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FRUIT AND VEGETABLE SEASONS

Bolded Items we generally try to keep in stock at all times.

FALL:

Apples are one of those fruits people have forgotten have a season. But they do, and in the Northern Hemisphere they're harvested late summer through fall.

Artichokes produce a second, smaller crop in the fall (the first go-around is in the spring) that tends to produce small to medium artichokes.

Arugula is a cool weather peppery green harvested at different times in different places (winter in warm climates, summer in cool ones) but grows in many places during autumn.

Beets are in season in temperate climates fall through spring, and available from storage most of the year everywhere else. Fresh beets are often sold with their greens still attached.

Belgian Endive are mostly "forced" to grow in artificial conditions. Their traditional season (when grown in fields and covered with sand to keep out the light), like that of all chicories, is late fall and winter.

Broccoli can be grown year-round in temperate climates so we've forgotten it even has a season. It is more sweet, less bitter and sharp when harvested in the cooler temperatures of fall in most climates.

Broccoli raabe, rapini is a more bitter, leafier vegetable than its cousin, broccoli, but likes similar cool growing conditions.

Brussels sprouts grow on a stalk, and if you see them for sale that way snap them up - they'll last quite a bit longer than once they're cut.

Cabbage is bright and crisp when raw and mellows and sweetens the longer it's cooked. The cooler the weather when it's harvested, the sweeter it tends to taste (this effect is called "frost kissed").

Carrots are harvested year-round in temperate areas. Unusual varieties are harvested during the carrot's natural season, which is late summer and fall. True baby carrots - not the milled down versions of regular carrots sold as "baby carrots" in bags at grocery stores – are available in the spring and early summer. Locally grown carrots are often available from storage through early winter even in colder climates.

Cauliflower may be grown, harvested, and sold year-round, but it is by nature a cool weather crop and at its best in fall and winter and into early spring.

Celeriac/celery root is at its best in the cooler months of fall, winter, and early spring (except in cold climates, where you'll find it during the summer and early fall).

Celery is at its best in the fall, with its harvest continuing through winter in warm and temperate climates.

Chard like all cooking greens, chard turns bitter when it gets too hot. Chard grows year-round in temperate areas, is best harvested in late summer or early fall in colder areas, and fall through spring in warmer regions.

Chicories are cool weather crops that come into season in late fall (and last in temperate climates through early spring). Chiles are best at the end of summer and into fall. Dried chiles are, of course, available year-round.

Cranberries, native to North America, and are harvested in New England and the Upper Midwest in the fall.

Curly Endive (Frisée) is a chicory, at its best in fall and winter.

Edamame are fresh soy beans – look for them in late summer and fall.

Eggplant (early fall) comes into season towards the end of summer, but bright shiny heavy-feeling specimens stay in season well into fall.

Escarole is another chicory at its best in fall and winter. Fennel's natural season is from fall through early spring. Like most cool weather crops, the plant bolts and turns bitter in warmer weather.

Figs have a short second season in late fall (the first harvest comes in summer) just in time for Thanksgiving. Garlic is another produce item that we forget has a season; fresh garlic is at its plump, sweetest best in late summer and fall.

Grapes (early fall) ripen towards the end of summer where they grow best; the harvest continues into fall.

Green beans tend to be sweetest and most tender during their natural season, from mid-summer into fall in most regions. Green Onions/Scallions are cultivated year-round in temperate climates.

Herbs of hearty sorts are available fresh in fall – look for bundles of rosemary, parsley, thyme, and sage.

Horseradish is at its best in fall and winter. Like so many other root vegetables, however, it stores well and is often available in decent shape well into spring.

Jerusalem artichokes/Sunchokes are brown nubs, that look a bit like small pieces of fresh ginger. Look for firm tubers with smooth, tan skins in fall and winter.

Kale is like all hearty cooking greens – cooler weather keeps it sweet.

Leeks more than about 1 1/2 inches wide tend to have tough inner cores. The top green leaves should look fresh - avoid leeks with wilted tops.

Lemongrass grows in warm and tropical areas and is usually available fresh in the U.S. towards mid-fall.

Lettuce (in warmer climates), like other greens bolt and turn bitter when the weather gets too warm, making it in-season somewhere in the U.S. year-round. It can also be grown in low-energy greenhouses in colder climates through the winter.

Limes are harvested in semi-tropical and tropical areas in summer and fall.

Mushrooms (wild) have different seasons throughout the U.S. Most wild mushrooms other than morels are in-season in summer through fall.

