If you love strawberries, then you know spring and summer are the prime strawberry seasons. But what about fall and winter? The strawberries you find pale in comparison and probably cost you a lot more. Eating produce that is currently in season, and, more importantly, locally-grown, seasonal produce, is beneficial to your health, your taste buds, and your wallet. Here are some of the advantages to eating seasonal fruits and vegetables over options that are past their growing season.
Advantages to Buying Seasonal Produce
Seasonal Produce is Affordable – It’s a simple case of supply and demand. When there is an abundance of seasonal produce farmers can charge less. But when their supply starts to dwindle, with the change of seasons, prices will increase. That’s why it is very important to adhere to seasonal produce by the month, in order to budget accordingly.
Better Tasting Fruits & Veggies – Which would you prefer to eat: fresh off the bush blueberries or a hard peach that hasn’t quite reached its prime? Sweet summer corn or wilted greens? Figuring out when to buy your produce and knowing what is in-season gets you better-tasting food that’s full of flavor.
Eating Healthier – When you force yourself to go outside of your comfort zone, choosing seasonal produce over your out-of-season favorites, you’ll eat a wider variety of foods. Introducing new foods into your diet can give you additional nutrients that you may not have been getting previously.
The Right Food at the Right Time – Believe it or not, fruits and vegetables grow in certain seasons for a reason. The natural produce cycle grows the right foods, with the right nutrients, that our bodies need at different times throughout the year.
Our Seasonal Produce Guide
All of these factors are why we decided to compile a Seasonal Produce Guide that outlines specific produce, by season, and how to better your buying habits.
The “What’s In Season in PA?” guides below can help you choose the best Pennsylvania-grown produce to buy in each of the seasons. You’ll also find that your market may also carry in-season produce not local to our area, which is normally shipped from southern parts of the country.
What’s in Season in PA: Spring
Spring is the season of fresh starts and rebirth! The seasonal produce that is harvested in March, April, and May is all about the emergence of color and fresh flavor. It’s also focused on cleansing and the fruits and vegetables that are in-season in the spring contain the nutrients and fiber to rid a body of toxins after a long winter of eating heavy foods.
What’s in Season in PA: Summer
Summer brings with it warm weather and long days. It also brings berries, melons, corn, and cucumbers. What does all of this seasonal produce have in common? The answer is hydration. Fruits and vegetables growing throughout June, July, and August contain high amounts of water to keep your body hydrated in the summer heat. Higher sugar content also provides extra energy.
What’s in Season in PA: Fall
Seasonal produce that is harvested throughout September, October, and November is helpful in transitioning our bodies from hot to cold, getting rid of excess heat and helping us cool down. These fruits and vegetables are packed with Vitamin A which is beneficial when there are fewer hours of sunlight. In the fall you’ll find a bounty of apples, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and squash.
What’s in Season in PA: Winter
You might think that finding season produce in the winter months is going to be tricky, but there is still plenty of variety available. December, January, and February are ripe with citrus, like oranges, grapefruits, and clementines (normally sourced from southern states), and there’s a very good reason for that. In the height of cold and flu season, foods that offer an extra boost of Vitamin C are especially important for our immune systems.