(NC) For as long as there’s been farming, cultures around the world have celebrated the fall harvest with colourful festivals. The coming of autumn meant an abundance of food for the community and the end of toiling in the field during the hot summer months. These days, we have even more to be excited about. During Organic Week, Canadians have the opportunity to learn about the importance of organic food, farming and products, as well as the positive impact sustainable agricultural practices have on our environment and economy.

It’s easy to participate in Organic Week. Here are a few ideas from the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) for how you can take part in the country’s largest celebration of organic agriculture.

1. Get more out of farmer’s markets. Whether you’ve visited a farmer’s market in the past or not, Organic Week gives you the chance to check out these events with a new purpose. Talk to farmers about how to inspect the quality and ripeness of the foods they grow and sell, and how to best prepare, store, and maximize the potential of their delicious goods. Engaging on this level with the people responsible for producing our food is not something you can do at many grocery stores, so take advantage of this chance to learn from and get to know your local farmers.

2. Discover the meaning of farm to fork. Many organic farms across Canada are open for tours year round, but the best time to visit is in the fall. Pick your own fruits and vegetables and get the kids involved to help them learn where their food comes from. Organic farm tours give you the inside scoop on how your food is produced, including a glimpse into the sustainable practices organic farmers follow to enhance biodiversity, maintain good soil health, and foster ecological balance on their farms.

3. Canning your fall harvest and preserving the memories. Make the most out of the abundance our fall harvest provides by stocking up on the freshest seasonal ingredients and preserving what you don’t use immediately. Attend a home canning workshop to learn how to properly preserve your food. Canning not only extends the shelf life of seasonal food, but allows you to enjoy these nutritious fruits and vegetables throughout the winter.

This year, celebrate the fall harvest with purpose during Organic Week, running from September 17 to 25. Taste, learn, experience, and support your local organic producers. Find more ways to celebrate and information about organic agriculture online at chfa.ca.