Okra (early fall) needs heat to grow, so a nice long, hot summer in warmer climates brings out its best. Look for firm, plump pods in late summer and early fall.

Onions come from storage all year round but most onions are harvested in late summer through the fall.

Parsnips look like white carrots and have a great nutty flavor. Look for thinner parsnips, since fatter ones tend to have a thick, woody core you need to cut out.

Pears have a season that runs from mid-summer well into winter, depending on the variety and region.

Peppers (early fall) - both sweet and spicy- are harvested in late summer and early fall.

Persimmons are available for a short window in the fall and early winter - look for bright, heavy-feeling fruits.

Pomegranates only ripen in warmer climates. They are in season starting in October and are usually available fresh through December.

Potatoes are excellent storage vegetables, but most varieties are harvested in the fall.

Pumpkins are the most common winter squash and come into season in September in most areas.

Quinces area most under-appreciated fruit. Bright and tart, quince jellies and desserts are a fall and early winter favorite.

Radicchio, like all chicories, radicchio is more sweet and less bitter when the weather is cool.

Radishes (all types) are so fast-growing that they can be sown several times during the growing season in most climates. Fall marks the end of the season for small red radishes and the beginning of the season for larger daikon-type radishes.

Rutabagas also known as "yellow turnips" and "Swedes" are a sweet, nutty root vegetables perfect in stews, roasted, or mashed with plenty of butter.

Shallots are harvested in late summer and into fall, and are at their sweetest when fresh.

Shelling beans are those beans that can become dried beans but are briefly available fresh, as shelling beans, in mid-summer to early fall depending on your climate.

Spinach, indeed, has a season. It varies with your climate - year-round in temperate areas, summer and fall in cooler areas, fall through spring in warmers regions.

Sweet potatoes are often sold as "yams." They store well and are available from local sources year-round in warmer areas; from late summer through winter other places.

Tomatillos look like small green tomatoes with a light green papery husk.

Turnips have a sharp but bright and sweet flavor. Look for turnips that feel heavy for their size.

Winter squash of all sorts comes into season in early fall and usually last well into winter.

Zucchini have a harvest season from summer into fall in most climates.

WINTER:

Beets are in season in temperate climates fall through spring, and available from storage most of the year everywhere else.

Fresh beets are often sold with their greens still attached.

Belgian Endive are mostly "forced" to grow in artificial conditions, and are thus available year-round. Their traditional season (when grown in fields and covered with sand to keep out the light), like that of all chicories, is late fall and winter.

Broccoli, like many cruciferous vegetables, can be grown year-round in temperate climates so we've forgotten it even has a season. But, like the rest of its family, it tastes best (that is, more sweet, less bitter and sharp) when harvested in the cooler temperatures of fall in most climates.

Broccoli raabe, rapini is a more bitter, leafier vegetable than its cousin, broccoli, but likes similar cool growing conditions.

Brussels sprouts grow on a stalk, and if you see them for sale that way snap them up - they'll last quite a bit longer than once they're cut.

Cabbage is bright and crisp when raw and mellows and sweetens the longer it's cooked. The cooler the weather in grows in, the sweeter it tends to taste (this effect is called "frost kissed").

Cardoons taste a lot like artichokes; look for firm, heavy-feeling specimens.

Carrots are available from winter storage from local growers in many areas, and fresh in warmer and temperate regions. Cauliflower may be grown, harvested, and sold year-round, but it is by nature a cool weather crop and at its best in fall and winter and into early spring.

Celeriac/celery root is at its best in the cooler months of fall, winter, and early spring (except in cold climates, where you'll find it during the summer and early fall).

Celery is at its best in the fall, with its harvest continuing through winter in warm and temperate climates.

Chicories are cool weather crops that come into season in late fall (and last in temperate climates through early spring). Clementines are small, sweet orange available from December through the winter.

Curly Endive (Frisée) is a chicory at its best in fall and winter.

Escarole is another bitter chicory in season fall and winter. Fennel's natural season is from fall through early spring. Like most cool weather crops, the plant bolts and turns bitter in warmer weather.

Grapefruit from California, Texas, Florida, and Arizona comes into season in January and stays sweet and juicy into early summer.

Herbs (from hothouses in cooler climates)

Horseradish is at its best in fall and winter. Like so many other root vegetables, however, it stores well and is often available in decent shape well into spring.

