Shop In-Season Produce: A Handy Seasonal Guide

Shop In-Season Produce: A Handy Seasonal Guide

It’s easy to know what’s in season when you’re browsing the farmer’s market in the summer and selecting from locally sourced produce. But what about when you’re in the grocery store where produce is available year-round? This post is a handy guide to help you know which fruits and veggies are in season.

*This article contains affiliate links*

What is Seasonal Food?


Seasonal food, or produce that is “in season,” is harvested, purchased, and consumed during peak ripeness.

For example, strawberries are usually harvested in June (which is why the June full moon is called the Strawberry Moon). If you’re buying strawberries from the supermarket in December, they’re not in season.

Shopping for in-season produce is easier in southern states that don’t have cold winters and therefore have a much longer growing season. For northern states, out-of-season produce has a much longer distance to travel.

>Garden Tower Project

Why Should You Shop for Food That’s In Season?


Eating locally sourced food that was harvested and sold in season comes with lots of benefits:

  • In-season produce has more flavor. When food is out of season, it has to travel farther to be transported to your location. To account for the longer transit, growers harvest the produce early, before it’s truly ripe so it doesn’t go bad in transit before it can reach consumers.
  • Buying in-season is more cost-effective. Produce that was sourced locally doesn’t have as far to travel, which means transporation, fuel, and handling costs don’t inflate the price.
  • Food that is in season has a higher nutritional value. Just as harvesting ripe food results in a better taste, it also has more nutrients.
  • Purchasing in-season food supports the local farmers and distribution chains in your community. Shopping local stimulates your community’s economy as food is grown, harvested, processed, and distributed on the local and regional scene.
  • You know where you food came from and how it was grown. If you’re able to shop directly from local farmers, you have the opportunity to learn more about the food you’re buying. Where was it grown? What kinds of pesticides (if any) were used? How was the produce harvested?

Basic Guide to Buying In-Season Produce in the U.S.


If you want to know exactly which fruits and vegetables are in season based on your state, check out this handy resource to plug in your info and look up the produce that’s currently in season for your specific area.

For a general reference list, see the printable/downloadable seasonal produce chart below:

Printable and downloadable seasonal produce chart to shop in season
  • Spring | March, April, May
  • Summer | May, June, July, August
  • Autum | August, September, October, November
  • Winter | November, December, January, February, March

My Garden Box - $38.50

from: Cratejoy

List of Produce and When It’s In Season in the United States


*The produce on this list is predominantly based on the Midwest growing season. Some items, such as avocados, coconuts, and bananas, are not grown in the Midwest but are still farmed and sourced nationally from other continental states so you know the best time to look for certain products in the supermarket. Foods that must be imported into the U.S. are not included on this list.

Fruits


  • Apples | July, August, September, October
  • Apricots | May, July, June
  • Asian Pears | October, November
  • Bananas | All year
  • Black Sapote | December, January, February
  • Blackberries | June, July, August
  • Blueberries | June, July, August, September
  • Boysenberries | June, July, August
  • Brambles | June, July, August
  • Breadfruit | July, August
  • Caimito | February, March
  • Canistel | December, January, February, March, June, July, August
  • Cantaloupe | July, August, September, October
  • Cherimoyas | November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June
  • Cherries | June, July
  • Citrus | All year
  • Clementines | December, January, February
  • Coconuts | All year
  • Cranberries | September, October, November
  • Dates | September, October, November, December
  • Dragon Fruit | May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Figs | June, July, August, September, October
  • Gooseberries | June, July
  • Grapefruit | January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September
  • Grapes | June, July, August, September, October
  • Ground Cherries | May, June, July, August, September
  • Guava | All year
  • Jackfruit | June, July, August, September
  • Kiwi | October, November, December, January, February, March, April
  • Kumquats | November, December, January, February, March, April
  • Lemons | All year
  • Limes | October, November, December, January, February, March, April
  • Longans | July, August, September, October
  • Loquats | April, May, June
  • Lychees | May, June
  • Mamoncillo | August
  • Mandarins | November, December, January, February, March
  • Mangoes | May, June, July, August
  • Melons | June, July, August, September
  • Nectarines | June, July, August, September
  • Oranges | November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June
  • Papaya | May, June, July, August, September
  • Passion Fruit | June, July, August, September, October, November, December
  • Pawpaw | August, September
  • Peaches | June, July, August, September
  • Pears | August, September, October
  • Persimmons | October
  • Pineapple | May, June
  • Plums | July, August
  • Pummelos | November, December, January, February, March, April
  • Quince | September, October
  • Raspberries | June, July, August, September
  • Sapodilla | December, January, February, March, April, May, June
  • Star Fruit | July, August, September, October, November, December, January
  • Strawberries | May, June, July
  • Sugarcane | September, October, November, December, January
  • Tangerines | November, December, January, February, March
  • Tomatillos | May, June, July, August, September
  • Tomatoes | May, June, July, August, September
  • Watermelon | July, August, September, October
  • White Sapote | October, November, December, January, February

