Happy May! It’s the middle of spring, and summer’s right around the corner, and with that comes new seasonal fruits & veggies. So here’s a quick guide to the seasonal fruits & veggies of San Diego County, and what we are lucky enough to have year-round.
Out With The Old
When there’s really zero percent chance of frost, we start to see less cruciforous greens like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, as well as our winter squashes. These include butternut, pumpkin, kabocha, and acorn. But we also have some greens that last longer than just winter, so it’s always nice to see those in our boxes. We get to stay healthy and make smoothies with our lettuce, kale & spinach, well past winter with our microclimate weather.
The variety of winter fruit changes. Some delicious types of sweet and tart apples, soft and crisp pears, as well as the abundance of mandarins, tangerines, tangelos, oranges, kumquats, blood oranges (so many orange fruits, all with different flavors and purpose) and grapefruit make way for a new season.
In With The New
What do we look forward to with spring produce? So, so many things! It starts with asparagus and strawberries followed by stone fruit season. Unlike citrus, stone fruit is picked just before it’s ripe so that the delicate flesh stays in good condition through transport. Like citrus varieties, there are a ton of stone fruits. Get ready for white and yellow peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums and pluots (a plum and apricot hybrid that comes in 20 different varieties). There’s just so much! and like citrus each one has it’s own distinct flavor. Also, grape season begins in late spring as well, which is the perfect time for outdoor snacking and salads.
Our spring veggies are just as abundant as the fruit. Zucchini & summer squash make their way just in time for warm weather, and eggplant is ripe & ready for so many dishes. We also get our share of beans and peas, including sugar snap peas, fava beans, and green beans. Our salads get the freshest goodies from spring to summer with bell peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes all being in peak season, and yummy flavor accents like cilantro and green garlic to make your warm days brighter. Isn’t it amazing that our cravings go right alongside our available local foods?
With no bad weather comes lots of produce that we can get year-round. We always have our greens, with slight variations for our salads & smoothies. Celery, avocados, and even cabbage are available year-round, along with beets and carrots.
Seasonal availability is an important thing to keep in mind when getting your produce because it’s the difference between local and mass market. Which means it’s natural and delicious versus just good enough because it’s there. Tree and home ripened is just plain better than truck ripened and chemically altered.
You can check out What’s in my Box page to see how things change week to week, and look forward to new seasons and new flavors. For a comprehensive month-by-month guide of seasonal produce availability, visit seasonalfoodguide.org