We are moving into peak harvest season this month. Everything that’s been growing— your tomatoes, winter squash, corn— will be ripening and ready to pick. It’s the kind of bounty that inspires people to celebrate and all across Utah fall harvest festivals, a nod to our agricultural present and past, abound. This month, festivals from Brigham City to Green River will honor Utah’s agricultural heritage with festivals for peaches, onions and melons. Eat Local Week has five days of food-fun events from a pickling class to the annual Wasatch Cooperative Market art and food show. Farm-to-table dinners are springing up in farm fields while year-end fundraisers for local food organizations such as Local First Utah are bringing the best chefs and the last of the local harvest to our plates. Enjoy.
Payson Golden Onion Days @ Payson, UT, Sept 1-5, PaysonUtah.org
Payson City’s Onion Days began in 1929 when the city created a day of rest and festivity in honor of the hard-working residents laboring on the onion harvest. Utah is still one of the country’s top onion producers—the Spanish sweet onion is our state vegetable—but you won’t find many onions at the Payson festival; after all, it’s a day of rest. Come instead for the parade, baby contest, fireworks, Mt. Nebo half marathon and other family-friendly fun.
Downtown Dine O’ Round @ various locations, SLC, Sept 9-25, regular business hours, $5-35, DineORound.com
Over 45 restaurants are participating in what can only be described as a food extravaganza. For foodies and casual eaters, the Downtown Dine O’ Round is the perfect opportunity to experience restaurants and dishes unknown at an affordable price. Participating restaurants will offer two-item lunches for $5 or $10, and three-course dinners priced at $15 or $35. No coupon necessary just ask your server about the Dine O’ Round option.
Peach Days @ downtown Brigham City, Fri. & Sat. Sept. 9-10 7am-10pm, free, BrighamChamber. com/peach-days
At one time Brigham City was known for its orchards and its peaches. In 1904, the city created a holiday to give workers a break from the fall harvest. That was the origin of Peach Days, though now you’re more likely to see classic cars than peaches at the festival. If you make it to the Saturday morning parade you can see the crowned Peach Days Queen go waving by.
Greek Festival @ Holy Trinity Cathedral Greek Orthodox Church (279 300 W), Fri. & Sun. Sept 9-11, 11am-11pm, till 8pm on Sun., $3 admission, free for children 5 and under, SaltLakeGreekFestival.com.
Salt Lake’s big fat Greek Festival, one of the longest running and most popular festivals in the city, is all about great food. Vendors at this year’s 41st annual Festival will be serving up loukoumades, a treat similar to scones; dolmathes, those delicious rice and veggie stuffed grape leaves; pilafi, the fluffy lemon-tinted rice; fasolakia, green beans in tomato sauce; keftedes, Greek meatballs and other treats. Find recipes for some of these traditional foods on the festival website, but visit the festival for great food, music and dance.
Tomato Sandwich Party @ Grateful Tomato Garden (800 S 600 E), SLC, Sat. Sept. 10, 11am – 2pm, free, WasatchGardens.org.
This event (part of Eat Local Week) is a long-time community favorite where you’re likely to run into scores of friends and neighbors. Celebrate the bounty of community gardening with delicious open-faced sandwiches, made with yellow, pink and red heirloom tomatoes and pesto from the garden. WCG is still looking for volunteers to help with the event. Interested? Sign up on the website.
Cache Valley Gardener’s Market Farm-to-Table Banquet @ Riverwoods Conference Center (615 Riverwood Pkwy) Logan, Sat. Sept. 10, 6-9pm, $30 adults, $10 kids 12 and under, Gardenersmarket.org.
This Eat Local Week event is hosted by Johnson Farms, a fourth generation family farm in Cache Valley. The meal benefits the Cache Valley Gardener’s Market and will include live music by the Blue Blazers.