Jerusalem artichokes/sunchokes are brown nubs, that look a bit like small pieces of fresh ginger. Look for firm tubers with smooth, tan skins in fall and winter.

Kale is like all hearty cooking greens - cooler weather keeps it sweet.

Kiwis grow on vines and are harvested winter through springing warmer and temperate areas.

Kohlrabi (late fall) comes into season by the end of fall, but stays at its sweet best into winter.

Kumquats

Leeks more than about 1 1/2 inches wide tend to have tough inner cores. The top green leaves should look fresh - avoid leeks with wilted tops.

Lemons & Meyer Lemons tend to be at their best winter and spring.

Mandarins are sweet and juicy in winter.

Onions Oranges add sunny brightness to winter eating.

Parsnips look like white carrots and have a great nutty flavor. Look for thinner parsnips, since fatter ones tend to have a thick, woody core you need to cut out.

Pears have a season that runs from mid-summer well into winter, depending on the variety and region.

Persimmons are available for a short window in the fall and early winter - look for bright, heavy-feeling fruits.

Pommelos are large, sunny grapefruit-like fruits.

Potatoes Radicchio, like all chicories, radicchio is more sweet and less bitter when the weather is cool.

Radishes

Rutabagas also known as "yellow turnips" and "Swedes" are a sweet, nutty root vegetables perfect in stews, roasted, or mashed with plenty of butter.

Satsumas have loose skins and super-sweet tangerine flavor. Sweet potatoes are often sold as "yams." They store very well and so are available from local sources year-round in warmer areas and otherwise from late summer through winter.

Tangerines

Treviso (radicchio)

Turnips have a bad rap they don't deserve. Fresh turnips have a sharp but bright and sweet flavor. Look for turnips that feel heavy for their size.

Winter squash of all sorts comes into season in early fall and usually last well into winter.

SPRING:

Apricots come into season towards the end of spring in the warmer areas where they grow.

Artichokes have a second crop in the fall, but the main harvest takes place in the spring when the largest thistles are available. Look for artichokes with tight, compact leaves and fresh-cut stem ends.

Arugula (a.k.a. rocket) is a cool-weather crop. Long days and warm weather make it bolt, or flower, and bring an unpleasantly bitter flavor to the leaves. Wild arugula is foraged in spring and again the fall. Cultivated arugula is grown year-round, thanks to coastal, temperate growing areas and winter greenhouses.

Asparagus is harvested from March through June, depending on your region. Note that thickness in no way indicates tenderness, which is related to how the plant is grown and how soon it is eaten after harvest rather than spear size.

Beets are in season in temperate climates fall through spring, and available from storage most of the year everywhere else. Fresh beets are often sold with their greens still attached.

Cardoons taste a lot like artichokes; look for firm, heavy-feeling specimens.

Carrots are harvested year-round in temperate areas. True baby carrots - not the milled down versions of regular carrots sold as "baby carrots" at grocery stores - are available in spring and early summer.

Chard and other greens grow year-round in temperate areas, is best harvested in late summer or early fall in colder areas, and fall through spring in warmer regions. Like all cooking greens, chard turns bitter when the weather gets too hot.

Cherries are ready to harvest at the end of spring in warmer areas. Sweet cherries, including the popular Bing and Rainier varieties, are available from May to August. Sour cherries have a much shorter season, and can be found for a week or two, usually during the middle of June in warmer areas and as late as July and August in colder regions.

Fava beans are a Mediterranean favorite available in the U.S. from early spring through summer.

Fennel has a natural season from fall through early spring. Fiddleheads are available in early spring through early summer depending on the region; these young wild ferns are foraged.

Garlic scapes/green garlic are both available in spring and early summer. Green garlic is immature garlic and looks like a slightly overgrown scallion. Garlic scapes are the curled flower stalks of hardnecked garlic varieties grown in colder climates.

Grapefruit from California, Texas, Florida, and Arizona comes into season in January and stays sweet and juicy into early summer.

Green onions/Scallions are cultivated year-round in temperate climates and come into harvest in the spring in warmer areas. Greens of all sorts some into season in warmer regions.

Kiwis grow on vines and are harvested winter through spring in warmer and temperate areas.

Kohlrabi is harvested in the fall in cooler areas, and through early spring in more temperate areas.

Kumquats are still available in very early spring. Leeks more than about 1 1/2 inches wide tend to have tough inner cores. The top green leaves should look fresh - avoid leeks with wilted tops.

