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When does the season of fall end? (Pertaining to fruits and vegetables)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 18, 2013 at 3:50 AM

Does the fall season for veggies end on the "astronomical" date? (dec 20) or is it different for vegetables?

I just want to understand when I should eat certain vegetables according to their seasons.

For instance, is it better to eat summer fruits and veggies in the early fall even though they are technically out of season?

Thank you.

52ad7ee5eef0d7339d0977bd7a2ceb8a

(416)

on July 21, 2013
at 12:21 AM

I will look it up. :D

67871ef2326f29da48f1522827fc0f80

(704)

on July 20, 2013
at 06:48 PM

Oddly the area I live in has ZERO CSA-style buy-ins but that's probably because everybody here still grows their own. If you can find a CSA to buy into, that may solve your problem and save you the drive, too! You never know til you go looking for them. I have a friend in Lexington, KY, which sounds sort of mildly-rural and they have a fantastic CSA program.

52ad7ee5eef0d7339d0977bd7a2ceb8a

(416)

on July 19, 2013
at 08:16 PM

I've never pickled before. Hm. Thank you!

52ad7ee5eef0d7339d0977bd7a2ceb8a

(416)

on July 19, 2013
at 08:15 PM

Thank you! Hopefully, local produce isn't too hard to find.

52ad7ee5eef0d7339d0977bd7a2ceb8a

(416)

on July 19, 2013
at 08:11 PM

Thank you. I have been to a farmer's market where a "farmer" sold fruits from Dole, which is a fruit company (think fruit cups). I was so upset that day because my mom and I drove nearly an hour to get there. However, I think I have one or two farmer's markets near me that I can check out.

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5 Answers

1
957e78eba52aa6508416d9048945611a

(40)

on July 18, 2013
at 07:06 PM

A good rule of thumb is eat what is at the farmer's market. And if you live in a part of the country where there are no farmers markets in, say, December, that's a big hint you should probably not be so focused on fresh fruits and vegetables at that point. Eat roots and other things that can be cold-stored (cabbage, potatoes, beets, squash, apples) as well as preserved (pickled, fermented, canned) things. And then decide how far you want to take it. I eat greens all winter because they match well with a lot of the braises and other longer cooked meats we do when it's cold. But I tend to cook them longer. We do eat tomatoes in the winter, but in the form of frozen sauce we make at the end of tomato season.

Not sure where you are located, but I have found that the British tend to have a deep tradition of seasonal eating and British cookbooks and food blogs can be a good source of ideas in seasons when fresh food is not as available. The BBC has a great recipe index that can be searched by season (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes though I see that they just have an "in season" box now, which is less useful). River Cottage is another great resource that organizes recipes around the season (http://www.rivercottage.net/recipes/). All the River Cottage cookbooks are helpful along these lines as well.

I suppose my advice is geared more toward a climate that has distinct seasons and a "real" winter. I think I would be lost in San Diego. But in that climate, the farmer's market can still be a great guide.

52ad7ee5eef0d7339d0977bd7a2ceb8a

(416)

on July 19, 2013
at 08:16 PM

I've never pickled before. Hm. Thank you!

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on August 16, 2013
at 01:31 AM

By now so many farmers have hoop houses that you can get fresh food in winter, most notably spinach, kale and collard. And most roots, however stored, are still alive. I always eat the last turnips after they have sprouted. Seasonality depends on where you are. Here, I always pick things as late as possible, since most veggies which have gone through a hard frost are so much better than regular, in particular carrots, parsnips, and turnips; kale, collard and radicchio. And here apple season is from Nov. 1, when the last pears and grapes disappear from market, until June 15.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on August 02, 2013
at 01:09 AM

Fall veg is often stuff that has taken all season to mature (pumpkins, squash, corn, etc) or cool-weather crops that have been replanted (greens, radishes, brussel sprouts, etc) Fall ends when winter begins. Winter is a season of stored food - hard squash, roots, cabbages, etc...

0
67871ef2326f29da48f1522827fc0f80

(704)

on July 18, 2013
at 08:53 PM

In my region, we had early spring harvests. That can fall anytime during the general calendar spring.

For example, we had a late spring this year. Normally, by May, all first harvests are DONE. This year, it's when they went in.

The crops are harvested when they're ripe (or ready for picking, if they ripen after -- such as peaches can't be picked too 'late' or when they are truly ripest or they fall to bits).

Autumnal harvest or the last harvests for us are things like squash. Again, they're ready when they're ready. It's common enough to find frost on yours! I've also had it smoulderingly hot summer when winter squash are ready.

People always talk about Farmers Markets and I have to say, as somebody who grew up on a working ranch with a 3 acre veg 'patch,' the Farmers Markets I've seen in town (St. Louis) are rarely the people who raised them. Most often, they have been trucked in from anywhere. I'm sure this is different in other areas but it's funny that you're holding something from Argentina in the state of Missouri at a 'farmer's market.'

That said, if you have a good/real farmer's market, just go buy what's 'in.' Live like we do! If it's ripe, we have an abundance. If not, we eat whatever we have or what we canned (cold-packed).

52ad7ee5eef0d7339d0977bd7a2ceb8a

(416)

on July 19, 2013
at 08:11 PM

Thank you. I have been to a farmer's market where a "farmer" sold fruits from Dole, which is a fruit company (think fruit cups). I was so upset that day because my mom and I drove nearly an hour to get there. However, I think I have one or two farmer's markets near me that I can check out.

67871ef2326f29da48f1522827fc0f80

(704)

on July 20, 2013
at 06:48 PM

Oddly the area I live in has ZERO CSA-style buy-ins but that's probably because everybody here still grows their own. If you can find a CSA to buy into, that may solve your problem and save you the drive, too! You never know til you go looking for them. I have a friend in Lexington, KY, which sounds sort of mildly-rural and they have a fantastic CSA program.

52ad7ee5eef0d7339d0977bd7a2ceb8a

(416)

on July 21, 2013
at 12:21 AM

I will look it up. :D

0
C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

on July 18, 2013
at 11:29 AM

It depends on where you live. Personally, I eat seasonally loosely and don't worry about fixed dates, but if you're set on the specifics, google "seasonal food chart" to find one for your region. Seasonality essentially means that you eat foods when they're being grown and picked in your area. So, if summer vegetables and fruits are still available, then eat them.

Of course, that's from the "locavore" viewpoint. There are other ideas of seasonality. Years ago, I read John Douillard's The Three Season Diet that was based on ayurvedic ideas of seasonality. I don't know if that's more of what you're interested in.

52ad7ee5eef0d7339d0977bd7a2ceb8a

(416)

on July 19, 2013
at 08:15 PM

Thank you! Hopefully, local produce isn't too hard to find.

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