What Fruits and Vegetables are in Season? Let's Find Out

What Fruits and Vegetables are in Season?

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If you love eating fresh, then you know that it can get a bit challenging to do so during certain times of the year as favorites go out of season and prices rise. What many people are unaware of is when fruits and veggies are at their peak, and since transportation and storage of produce is better than ever you can truly be eating in season all year round.

The following explains what fruits and vegetables are in season throughout North and Central America- which supply the majority of the continent with various fruits and veggies year round. The diverse growing climate allows us to enjoy in season choices at any time of year- all you need to know if what is best when so you can stock up for the best price!

Why Seasonal Freshness Matters

Woman wearing gloves with fresh vegetables in the box in her hands. Close up

You can always grow your own produce in backyard gardens and greenhouses, but even then you will have to somewhat adhere to seasonal choices and may be limited in some of your favorite, more exotic options. Storage methods and transportation is so advanced, you can now have fresh picks from thousands of miles away practically delivered overnight. Since certain vegetables and fruits thrive in specific climates and soils, you also save money when you buy in-season, heavily planted cash crops.

This might also mean that certain choices are in season when you least expect it- such as the middle of winter. Knowing in advance what is fresh allows you to watch for the best price at your local markets and avoid forced, out of season (and more expensive) produce.

Save Money

Cash crops often mean surplus, and surplus means savings. A farmer wants to sell his crop, not waste it, and so a good year for the grower means a good year for you as well.

Naturally Grown

Buying in season ensures your produce is grown naturally and is fresh. Forced crops are often grown under artificial lighting with artificial conditions to provide nutrients to the plant. Space is limited, thus the crop sizes are as well, plus there is an added cost the grower is trying to recover due to the unnatural lighting and feeding requirements – which drives up the price.

Packed With Nutrition

Hands holding an healthy fresh vegetarian salad in a bowl, fresh raw vegetables on background, top view

Eating fresh is ideal due to the many health benefits fruits and veggies provide. They are nutrient packed when grown in well cared for soils and under natural lighting conditions. When grown artificially these nutrients may actually diminish since there are so many more growing factors to consider.

Stock Up and Store

Buying when produce is in season provides you the best selection and in larger amounts so you can stock up and store your favorites. Although there are some nutrient loss associated with storage methods, the faster you do it after harvest,the more ‘freshness’ you lock in.

How Does Produce Stay So Fresh?

Produce is best consumed as quickly as possible after harvest to take advantage of the nutrient packed goodness they contain. Cooling the products helps slow this process and obviously growers and buyers want it transported as quickly as possible to buyers. Companies provide GPS tracking systems, and excellent modes of transportation to get their product to shelves quickly, efficiently, and as fresh as possible.

Year Round Availability

Red and green tomatoes in a greenhouse of transparent polycarbonate

Despite their being specific seasons for specific products, you generally still be able to find your favorites in stock year round. Why is that exactly?

As mentioned above crops can be forced when conditions for growing are less than ideal. Hydroponic and greenhouse conditions allow growers to provide produce throughout the year, but because they are grown in artificial circumstances, they may lack in flavor and size. They also will be much more expensive since they cannot be grown on the same large scale outdoor fields provided. The cost of lighting and nutrients also add to the cost margin.

When Fruits and Vegetables Are in Season

When you take time to know what is in season you can plan accordingly for preservative purposes, cost savings, and fresh eating. You may also see that certain crops are in season for long periods of time, or are around more than once a year. This is due to varying growing conditions and climates, plus some species are simply more hardy and tolerant of changing temperatures than others.

Winter

Clay dish with winter fruits: grapefruit, tangerines, persimmons, pomegranates with leaves on the old wooden table, still life, selective focus

Southern, temperate climates begin to emerge from winter dormancy during the winter and much of what is offered through the spring will first be seen during the winter months. Fresh fruits are generally coming from further away during these months, and are likely from Central and South America. Other, cold loving veggies may be harvested in warmer North American states.