Lemons are at their juicy best from winter into early summer. Lettuce starts coming into season in cooler climates (it grows through the winter in temperate and warmer areas).

Mint starts thriving in the spring.

Morels are foraged in the wild in the spring. Look for firm specimens at specialty markets and foragers' stalls at farmers markets.

Nettles are sold at markets by foragers and farmers, but most people get theirs the old-fashioned way: foraging them themselves. If you're lucky they're growing as "weeds" in your garden.

Navel oranges hit the end of their season in the spring. Parsley may seem to be season-less, but this cool-weather herb flourishes in the spring in warm and temperate climes.

Pea greens are sold in big tumbled masses in spring and early summer. Look for bright vines with fresh, vibrant looking leaves. Avoid vines with brown or mushy ends or damaged leaves.

Peas (garden, snap, snow, etc.) come into season in the spring and continue in most areas well into summer.

Radishes are at their sweet, crunchy best in the spring.

Rhubarb is the first fruit of spring in many areas - look for heavy stalks with shiny skin.

Spinach season varies with your climate - year-round in temperate areas, summer and fall in cooler areas, fall through spring in warmers regions.

Spring onions are simply regular onions that farmers pull from the field to thin the rows in spring and early summer.

Strawberries are mostly grown in California or Florida, where the strawberry growing season runs from January through November. Peak season is April through June. Other areas of the country have shorter growing seasons that range from five-months to as short as a few weeks in the coldest areas.

Sweet Onions have slightly different seasons, but in general they are available in spring and summer.

Turnips have a sharp but bright and sweet flavor. Look for turnips that feel heavy for their size.

SUMMER:

Apples come into season mid- to late-summer and are harvested into fall in most apple-growing regions. Look for different varieties from growers near you.

Apricots are harvested starting in late spring in warmer areas and through early summer. The most flavorful apricots don't travel or keep well, so look for them at farmers markets.

Avocados have a season that defies logic – they are fickle depending on their exact location. Most, however, are in season over the summer. Ripen hard avocados on the counter or speed things up by keeping them in a paper bag.

Basil grows alongside tomatoes very well (in the garden and on the plate). Look for unblemished, leafy branches without flowers or buds (the herb gets a slight bitter aftertaste after it flowers – which is part of the reason growers pinch off the buds before they can flower).

Bell Peppers/Sweet Peppers should have smooth, shiny skins (whether they are green, red, orange, yellow, or purple) and feel heavy for their size.

Beets are often sold with their green still attached when they are freshly harvested – giving you a two-for-one. Cook the greens as you would chard or other cooking greens.

Blackberries should be shiny and plump. Avoid any berries with mushy or moldy berries – these damages rot and spread fast. Rinse berries only just before eating or using them, never in advance, since they will become soggy and rot faster.

Blueberries are the only berries that have a dull, matte finish to them when ripe.

Boysenberries, like all berries, should be plump and shiny when you buy them.

Cantaloupes that feel heavy for their size and that smell like melons are the ones to buy.

Carrots are harvested year-round in temperate areas. Unusual varieties are harvested during the carrot's natural season, which is late summer and fall. True baby carrots - not the milled down versions of regular carrots sold as "baby carrots" in bags at grocery stores – are available in the spring and early summer.

Chard grows year-round in temperate areas, is best harvested in late summer or early fall in colder areas, and fall through spring in warmer regions. Like all cooking greens, chard turns bitter when it gets too hot.

Cherries are ready to harvest at the end of spring in warmer areas. Sweet cherries, including the popular Bing and Rainier varieties, are available from May to August. Sour cherries have a much shorter season, and can be found for a week or two, usually during the middle of June in warmer areas and as late as July and August in colder regions.

Chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans) are sometimes available fresh at farmers markets in warmer climates. Look for small pale green pods still attached to twisted, twirling vines.

Chiles (fresh) (a.k.a. hot peppers or hot chilies) need heat to ripen and get hot – look for them at the end of summer and into early fall.

Cilantro, like most leafy green plants, bolts (flowers) and turns bitter when it gets hot enough, so it hot climates it is in season all year except summer, everywhere else summer is the time to look for it.

Corn is best the minute it is picked from the stalk, so it is a food to look for from local growers for sure. You want tightly closed, fresh-looking husks, fresh-looking tassels, and fresh-cut stem ends. Know that organically grown corn is very likely to have a worm or two in any batch – simply pick it out, the rest of the corn is fine to eat.