Vegetables


  • Artichokes | February, March, April, May, June
  • Arugula | May, June, July, August, September
  • Asparagus | April, May, June
  • Avocados | February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November
  • Beets | May, June, July, August, September, October, November
  • Bok Choy | August, September
  • Broccoli | May, June, July, September, October
  • Brussels Sprouts | July, August, September, October
  • Cabbage | May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Cardoons | October, November, December
  • Carrots | July, August, September, Octobers, November
  • Cauliflower | May, June, September, October
  • Celery | August, September, October
  • Celery Root | August, September, October
  • Chard | May, June, July, August, September
  • Chicories | October, November, December, January, February, March
  • Chili Peppers | June, July, August, September
  • Collard Greens | April, May, June, September, October, November
  • Corn | May, June, July, August, September
  • Cucumbers | June, July, August, September
  • Eggplant | July, August, September
  • Endive | October, November, December, January, February, March
  • Fennel | September, October, November, December, January, February
  • Fiddleheads | March, April, May
  • Garlic | August, September, October, November
  • Garlic Scapes | May, June
  • Ginger | February, March, April, May, June, September, October
  • Green Beans | June, July, August, September, October
  • Green Onions | June, July, August, September
  • Horseradish | October, November, December, January, February, March, April
  • Jicama | November, December, January, February, March
  • Kale | June, July, August, September, October, November
  • Kohlrabi | May, June, September, October
  • Lamb’s Quarters | April, May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Leeks | August, September, October
  • Lettuce | April, May, June, September, October
  • Malabar Spinach | July, August
  • Morels | April, May
  • Mushrooms | April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November
  • Mustard Greens | April, May, June, September, October, November
  • Nopales | September, October, November, December
  • Okra | July, August, September, October
  • Onions | June, July, August, September, October, November
  • Orach | October, November, December, January, February, March
  • Parsnips | April, May, October, November
  • Peppers | July, August, September
  • Potatoes | July, August, September, October
  • Pumpkins | September, October
  • Purslane | April, May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Radicchio | October, November, December, January, February, March
  • Radishes | April, May, September, October
  • Rapini | October, November, December, January, February, May, June
  • Rhubarb | April, May, June
  • Rutabaga | September, October, November, December, January, February
  • Salsify | October, November, December, January
  • Shallots | June, July, December, January
  • Sorrel | April, May, June, September, October
  • Spinach | April, May, June, September, October
  • Sprouts (usually bean and alfalfa) | All year
  • Summer Squash | May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Sunchokes | July
  • Sweet Potatoes | August, September
  • Taro | March, April, May, June, July, November, December
  • Taro Leaf | November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August
  • Turmeric | January, February, March, April, May, June
  • Turnips | April, May, June, September, October, November
  • Watercress | April, May, June, July
  • Winter Squash | June, July, August, September, October
  • Yams | All year
  • Yuca | September, October, November, December
  • Zucchini | May, June, July, August, September, October

Herbs


  • Basil | July, August, September
  • Chives | March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Cilantro | June, July, August, September
  • Lavender | July, August, September, October
  • Lemongrass | June, July, August, September, October, November
  • Mint | April, May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Moringa | November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June
  • Oregano | April, May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Parsley | May, June, July, August, September
  • Rosemary | April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November
  • Sage | April, May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Tarragon | April, May, June
  • Thyme | April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Legumes


  • Black-Eyed Peas | June, July
  • Fava Beans | May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Lima Beans | September, October
  • Pea Shoots | March, April
  • Peanuts | January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November
  • Peas | April, May, June
  • Pigeon Peas | September, October, November, December
  • Shell Beans | July, August, September, October
  • Snap Peas | May, June, July, August
  • Snow Peas | May, June, July, August

Nuts


  • Pecans | September, October, November
  • Pistachios | September, October, November

Eat In Season All Year


If you’re serious about eating in-season produce, pay attention to the local food at your farmer’s market and buy in bulk. You can then store the excess fruits and vegetables in your freezer for later consumption.

If you enjoy cooking with fresh herbs, I recommend creating an indoor herb garden so you can always have fresh herb clippings on hand, even if there’s a winter wonderland outside your window. You can start with non-GMO seeds or small sprouts from your local nursery and enjoy herbs in your home year-round.

Limited on space? A vertical tower garden is a great solution for small spaces, and they can be moved indoors for the winter. Most options I’ve explored use aeroponics, which grow plants in air/mist instead of soil. These require extra work to maintain the water pH, not to mention the electricity bill.

I prefer options like The Garden Tower Project, which uses soil and has a low-maintenance, continuous vermicompost column so you can compost your kitchen scraps inside your tower garden to provide all the nutrients it needs. In nine months, it can recycle more than 50 gallons of organic kitchen scraps!

However you choose to enjoy locally sourced, in-season food, I hope this post helps you shop smarter for tastier, cheaper, healthier produce!

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Award-winning fantasy author, freelance writer, spiritual explorer, and sole founder of Green Witch Lunar Witch. She created her first website in 2016 and published her first novel two years later. Sara spends most of her time writing, creating, and daydreaming.

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