December

Papayas
Leeks
Pears
Oranges
Mushrooms
Turnips
Rutabagas
Parsnips
Sweet potatoes
Brussels sprouts
Cauliflower
Tangerines
Tangelos
Broccoli
Pomegranates
Kale
Grapefruit
Cabbage

January

Lemons
Tangerines
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cauliflower
Grapefruit
Kale
Cabbage
Tangelos
Parsnips
Rutabagas
Oranges
Turnips
Leeks

February

Kale
Tangelos
Leeks
Cauliflower
Brussels sprouts
Parsnips
Broccoli
Cabbage
Lemons
Turnips
Rutabagas
Oranges
Tangerines
Grapefruit

Spring

Colorful root vegetables. Carrots, beetroots, turnips. Autumn market.

Cruciferea, root veggies, and cold hardy sprouters make their debut in the spring. This produce depends on cooler temperatures and are not as tolerant of heat. Fast growing fruits are also beginning to be seen and pave the way for those slower growing options that won’t be ready until mid-summer.

March

Rutabagas
Leeks
Mushrooms
Brussels sprouts
Lettuce
Artichokes
Parsnips
Radishes
Pineapples
Turnips
Cauliflower
Broccoli

April

Pineapples
Asparagus
Broccoli
Lettuce
Spring peas
Leeks
Rhubarb
Cauliflower
Mushrooms
Radishes
Artichokes

May

Okra
Asparagus
Zucchini
Cherries
Rhubarb
Strawberries
Spring peas
Radishes
Apricots
Swiss chard
Lettuce
Pineapples
Mangoes
Artichokes

Summer

Basket of tropical fruits on green grass

When summer begins you’ll still see a plethora of fruits making their entrance, but as it heats up most vegetables begin to come to maturity. Some species, such as squash varieties, thrive in the heat and will put out continual, fast growing options until frost. As the season wanes and begins to cool you’ll also notice larger fruits coming into season.

June

Swiss chard
Strawberries
Kiwi
Apricots
Watermelon
Cherries
Peaches
Cantaloupe
Corn
Lettuce
Blueberries
Zucchini
Mangoes

July

Watermelon
Summer squash
Apricots
Mangoes
Blueberries
Lettuce
Swiss chard
Kohlrabi
Strawberries
Plums
Peppers
Green beans
Zucchini
Kiwi
Cucumbers
Cantaloupe
Corn
Peaches
Tomatoes

August

Plums
Raspberries
Acorn squash
Lettuce
Zucchini
Apricots
Eggplant
Blueberries
Cantaloupe
Strawberries
Peppers
Tomatoes
Kiwi
Apples
Figs
Green beans
Swiss chard
Butternut squash
Corn
Kohlrabi
Mangoes
Okra
Summer squash
Cucumbers
Peaches
Watermelon
Winter squash

Fall

Autumn concept with seasonal fruits and vegetables

Fall is a time for harvest and storage of late fruits and veggies. Thick skinned, larger fruits as well as many vegetables are now in abundance. These typically store well in cool, dry storage areas to last through the winter. You’ll also see a reemergence of cool weather veggies as they can be planted as the summer heat begins to dissipate.

September

Okra
Spinach
Lettuce
Pomegranates
Mushrooms
Grapes
Butternut squash
Peppers
Persimmons
Cauliflower
Sweet potatoes
Green beans
Figs
Mangoes
Tomatoes
Acorn squash
Cantaloupe
Eggplant
Swiss chard
Pumpkins
Beets
Apples

October

Apples
Beets
Winter squash
Swiss chard
Broccoli
Leeks
Lettuce
Mushrooms
Cabbage
Butternut squash
Grapes
Sweet potatoes
Turnips
Rutabagas
Cauliflower
Parsnips
Persimmons
Pumpkins
Pomegranates
Brussels sprouts
Acorn squash
Cranberries
Spinach

November

Pomegranates
Oranges
Sweet potatoes
Cauliflower
Cranberries
Broccoli
Persimmons
Turnips
Spinach
Tangerines
Pumpkins
Beets
Rutabagas
Leeks
Winter squash
Parsnips
Brussels sprouts
Mushrooms
Cabbage
Pears

Conclusion

Love to eat fresh? Love saving money? Then hopefully this article provided all you need to know to plan ahead to stock up and save on your favorite fresh produce. Perhaps it also allowed you some insight as to why you see certain things in the store when you do!

We’d love to her below which fresh fruits and vegetables are your favorites and why! Plus, if you have any excellent storage tips we want to hear them as well. As always, please share!

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