Celebrate the summer bounty of Ohio local foods

These resources are shared as part of a 2019 Your Plan 4 Health webinar  presented by OSU Extension Educators, Melissa J. Rupp and Patrice Powers-Barker. Melissa works in the Fulton County office and Patrice works in the Lucas County office. Need to connect with your local Ohio State University Extension office?  Here’s the list for each county.

tabletop of fresh summer vegetables

Resources shared in the webinar:

Recipe ideas for seasonal, local produce (mentioned in webinar):

The following sites have recipes that are user-friendly for all ages:

Utah State University Extension asks, ” Have you ever wanted to be a person who could walk into the kitchen, look in the pantry and refrigerator, and create a delicious meal out of what you have on hand?” They share a “create” series such as: Create an Omelet, Create a Sandwich or Wrap or Create a Pizza. Check out all their suggestions.

Planting A Fall Vegetable Garden

Planting a fall vegetable garden is a great way to extend the growing season and enjoy some cool weather crops after the heat of the summer fades away. Some vegetables love cooler weather!

It’s important to know about the average number of days to harvest for each crop,  the cold temperature tolerance of vegetables, and the average anticipated date of the first frost in your area (around October 15th for Northwest Ohio). If you have questions from an online presentation, please contact Amy Stone stone.91@osu.edu or Patrice Powers-Barker powers-barker.1@osu.edu  (information updated summer 2020 – thanks going out to Pam Bennett and Carri Jagger for their assistance on garden content).

Fall Vegetable Garden Charts

The following charts give general information on when to plant vegetable seeds for a fall garden harvest in Ohio:

PowerPoint Slides for 2020 Fall Vegetable Garden lesson

OSU Extension Resources related to gardening and vegetables:

Additional Resources

The following blogs and factsheets are from neighboring states and share additional information about fall vegetable gardens. Note for Ohio growers, the seasonal calendar dates will be different for different growing zones so take that into consideration when reading recommended planting and harvesting dates from other areas.


Cool Season Crops, (2020), Seed Savers Exchange, Retrieved from https://www.seedsavers.org/cool-season-plants

Durham, R., Strang, J., Williams, M., Wright, S., Bessin, R., Lee, B., Pfeufer, E. (2019). Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky. Retrieved from http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/id/id128/id128.pdf

Gardening in small spaces, bulletin #2761, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Retrieved from https://extension.umaine.edu/publications/2761e/

Jonael. (2017). Growing fresh cilantro in your garden or small farm. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and University of Florida. Retrieved 06/23/20 from http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/hardeeco/2017/10/26/growing-fresh-cilantro-garden-small-farm/

Lerner, R. (2020). Versatile vegetables for fall gardening. Purdue Agriculture. Retrieved from https://www.purdue.edu/hla/sites/yardandgarden/versatile-vegetables-for-fall-gardening/

Lilley, J., (2017 April 20). Succession planting. University of Maine Extension. Retrieved from https://extension.umaine.edu/cumberland/2017/04/20/succession-planting/

Planning for the garden. (no date). Ohio State University Extension, Excerpted from OSU Extension Bulletin 287 Home Vegetable Gardening, (1991, out of print) Utzinger, Brooks and Wittmeyer. Retrieved from https://wayne.osu.edu/sites/wayne/files/imce/Program_Pages/ANR/Garden/Planning%20and%20Planting%20%20the%20Garden.pdf

Ulry, L. (2019). Growing with the seasons. 4-H 692. Ohio State University Extension. https://extensionpubs.osu.edu/growing-with-the-seasons/

Voyle, G. (2012).  Fall vegetable crops for your garden. Michigan State University Extension. Retrieved from https://www.canr.msu.edu/uploads/files/E3172_-_Fall_Vegetable_Plants_for_your_Garden.pdf

When to Plant Vegetables: The Garden Planting Calendar (2020). The National Garden Association. Retrieved from https://garden.org/apps/calendar/

Local Foods: Part of Your Plan for Health recipes

As part of a webinar Local Foods: Part of Your Plan for Health, here are some recipes used in the presentation to represent a few different ways to utilize local produce in your kitchen.

Modified Recipes

Have a favorite recipe that you would like to modify? This factsheet offers suggestions on ways to decrease fat, calories, sugar and salt and increase fiber.

