Buying fruits and vegetables - What's the prime season to purchase?
Ever notice how sometimes your fruit tastes sweeter or your vegetable more flavorful? That could be because it’s in season, meaning it’s being grown during its most favorable conditions! Learn more about the benefits of buying produce in season, when produce is in season, and where you can find and support local farmers in Georgia!
Five Benefits of Buying in Season
- It is more cost-effective.
Have you ever noticed how strawberries are more expensive in the winter than in the spring and summer? It is because strawberries grow best during the warmer months. Growing strawberries during the warmer months mean fewer expenses due to shipping the strawberries from a more hospitable country or growing them under challenging conditions. Also, the strawberries tend to be at peak supply during their harvesting season: this tends to be true for most other produce as well.
- In-season produce is fresher and tastier.
In-season fruits and vegetables can be fresher and tastier when picked much closer to their peak ripeness! Also, being grown in the plant’s most suitable conditions can lead to a greater quality of produce.
- It supports local farmers and your local economy.
Eating seasonally is beneficial to your local economy and farmers! Farmers' markets are a great way to purchase in-season produce and support your local economy.
- In-season produce is more nutritious.
Nutrient availability is the number of nutrients available in food for the body to digest and absorb quickly. Produce that is in-season has the highest nutrient availability right after harvest. Produce can decline in nutrient availability over time when it is packaged, stored, and shipped around. Therefore, consuming fresh and in-season produce can help ensure we’re getting produce with the greatest amount of nutrients available! Shopping for fresh produce at farmers’ markets is a great way to support local farmers while also obtaining produce at its highest nutrient availability point.
- It is better for the environment.
Produce that is not currently in season frequently has to be transported around the U.S. to provide produce to consumers like us: this results in many factors contributing to the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). The construction of vehicles and infrastructure, like ports and roads, and the burning of fuel used to ship produce both cause GHG emissions. Running engines and refrigeration systems both directly cause the emission of GHG. Choosing to consume in-season produce can help eliminate some of this harm to the environment and cut down on GHG-producing processes.
In Georgia, what produce is in season and when?
|Spring||Asparagus, carrots, chives, cilantro, collard greens, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, parsley, radishes, shallots, snap peas, snow peas, arugula, beets, onions, rosemary, sage, spinach, strawberries, summer squash, thyme, watercress, zucchini spinach, strawberries, turnips, basil, beets, black-eyed peas, broccoli, cabbage, chili peppers, chives, cilantro, garlic, green beans, lima beans, mint, nectarines, okra, oregano, parsley, peaches, peas, potatoes, radishes, shallots, snap peas, snow peas, summer squash, thyme, tomatillos, tomatoes|
|Summer||Arugula, asparagus, basil, beets, black-eyed peas, blackberries, blueberries, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cherries, chili peppers, chives, collard greens, corn, cucumbers, edamame, eggplant, garlic, green beans, lettuce, lima beans, mint, mushrooms, nectarines, okra, onions, oregano, peaches, peas, peanuts, pears, peppers, potatoes, radishes, raspberries, rosemary, sage, shallots, strawberries, summer squash, thyme, tomatillos, tomatoes, watercress, watermelon, zucchini, apples, corn, cucumbers, edamame, eggplant, figs, grapes, plums, sweet potatoes|
|Fall||Apples, basil, bok choy, cabbage, chili peppers, chives, edamame, eggplant, garlic, grapes, green beans, lettuce, mint, mushrooms, okra, oregano, peanuts, pears, peas, pecans, peppers, persimmons, potatoes, pumpkin, rosemary, sage, summer squash, sweet potatoes, thyme, tomatillos, tomatoes, watermelon, winter squash, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cilantro, collard greens, kale, parsley|
|Winter||Brussel sprouts, carrots, celery, collard greens, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, shallots, snap peas, snow peas, spinach, turnips, spinach, citrus, mushrooms|
Recommendation of Farmers Markets in the Metro-Atlanta area.
- Morningside Farmers Market - open Saturdays 8-11:30 a.m. (year-round), located at 1393 North Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30306
- Sweet Auburn Curb Market - open Monday-Saturday 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 - 5 p.m., located at 209 Edgewood Ave. SE, Atlanta, Ga. 30303
- Dekalb Farmers Market - open daily 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., located at 3000 East Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur, Ga. 30030
Starting in March
- Piedmont Park Green Market - open Saturdays 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., March through November, located at 1071 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, Ga. 30309
- Peachtree Road Farmers Market - open Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m., March through September, located at 2744 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta, Ga. 30305
- Freedom Farmers Market - open Saturdays 9 a.m. -.1 p.m., located at 453 Freedom Parkway NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30307
- Ponce City Farmers Market - open Tuesdays 4 - 8 p.m., located 675 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30308 - (may be on hold due to covid)
- Grant Park Farmers Market - open Sundays 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., located at 600 Cherokee Ave. SE, Atlanta, Ga. 30308
- Brookhaven Farmers Market - open Saturdays 9 - 12 p.m., located at 1375 Fernwood Circle NE, Brookhaven, Ga. 30319
- Decatur Farmers Market - open Wednesdays 4 - 7 p.m. and Saturdays 9 - 1 p.m., located at 308 Clairemont Ave., Decatur, Ga. 30030
Written by Nutrition Interns: Marissa Maule, Tori Simmons, and Kaitlyn Pittman