The Best of the Harvest

Deep in the heart of Texas, fall is a second spring.

Words by Savannah Whitmer Photos by Johnson’s Backyard Garden

Everything’s bigger in Texas, and that’s especially true for the variety of vegetables available in the fall. But what homegrown veggies should you get, and where can you find them?

For starters, some of the most delicious veggies you can find are the ones you’ve been eating all summer. While peppers, eggplants, and the occasional late-season tomato may be on their way out, they’re fresh for now, and you can still buy them locally in November.

But if you’re ready for a change, call in the cold-loving crops. Root veggies and leafy greens are the way to go for fall. Experts from Johnson’s Backyard recommend parsley, cilantro, dill, and green onions for nutrient-rich greens. For the heartier side of the harvest, look for collards, curly kale, and spinach. If you’re shopping with Johnson’s Backyard, you can even get your hands on specialty greens like mizuna and baby bok choy.

Root veggies are some of the most cherished throughout the year, but there’s no better time than fall to get them fresh and local. Sweet potatoes, beets, carrots and radishes are all in season, and at Johnson’s Backyard, you can take your pick from scarlet, white Japanese, and purple-top turnips.

Fiber and vitamin-rich veggies like green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, fennel and cabbage are all ripe and ready to eat in the fall, along with colorful winter squashes like butternut, acorn, chayote, and, of course, pumpkin.

Don’t let the overwhelming variety stop you from experimenting with new recipes. Spice up the season with comforting classics like coconut-based curry or a hearty soup or stew. Most veggie combinations from Johnson’s Backyard harvest will work; it’s hard to go wrong when you go fresh.

But if you’re feeling daunted, pick out your favorite produce for a simple and delicious in-season salad. Roasted veggies go perfectly with a ready-made spring mix from Johnson’s Backyard. Throw in some finely-chopped broccoli, pumpkin seeds, and a bright vinaigrette, and you’ve got yourself a new fall favorite.

Get a share of the season’s harvest by joining the Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) program with Johnson’s Backyard. Every week (or every other week if you prefer), you’ll get hand-picked produce box delivered to your door or to an Eastside pick up location, starting at the individual size for $22. Check out Johnson’s Backyard at your local farmers’ market on Sundays or EASTside’s Sip+Taste section for more recipes.

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