lentils

1 or 2 cups chopped cabbage (I used Napa)

1 apple, peeled, cored, diced

2 – 3 teaspoons olive oil

4 to 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I used chicken bone broth)

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 cup fresh minced parsley

About 1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream, for serving


Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Roast squash and beets in aluminum foil about 30 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave in the oven to cool, or until tender. When cool enough to handle, remove skins and chop coarsely.

While squash is roasting, dice the onion, slice celery and mince the garlic.

Heat oil in the bottom of the soup kettle. Add onions, celery and garlic; sprinkle with salt; cook 5 – 10 minutes.

In another small saucepan, place 1/3 cup lentils, 2 cups water, chopped cabbage and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook about 20 minutes until lentils are tender. Add chopped apple halfway through. Set aside.

When beets and squash are cool enough to handle, peel them, chop coarsely and add to the soup kettle with the onions and garlic. Add the broth and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Taste; season with salt and pepper. Puree the soup with a hand-held immersion blender (or in batches in your regular blender) until smooth.

Stir in cooked lentils, cabbage, apples and their liquid.

Remove from heat. Add fresh minced parsley and apple cider vinegar.

Serve warm with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, and additional parsley, if desired. Serves 4 to 6.

— — —

Author of the award-winning cookbook “Garden Gourmet: Fresh & Fabulous Meals from your Garden, CSA or Farmers’ Market,” Yvona Fast lives in Lake Clear and has two passions: cooking and writing. She can be found at www.yvonafast.com and reached by email at yvonawrite@yahoo.com. Twitter: @yvonawrites.


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