New Produce Goals
With no further introduction, I’m just going to get this out there: my new fruit and veggie goals are as follows:
- Eat seasonally (we eat fairly seasonally already, but until today I remained clueless on some of the details)
- Eat locally (again, we kind of do this already on most produce, but I need to crack down on details)
- Eat organic (I just received info yesterday on two organic produce suppliers, and already placed an order from one for Tuesday!)
Why? Why? Why?
Why eat seasonally? Eating seasonally means eating fruits and veggies that are at their highest point of both flavor and nutritional content. It also means cutting down on food transportation and fossil fuel consumption, because if you’re eating seasonally, you’re more likely to be eating locally.
Which leads us to #2: why eat locally? By eating locally produced fruits and veggies, not only are you cutting down on fossil fuels used to transport these items, you’re also supporting local farmers, which is always a good thing. Plus, many standard varieties have been bred for durability and travel, rather than flavor. Smaller farmers are more likely to use heirloom varieties that produce more flavorful foods. And, if you’re buying locally, the produce is picked ripe rather than green, which means you get more nutrients.
Why eat organically? Recent studies comparing conventionally and organically grown fruits and veggies have shown considerably higher levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients. Do you need another reason?
Anyway, none of this is difficult to achieve. Organic produce is increasingly easy to find, and CSA projects and farmers markets are making it easier to find locally produced fruits and veggies. The question is, when is everything in season? (Honestly, before I made this list, I was clueless about a lot of things, with the exception of tomatoes and berries.)
I’ve put together a month by month list, with the Northern hemisphere month first, and the Southern hemisphere month second. Keep in mind that seasons vary according to latitude, and of course if you’re in the produce heaven of California seasons are stretched quite a bit. And if you’re in the fruit paradise of Central America and the equatorial region (I’ll include Mexico in here, as well), you’ll have access to a variety of tropical fruits throughout most, if not all, of the year.
Fruit: grapefruit, lemons, oranges, papayas, tangerines, tangelos
Veggies: broccoli, cabbage (red, white and green), cauliflower, chard, kale, leeks
Fruit: grapefruit, lemons, oranges, papayas, tangelos
Veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, chard, kale
Fruit: mangoes, pineapple
Veggies: broccoli, chard, kale, lettuce
Fruit: apricot, cherries, mangoes, pineapple
Veggies: artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, chard, endive, kale, lettuce, okra, peas, rhubarb, spinach, spring peas, zucchini
Fruit: apricots, cherries, pineapples
Veggies: artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, green onions, lettuce, new potatoes, okra, rhubarb, spinach, spring peas, zucchini
Fruit: apricots, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, gooseberries, peaches, strawberries, watermelon
Veggies: corn, cucumbers, lettuce, snow peas, squash (baby)
Fruit: apricots, blueberries, cantaloupe, currants, kiwi, peaches, plums, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon
Veggies: corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, zucchini
Fruit: apricots, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, kiwi, peaches, plums, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon
Veggies: corn, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, summer squash
Fruit: cantaloupes, grapes, honeydew, persimmon, pomegranate
Veggies: eggplants, lettuce, pumpkins, spinach, tomatoes
Fruit: apples, cranberries, figs, grapes, pomegranate, quince
Veggies: beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, garlic, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, pumpkins, snow peas, spinach, spring onion, sweet potatoes, turnips, winter squash
Fruit: cranberries, oranges, tangerines, pears, pomegranates, persimmons
Veggies: broccoli, mushrooms, pumpkins, spinach, sweet potatoes, winter squash
Fruit: apples, grapefruit, oranges, papayas, pears, persimmons, pomegranates, tangelos, tangerines
Veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, sweet potatoes
Have I left off your favorite fruit or veggie? Did I make any mistakes? Please drop me a comment if you have questions or suggestions for things that didn’t make it on the list, and I’ll add them. Thanks!