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5 Tips For Hosting A Garden Harvest Dinner Party

by on September 28, 2023
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The most common question friends have asked since I’ve told them about our 2022 Harvest Dinner is “how did you grow all that food?” And the answer is that I planned my 2022 garden specifically with this dinner in mind. Back in the early Spring when I was tending to seedlings indoors, I started thinking about this dinner. And if you want to host your own Harvest Dinner, I suggest you do the same!

So here are 5 tips to apply when planning out your garden that will help with hosting your harvest dinner party.

You don’t need a huge garden to feed your friends and family. You just need to be strategic.

Tip 1: Plant crops that have a good return on investment (ROI)

You’ll need to make the most of your plants in order to have enough harvest to feed a large group.

Prioritize planting crops that have a good ROI. Things like corn, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs are all crops that will produce many fruit per plant.

Of course, you’ll want to have some more unusual and exciting garden ingredients to serve too, like ground cherries or chickpeas, but those crops don’t need to make up the bulk of your meal.

So when you go into garden planning, prioritize your ROI crops first and then make room for all the “accompaniments.”

Tip 2: Grow foods that are ready to harvest late in the season

If you’re planning to host your dinner in the Fall like we did, plant crops that will be ready to harvest at that time.

Winter squash is a great option for this. However in a Zone 3 garden like ours, tomatoes, herbs and peppers are still typically abundant come September too!

On the other hand, you can definitely host a Summer harvest dinner party instead, which may give you more variety of foods to cook with. However, it may also be difficult to have an abundance of various harvest at this time.

Hence why we choose to host our dinner in the Fall instead. The end of the gardening season provided us with not only the biggest abundance of fresh garden produce but also preserved foods from earlier in the Summer.

3. Preserve foods that are ready to harvest earlier in the season

Easy vegan chive pesto recipe

Don’t limit yourself to foods that are only ready to harvest in the Fall (or whatever season it is you’re hosting your party in!).

If you can be well prepared, try and preserve some of your early harvest so you can add it to your Harvest Dinner meal. Truthfully, I wish I did more of this for our dinner

My Vegan Chive Pesto would be a great recipe to freeze and serve at your Harvest Dinner, pictured above.

Homemade salsa would be great for appetizers while jam preserves would be great additions to dessert.

4. Pick a theme for your dinner if you are heavy on one crop

This is something Zac, the chef that cooked for us, and I discussed when planning our menu.

Though I did have a large variety of harvest to choose from, there were a few crops that were really abundant, like tomatoes, garlic and potatoes.

So we played around with the idea of doing 4 courses all made with tomatoes. Or all made with potatoes. We even talked about getting really wild and doing a garlic ice cream!

There’s so many options. Get creative! If you are heavy on one crop, make the most of it and make that vegetable the star of each dish.

Plus, if you’re bringing on a local chef to cook for you (like we did!) then they’ll likely have tons of brilliant ideas on how to utilize the harvest you have.

5. Make it a community dinner if you are light on harvest

I love the idea of making your Harvest Dinner a community or neighbourhood event, having guests also contribute harvest from their own gardens.

This would certainly be easy if you garden on a community plot. But definitely something that would also work if you have neighbours or friends who love to garden as well.

A small garden space or urban property doesn’t need to limit you to hosting your own Harvest Dinner.

And there you have it!

I hope you can easily apply these 5 tips to your own garden harvest dinner. If you do, tag me in the photos @fromsoiltosoul on Instagram, and be sure to follow me over on Tik Tok and Pinterest too for more organic gardening content.

Leave a comment below if you have any questions, I answer all comments! Or if you’ve hosted your own Harvest Dinner, I’d love to hear about it.

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Latest Comments

  1. October 5, 2023

    really good tips. i’ve had to learn the ROI lesson over time and now i’ve whittled down to a lot of the crops u mentioned with the odd fun or weird one thrown in each year as a fun experiment. The taste of garden potatoes, toms, garlic, etc. vs store bought still blows me away every time.

    — matt
  2. October 11, 2023

    Hey Matt! Ugh the good ol’ ROI lesson lol. I agree, I’ve moved away from the “exotic” crop in years when my goal is to feed my family. But I don’t think I’ll ever ditch them completely…just way too fun to experiment here in Zone 3. Thanks for the comment, as always <3

    — Maggie