October has officially begun, bringing with it chillier temperatures and Autumnal scenery, so we're excited to explore the new produce that is coming into season this month.
For many people, October is synonymous with Halloween, and while we love spooky season, we always find ourselves excited to try the new fruits and vegetables that come into season around this time of year. Strawberries may be starting to disappear, but there are so many amazing others popping up that we can't wait to try, like apples and blackberries.
Due to the warm weather we've been experiencing this year, seasonality has gone a bit awry, with a lot of fruit and vegetables coming into season a lot earlier than usual. This may mean that they will go out of season earlier too, so make sure to use what you can while it's still available.
What's In Season
- Apples (cooking and eating)
- Brussels sprouts
- Butternut Squash
- Pak choi
- Potatoes (Kerr's Pink and Roosters are best right now)
What's going out of season:
- French beans
- Purple sprouting broccoli
- Runner beans
What to forage:
What to plant:
- Broad beans
Foraging For Mushrooms
October is when wild mushrooms start to appear, offering unusual savoury flavours. While foraging might seems like a skill that is easy enough to pick up on, but foraging for mushrooms is something that needs to be taken very seriously.
The golden rule when searching for mushrooms is to make sure that you avoid anything you're unsure of as some are poisonous or could make you very ill. There are lots of books that you can learn from or experienced foraging guides, but remember: if in doubt, throw it out. There are more than 2,500 different types of fungi in Ireland and they're not all edible, so familiarise yourself with the edible varieties, most of which usually have a similar, poisonous counterpart, so make sure not to mix them up.
Mushrooms can sweat when exposed to plastic so make sure to store your spoils in a basket or cloth bag, otherwise they will deteriorate quickly.
If you're looking to impress with your wild mushrooms, try this recipe for mushroom broth with mushroom dumplings. It requires a variety of wild mushrooms and looks absolutely gorgeous so it's perfect for autumn.
Why buy in season
Seasonality is so important because it helps you make sure you're getting the best out of the produce that's available to you. Our farmers and growers around the country strive year round to make sure that the food that reaches us is of the best quality possible, so it makes sense to ensure you buy at the right time. Food markets and farmers' markets are great resources to help make sure you buy in season as the stallholders usually stock the best of the best. Some of our favourite markets are on in the following places:
- People's Park Market, Dún Laoghaire, Sundays 10.00-16.00
- Clonakilty Market, Cork, Fridays 9.00-14.00
- The Village Market, Galway, Tuesdays 10.00-18.00
- Dingle Farmers' Market, Kerry, Fridays 9.00-15.00
- Market Square, Portlaoise, Fridays 10.00-15.00
- Red Door Market, Limerick, Saturdays 10.00-15.00
- Mayo Castlebar Farmers Market Fridays 9.00-18.00
- Local Food Market, Meath, Saturdays 10.00-14.00