Autumn is often a time of reflection on the farm, as the growing season winds down it offers a brief moment of pause before winter preparations begin. Family and community are inherently woven into the landscape of any farm and the dawn of the fall season represents another opportunity to bring people together.Check out Cabot’s tips for throwing a harvest gathering in your backyard #cabotcheese Click To Tweet
In the weeks surrounding the Harvest Moon, (the full moon closest to the fall equinox), festivals and gatherings are planned on farms and in communities throughout the Northeast. It’s a time to connect, recharge, and share in the joy of another passing summer before buckling down for the long winter.
Yet, you don’t have to be a farmer to create a little seasonal catch-up with friends and loved ones. Here are a few tips to throwing a harvest party, that will celebrate the season and bring your community closer together.
1. Prep the Party
Shorter days and cooler nights define the season. If you are starting your harvest party in the afternoon, set up your lighting ahead of time. Strings of light can help you direct people where to go when night falls, while also offering a warm setting for people to connect and talk about their summer adventures.
Have tables out and decorations sorted so you aren’t scrambling as guests arrive and nightfall descends.
Mums, pumpkins, oriental kale, and gourds can set the fall scene, while bulk burlap can give your table a distinct fall feeling.
2. Cheese Board = Crowd Pleaser
The cheese board is essential this time of year. The cooler temperatures mean the cheese will stay longer and meats, fruits, nuts, seeds, spreads, and jellies will stay intact throughout the afternoon. Our only tip: GO BIG. It is rare that a cheese board doesn’t get eaten – so go big and wow your guests.
3. Slow Cookers for the Win
When thinking about food, think crockpot. The grill has been fired up all summer and folks have had their fill of burgers and dogs. Slow cookers or instant pots bring new options to the table that you can make well ahead of time, whether mac and cheese, chili, or a creamy & delicious broccoli cheddar soup.
Don’t forget the classic combo of apples & cheddar! Nothing says fall like these perfect pairings.
Here are a few of our favorites fall inspired pot-luck recipes:
Potluck tip: Make signs for the potluck items so everyone knows exactly what they are digging into!
4. To Pumpkin Spice, or Not to Pumpkin Spice
An argument that will never be settled… do you like pumpkin spiced beer? No matter the answer its good to have a variety of drinks on hand. Hard cider, amber beers, and wine in a can all bring something to table. Looking to match that drink with your favorite cheddar, check out our pairing page.
5. Build a fire that lasts
As day turns to night, its time to light the fire. We don’t all have brush piles ready to burn, so don’t be afraid to start small. Set up a nice coal bed with sticks and smaller pieces of wood, then go big once you have some heat on your side.
Don’t forget the s’mores. You can even pre-make little bags with all the fixins ready to go for your friends (PRO TIP: Don’t forget the Cabot Cheese in your s’mores!)
The farm families of Cabot hope your Autumn harvest is as meaningful and restful as possible. While fall is a favorite season in the Northeast, the end of the road leads to winter. Enjoy it while you can!