Harvests have been celebrated world-wide for centuries, but harvest festivals are not held at the same time of the year because different parts of the world harvest at different times.
Traditionally, Americans harvest at the end of the harvesting season when no one is needed to work on the farm, though there was a time when the harvest meal, which we now call Thanksgiving, was at the beginning of the season. The Palouse is well-known for its farmland, so this area boasts several end-of- season activities to celebrate the harvest and prepare for the upcoming winter.
- Wilson-Banner Ranch is a big name in this area. Their produce can be found weekly at Moscow’s Farmer’s Market or you can drive to Clarkston to pick some yourself. And, even better, every year they have a fall festival with tons of things to do, food to eat, pumpkins to pick, music to dance.
- WSU Organic Farm holds a festival in early October where pumpkins are U-pick, and fresh cider can be had by all. Enjoy a hayride, pick some fruits from the orchard, or buy some pre-picked.
- Bishops’ Orchard in Garfield hosts u-pick apples and pears and has cider presses available so you can press your own cider. Different apples produce different cider flavors, so check out their website to find out when the best time is for you to press.
- Backyard Harvest, our local not-for-profit, attends to the harvest theme by providing a fundraising “farm to table” dinner in the autumn. The dinner’s reputation is similar to the organization’s reputation: awesome.
- Host your own harvest dinner. Make it a goal to use only local ingredients. Perhaps turn it into it a potluck to encourage friends to think more closely about local foods and different ways to enjoy them. Of course, the Farmer’s Market and the Moscow Food Co-op are two excellent ways to supplement your garden’s yield.