Utah Brazilian Festival @ The Gateway (18 N Rio Grande St.), Sat. Sept 10, 1pm-10pm, free, UtahBrazilianFestival.com
Whether you’ve visited Brazil in the past, are from there originally or simply have an interest in Brazilian culture, the Utah Brazilian Festival is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Winner of the 2010 Community Merit Brazilian International Press Award, the Utah Brazilian Festival will feature authentic dishes, music and dance.
Quickle at the Harvest Market @ Gallivan Plaza (239 S. Main St.), SLC, Tues. Sept. 13, 4:30pm, free, EatLocalWeek.org/events-activities
Don’t know what to do with all your cucumbers? Come to the Tuesday harvest market for a demo on making quick refrigerator pickles. Make your own while you’re there. Jars and supplies are provided, buy your cucumbers at the market.
Real Food Rising Farm-to-Table Meal @ Real Food Rising Farm (1050 W 500 S), SLC, Thurs. Sept. 15, 5:30pm-7:30pm, $50, EatLocalWeek. org/events-activities
Real Food Rising is a local urban farm. Its youth programs teach local teens about healthy lifestyles and sustainable agriculture. This banquet entirely benefits these youth programs.
Melon Days @ Green River, UT, Fri. & Sat. Sept. 16-17, free, Melon-Days.com
Crenshaws, Canaries, honeydew, canteloupes. No place in Utah grows melons like Green River. Pick up some of the sweet nectar from any of the area’s three melon growers, Dunham Farms, Thayn Farms and Vetere Farms, at this year’s festival and join in on some of the other festival fun like square dancing, a 5k run and the softball tournament.
Wasatch Cooperative Market’s Annual Local Food & Art Show @ Sugarmont Plaza (2234 Highland Dr), SLC, Fri. Sept. 16, 6-10pm, $10/20 member-owners/non-members (50% off if purchased before Sept. 9), EatLocalWeek.org/ events-activities.
The spread at this Eat Local Week event will include produce and meats from Christiansen Family Farm and East Farms and dishes from chefs Daniel Cantu of Cantu Creative Catering and Sage’s Café. Eat local treats and browse art for sale while you learn about the Wasatch Cooperative Market, a community-owned grocery store-in-planning.
Festa Italiana @ The Gateway (18 N Rio Grande St.), SLC, Sat. & Sun. Sept. 17-18, noon-10pm, Sun. until 7pm, free, FestaItalianaSlc.com
This year’s Festa Italiana is a menagerie of food and drink from Caputo’s Market & Deli, Cannella’s Restaurant, Sicilia Mia, Sweetaly Gelato and Caffe Expresso among many others. Attend both days to enjoy the Italian car show, spaghetti-eating contest, and bocce ball tournament. Now that’s amore.
Historic 25th Street Harvest Moon Celebration @ historic downtown in Ogden, Sat. Sept. 24, noon-8pm, free, Historic25.com/harvest- moon-celebration.
This farewell to summer is also a reminder of Ogden’s strong small-town vibe and the community’s commitment to local businesses and nonprofits. Families and friends take over the street for a celebration that includes music, arm wrestling and a beer garden. While there are no vendors at the festival, the local businesses lining the street will all have open doors.
Cooking class: Fall Soups @ Sur La Table, The Gateway (10 Rio Grande St.), SLC, Thurs. Sept. 29, 6:30-8:30pm, $69, SurLaTable.com
Moroccan Lentil with Chicken and Chickpeas, Shrimp and Corn Chowder, Roasted Tomato Bisque with Parmesan Crisps are three new recipes you’ll come away with just in time for those chilly autumn evenings.
Harvest Festival @ High Star Ranch (970 UT-32), Kamas, UT, Sat. Oct. 1, noon-5pm, Free, RecycleUtah.org/events/annual-harvest-fest
The 7th Annual Harvest Fest will feature dozens of vendors selling local crafts, food and drink, activities for kids, wagon rides, live music and more. Free.
Cynthia Luu, Zak Sonntag and Zac Smith are concluding their CATALYST internships. Katherine Pioli is CATALYST’s associate editor.