Fall Harvest Ideas for Families – September 2010

It’s that time of year, when all the delicious fruits and vegetables that have been growing all summer long are ready to harvest.

According to Samantha Stern, training and development director at Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations throughout Greater Milwaukee, “This is a wonderful time of year to teach children about how food is grown and harvested, as well as how to make nutritious choices for healthier living.”

Local Farmers Markets

   Stern says farmers’ markets are a great way to show your children first-hand which fruits and vegetables can be grown in our region and what they look like once they are harvested.

“There’s nothing like strolling through a market with your children to show them all the different varieties of fresh produce and how fun it can be to pick out what you’re going to eat for dinner.”

Stern suggests strolling through the entire market first, so your children can see everything, and then deciding together what your family would like for dinner. She also says that, if you have a freezer, you should consider purchasing vegetables that you can clean and freeze for winter, so your family can enjoy locally-grown items year-round.

The East Town Market on Cathedral Square in downtown Milwaukee runs Saturdays from 8 a.m. – noon through October 30; the Westown Farmers’ Market in Zeidler Union Square in downtown Milwaukee runs Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.  through October 27; the Tosa Farmers’ Market at 7720 Harwood Avenue in Wauwatosa runs Saturdays from 8 a.m. – noon through October; the West Allis Farmers’ Market at 119 South 65th Street runs Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon – 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. through November; and the Thiensville Farmers’ Market on Main Street and Freidstadt Road (behind Walgreens) runs Tuesdays from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. through October 26. A terrific listing of farmers’ markets can be found online at www.farmfreshatlas.org/southeast.

Regional Farm and Fairs

Another way to experience the fun of harvest time is to go to a local farm or orchard to pick your own fruits and vegetables. Apple Holler, in Sturtevant, has over 10,000 apple trees in 28 varieties, as well pumpkins and many other fresh goodies. They also have hay rides and lots of other outdoor fun activities for families to enjoy. Visit http://www.appleholler.com/.

The Elegant Farmer, in Mukwonago, also has a variety of fresh grown produce in addition to hayrides and other sweet treats including their award-winning “Apple Pie Baked In a Paper Bag.” Visit http://www.elegantfarmer.com/.

Stern says there are many area fairs that celebrate fall as well. Harvest Fair at State Fair Park in West Allis always offers a great time for families. This year’s event will be on Friday, September 24, from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday, September 25, from 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.; and Sunday, September 26, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Families can make their own scarecrows, enjoy live entertainment, and visit vendors who sell fresh products and more. Visit http://www.wistatefair.com/.

Historic Cedarburg also has a Fall Harvest Fair on Saturday, September 18, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, September 19, from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The free, family-oriented event features an abundance of Wisconsin’s homegrown produce and artisan food products. There is also a craft show, live entertainment, Pumpkin Charity Regatta Scarecrow Sculpture Garden, and Kids’ Korner with pumpkin painting.  Visit http://www.cedarburgfestivals.org/.

   Ebenezer Child Care’s Downtown Center, located 340 W. St. Paul Avenue, will be hosting a FREE Family Fun Night on “Fall Harvest Activities For Families” on Tuesday, September 14th, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to enjoy the wonder of the harvest season with festive and fun activities for the whole family. Many autumn activities, craft ideas, and fun games will be shared including making a fall window hanging, tasting apples, making apple prints, and doing leaf rubbings. In addition to the activities, you will have the opportunity to enjoy dinner on us!  Registration is required. Please call Ebenezer Child Care Center’s main office at 414-643-5070 to register.