Cucumbers are known for being cool – as much as 20 degrees cooler than the outside temperature. Lucky for us that they come into season in most areas just as the summer heat kicks in.

Eggplant should have shiny, tight, smooth skin and feel heavy for its size.

Fennel bolts is hot weather, but is in season in cooler climates in the summer (look for it fall through spring in temperate and warmers areas).

Figs have two seasons, but the main one is during mid- to late-summer (a second, shorter season comes in November in warm climates.

Garlic is another produce item that we forget has a season; fresh garlic is at its plump, sweetest best in late summer and fall.

Gooseberries are more often foraged than bought. These tart, green berries should be plump and fresh-looking.

Grapes ripen towards the end of summer where they grow best; the harvest continues into fall.

Green beans tend to be sweetest and most tender during their natural season, from mid-summer into fall in most regions. Green onions should have fresh, green tops and firm, slime-free white bottoms (fresh-looking, pale roots still attached to the whites are a good sign, too.

Herbs of all sorts grow through the summer – from basil to rosemary. Always looks for vibrant leaves and fresh-looking stems.

Huckleberries are a true treat of summer in areas lucky enough to have them (Pacific Northwest, are your ears burning?). Look for plump, purple berries.

Lemongrass has a heavenly lemon-esque aroma that includes a whiff of ginger and the heady scent of tropical flowers. While it can be delicious with most anything, lemongrass is particularly delicious with chicken and seafood. Think of it as perfume for your food.

Lettuce is in season in cooler climates (and out of season in warmer ones).

Limes are the only citrus at their best in summer. Look for small, heavy-for-their-size fruits.

Mangoes need tropical heat to ripen and come into their sweet best in late spring and summer in Florida and Hawaii. Marionberries are a type of blackberry. Look for plump, shiny berries with a deep purple hue.

Melons should always feel heavy for their size; most should have a bit of a sweet melon smell, too.

Nectarines are, essentially, fuzz-less peaches. They should feel heavy for their size and give just a bit when held firmly.

Okra needs heat to grow, so a nice long, hot summer in warmer climates brings out its best. Look for firm, plump pods.

Onions come from storage all year round but most onions are harvested in late summer through the fall.

Peaches are one of the highlights of summer eating. Look for fruits that feel heavy for their size and that give just a bit when pushed. Avoid fruits that have green near the stem.

Peas come into season in the spring and continue in most areas well into summer.

Peppers – both sweet and spicy – are harvested in late summer and early fall.

Plums & pluots should feel heavy for their size and have a lovely, perfumed and sweet smell.

Potatoes starts being harvested n summer in many climates. Radicchio s sweeter when t doesn't get too hot. Radicchio comes into season in summer in cooler climates. Look for somewhat firm heads, a fresh-cut end, and bright white ribs on the pretty purple leaves.

Radishes should have bright, fresh greens attached (that tells you they are freshly harvested).

Raspberries are the most delicate of all berries. Look for plump berries and never buy a carton (or flat) with smashed, rotting, or moldy berries – that damage spreads incredibly fast.

Rhubarb is the first fruit of spring in many areas but stays in season into summer n most areas – look for heavy stalks with shiny skin.

Shelling beans are those beans that can become dried beans but are briefly available fresh, as shelling beans, in mid-summer to early fall depending on your climate.

Spinach, indeed, has a season. It varies with your climate – year-round in temperate areas, summer and fall in cooler areas, fall through spring in warmers regions.

Spring Onions are available in early summer in some areas.

Strawberries are mostly grown in California or Florida, where the strawberry growing season runs from January through November. Peak season is April through June. Other areas of the country have shorter growing seasons that range from five-months to as short as a few weeks in the coldest areas where you'll find local specimens at market in July.

Sweet Onions have slightly different seasons depending on type and region, but in general they are available in spring and summer.

Tomatillos look like small green tomatoes with a light green papery husk.

Tomatoes may be the single number-one draw to farmers markets and local eating. Try to sample tomatoes before you buy them – even beautiful, heavy, unblemished specimens can lack the flavor you want.

Watermelons should feel heavy for their size. Unlike other melons, watermelons don't tend to emit a smell even when they're ripe and ready to eat.

Zucchini & Other Summer Squash have a harvest season from summer into fall in most.

JOE GRANATO INC. WILL DO THEIR BEST TO GET YOU PRODUCT THAT YOU NEED WHEN YOU NEED IT! PLEASE CONTACT THE OFFICE STAFF FOR ANY ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS!