Cruising through the local farmers market is a great visual map on its own to find out what’s in season. Talk to the farmers. Ask them when [insert favorite fruit or veggie here] will be ready and willing, why that particular item is or is not available yet, if the beloved produce is having a good year so far, etc. Wait for the third or fourth week that your chosen item is in season to catch lower market prices. Shopping at farmers markets is the best way to avoid food grown from afar. Shipped-in produce will contain more pesticides and chemicals on their skins per methods used for transport preservation.
September gently pulls us from our beloved summer and eases us into fall. Sugar plums aren’t quite dancing in our heads yet, but we are beginning to think about firing up our ovens, dusting off the crock pot, and bobbing for apples, of course.
Below is a general list of September-friendly produce, specific to North America. Pick out a few favorites from the list- get ‘em at their prime. Also – find what’s in season specific to your state with this awesome interactive guide.
Picking the Right (or Ripe) Produce:
Farmers will often offer fruits and vegetables in various stages of ripeness. Price marked produce will be offered already ripe or will be on their merry way in the following two days after purchase. By contrast, supermarket selections are usually harvested before they are completely ripened to buffer those extra days of transport. Ask when the fruit was picked – the fresher the better. The seller’s answer will reveal if they are the farmer that grew and picked the produce or if there was a middleman involved. Also, try not to manhandle the darlings. Farmers market fruits (especially organic) also bruise easier than store-bought. The general rule: the more produce that’s touched, the more that should be bought. Go ahead and smell the stem to check if a fruit is ripe – it’s not rude. The stronger the scent, the more ripe the fruit.