Question: I love to eat seasonal produce such as strawberries in the spring and sweet corn in the summer, but besides apples, I’m not sure what’s in season now. Can you tell me which fruits and vegetables are seasonal in the fall?
Answer: Your question is very similar to another that was asked in a “Chow Line” column from September 2017, so it’s best answered by reissuing that column here.
Fall is a good time to start looking to buy pears, apples, and hard squash, among many other seasonal fruits and vegetables. In fact, those are some of the items that many grocery stores typically start to promote heavily at discounted prices in their grocery aisles, according to the National Retail Report, a weekly roundup of advertised retail pricing information compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
While improved technology and agricultural innovations mean that consumers can access fresh fruits and vegetables year-round, fruits and vegetables naturally grow in cycles and ripen during specific seasons. When ripe, produce is fresher and typically has its best taste. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are also typically cheaper to purchase because they are easier to produce than fruits and vegetables that are grown out of season.
So how do you know which fruits and vegetables are in season?
To find seasonal foods near you, try using the app and website developed by Grace Communications Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates for sustainable foods. The app compiles data from the USDA and the Natural Resources Defense Council on over 140 varieties of produce to show users which fruits, vegetables, herbs, and nuts are in season on a state-by-state basis.
Called the Seasonal Food Guide, the app and website allow users to check which produce is in season in half-month increments in each state. Other sources to check for what’s in season include the USDA Seasonal Produce Guide, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, and Ohio Proud, among others.
While this is not an all-inclusive list, generally speaking, the following produce (among others) is in season in Ohio in the fall: Apples, Beans, Beets, Blackberries, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Cauliflower, Collard Greens, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Grapes, Kale, Onions, Peaches, Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radishes, Raspberries, Spinach, Summer Squash, Turnips and Winter Squash.
Chow Line is a service of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line, c/o Tracy Turner, 364 W. Lane Ave., Suite B120, Columbus, OH 43201, or firstname.lastname@example.org.