Depending on where you live, early spring may be a rough time to try to eat locally. Either the winter storage crops have diminished or the new shoots have yet to emerge. Luckily, fresh, in-season, domestically grown produce is available year-round, largely due to the state of California, which grows about 80% of the produce in the United States.
24/7 Tempo put together your ultimate guide to what’s in season right now, including storage crops, freshly ripened fruits, and spring shoots.
Root crops and winter squash can stay perfectly fresh with the right storage conditions, even in simple basement root cellars. Advancements in storage techniques have also prolonged the seasons of certain crops.
Apples, which are largely harvested in summer through fall, can be kept crisp and fresh for a whole year by controlling the temperature, humidity, and percentage of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the storage facility. Here are the foods with the longest shelf life.
Cool weather crops like brassicas–the genus that includes mustards, broccoli, kale, and cabbage–thrive in the winter and early spring months of California, before hotter temperatures begin to set in. Buying produce while it’s in season not only provides the most flavor, but also the best prices. Here are places where people pay the most for food.
To determine which produce is currently in season, 24/7 Tempo referred to the Seasonal Produce Guide provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, focusing on fruits and vegetables with widespread availability, rather than specialty items.
Although many items not on the list can be grown on a small scale, the crops selected here are produced commercially in the contiguous 48 states. Crops grown in Hawaii were excluded.