Seasonal Autumn Foods for Sustainable Living

multicolored and different types of ears of corn (zeas mays)
multicolored and different types of ears of Indian corn (Zeas mays)


Seasonal autumn foods are at their peak or ripeness and flavor. Autumn is the time of the richest bounty. The food that has been growing all summer is ready for harvest. Through the late summer into autumn, now is the time to buy enough food at farmers’ markets to put by for winter when less fresh food is available.

I like to make jam and preserves from the bountiful ripe fruit. I freeze vegetables for winter meals. My grandparents, lifelong gardeners, did this every year. Now, I do it, too.

The variety of seasonal autumn foods is often larger than those of summer. The warm weather crops, that were started in late spring and early summer are ready for harvest. Cool weather crops are planted in mid-summer to harvest in late summer and fall. Food put by or preserved for eating during the winter and spring months.

This is the last seasonal food list for food crops and completes the cycle. We started with winter seasonal foods in January. These seasonal food lists are a guide to help fill out your seasonal round. To learn about eating seasonally, visit CUESA for seasonality charts and what is in season now.

Growing Food All Year Round

If you would like to learn how to grow food that you can harvest in your kitchen garden throughout the autumn and winter, Eliot Coleman’s book, Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables From Your Home Garden ALL Year Long (Amazon affiliate link; see book on

More Seasonal Foods Posts

Seasonal foods for spring
Seasonal foods for summer
Seasonal foods for Winter
Seasonal Rounds: Charting Living In Harmony with the Land
How to Create a Seasonal Round – Part 2

Permaculture: a good idea?

Some of the vegetables listed are technically a fruit, but we use them as vegetables.

Autumn Seasonal Foods

Autumn Vegetables

  • artichokes
  • beans
  • beets
  • bell peppers
  • broccoli
  • broccoli rabe
  • brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • celery
  • celery root
  • chard
  • fennel
  • kohlrabi
  • lentils
  • mushrooms – chanterelle, porcini, shiitake, truffles
  • onions
  • peas
  • potatoes
  • rutabagas
  • salsify
  • squash, winter (hard-rind – acorn, butternut, Hubbard)
  • sweet potatoes
  • yams

Leafy Greens

  • collards
  • endive, Belgian
  • escarole
  • fennel
  • kale
  • lettuce
  • radicchio
  • spinach
  • watercress
indigenous Concord grapes
indigenous Concord grapes

Autumn Fruits

Citrus fruits are in season in Florida and California in autumn and winter.

  • apples
  • cantaloupe
  • cranberries
  • dates
  • figs
  • guava
  • gooseberries
  • grapes
  • huckleberries
  • oranges, blood
  • passion fruit
  • pears
  • persimmons
  • plums
  • pomegranates
  • pumpkins
  • quince
  • watermelon
Black Walnuts (Juglans nigra) rotting on the ground. Photo Donna L. Long.
Black Walnuts (Juglans nigra) rotting on the ground. Photo Donna L. Long.


ducks and geese huddled in the cold
ducks and geese huddled in the cold


  • duck
  • pheasant
  • turkey

See the post: Waterfowl Migration in Autumn

Fish and Shellfish

  • oysters
  • scallops

Herbs, Spices, and Seasonings

  • allspice
  • basil
  • cayenne
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • cumin
  • garlic
  • horseradish
  • lovage
  • mustard
  • nutmeg
  • sage

Autumn in the Natural World

Autumn in the Natural World makes complex processes easy to understand, to the wonders of the autumn season. In easy to understand language the essential natural processes of the changing colors of leaves, why trees shed leaves, and how a pond can still freeze and still support life are explained. Learn the key star constellation which signals the end of summer and the growing season. Learn why the moon’s of autumn loom so large in the night sky.

Available in pdf and paperback.

Buy Direct from the author


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