New Recipes

My mom makes the best rhubarb crunch with fresh rhubarb from her yard.  She’s made it every spring for as long as I can remember.  As much as I love it, desserts shouldn’t be the only way I eat this spring vegetable. A new way for me to prepare the tart stalk was in Red Lentil and Rhubarb Soup. Guess what? It’s May and tonight for dinner and dessert I had Rhubarb Soup and Rhubarb Crunch.

 New and Modified Recipes

Years ago, I had a recipe from Fruits and Veggies, More Matters. Although the original recipe is not on the website, there are many other tasty recipes for produce.  The recipe was called Tomatillo and Mango Salsa. It tastes great with mango but we discovered that peaches are a wonderful, local substitute. This salsa can be eaten plain with tortilla chips or use it to top a grilled chicken or fish. (Note: if you are a gardener and you can grow tomatoes, you can probably grow tomatillos) 

Tomatillo and Peach Salsa


1 can of peaches, diced (or 2 large, fresh peaches, peeled)

10 tomatillos, husked and sliced

1 small pepper, seeded and sliced

¼ cup lime or lemon juice

¼ cup diced onion

¼ cup chopped cilantro

½ cup diced tomatoes


Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl

Cover and chill for 2 hours before serving (optional)


The following three recipes were part of a fall salsa recipe sample at the Toledo Farmers’ Market.

Apple & Peach Salsa 

2 large peaches, washed and diced

1 tart apple, washed, cored and diced

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3 Tablespoons honey

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, washed and chopped

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice or nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix ingredients. Cover and chill.


Apple & Pear Salsa

3 pears, washed, cored and diced

3 sweet apples, washed, cored and diced

¼ cup pineapple juice

2 small peppers (hot or sweet), washed, seeded and minced

2 tablespoons fresh mint, washed and diced

Mix ingredients. Cover and chill.


Apple & Tomatillo Salsa

12 fresh tomatillos, husked, washed and diced

2 tart apples, washed, cored, and diced

1 sweet pepper, washed, seeded and diced

1 hot pepper washed, seeded and minced

1 small onion, peeled, washed and diced

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, washed and minced

1 T honey

Mix ingredients. Cover and chill


Although this recipe for Roasted Root Vegetables can be made any time of the year, I love making it in the early fall and winter. This is one way to meet the recommendations of “vary your veggies”.

Roasted Root Vegetables

Serves 6-8


  • 4 pounds of different root vegetables (like carrots, beets, turnips, potatoes, parsnips, onions, etc.)
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (like rosemary, oregano and sage)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced


  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Scrub vegetables under running water, cut off tops and root ends. Cut into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Toss vegetables with oil and spread on a baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 15 minutes.
  5. Stir vegetables, turn heat down to 375 degrees and continue to roast another 10 minutes.
  6. Add herbs and garlic, stir again and cook until vegetables are soft when pierced with a knife. (about 15 – 30 minutes)

Adapted From Asparagus to Zucchini


Home Food Preservation

 Find updated, researched recipes at the National Center for Home Food Preservation

Information on home food preservation resources and classes in Ohio


Pumpkin Spice Season

Variety of winter squash and commercially canned pumpkin

Winter Squash. Fresh, Frozen or Canned?

My favorite family pumpkin story is about the generation below me and the generation above me. When my oldest daughter was in sixth grade, they had an assignment to choose a recipe, make it and present and share it with the class.  She looked through all the cookbooks in our kitchen and finally decided on a recipe for Pumpkin Cookies.  I was a little surprised, but pleased that she chose the recipe from the black and white covered, plastic ring bound, 1996 cookbook produced by the Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition.  The title of the book is From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Farm-Fresh, Seasonal Produce.

The recipe looked easy enough and included two cups of cooked pumpkin. We shopped for the ingredients and talked about the difference in pumpkin varieties for carving Jack-o-lanterns verses eating.  My memory of the pumpkin cookies is that we were baking trays and trays of cookies all day long. Her memory of the pumpkin cookies is that when she told her grandmothers about it, they both asked the same question, “why didn’t you use canned pumpkin?”  She asked in amazement “there’s canned pumpkin?” I think she thought I had tricked her into using fresh pumpkin.  In my mind, the recipe was from a farm-fresh, seasonal produce book …. why wouldn’t we bake a pumpkin?

I do use canned pumpkin for many recipes, from pancakes to soup, especially if I’m pressed for time. I also love buying pie pumpkins and other winter squash from our fall and winter farmers’ market.  My kiddos know where their food comes from and they know some short-cuts to get a healthy meal on the table.