Resting on the cusp of summer is a fresh fruit and veggie season that is one of our favorites all year. As the weather creeps out from the winter cold and into the cradle of summer, the sublime overnight temperatures of spring along with the warmth of the sun, produces delicious local produce, ready to be eaten at its prime.
Eating local is best for a myriad of reasons. For one, it is fresher, which means your food will naturally taste better. Secondly, eating local doesn’t require the costs of long distance transportation which in turn reduces environmental impact. And lastly, local foods promote food safety. There is less chance of contamination when you know where your food comes from, especially when you’re purchasing local produce from gardeners and farmers in your area.
Depending on where you live, you’ll find different foods in season, naturally!
In the northern states such as New York and Connecticut, you’ll find beautiful crunchy lettuces and spinach late May to early June. They thrive in temperatures that produce an overnight chill, with daily average temperatures of 60F-65F. Artichokes, asparagus, strawberries and rhubarb (strawberry rhubarb pie anyone?) are also popular crops in the northern states. If you see strawberries at your local farmers market, snatch them up. While this is a fruit that is available all year, we are often consuming berries grown thousands of miles away. This means that they were picked early, and lack that juicy natural sweetness a fresh berry is prized for.
Moving further south, the growing season in southern states is glorious this time of year before heavy rains and the harsh sun begins to roast our soils, making it harder to grow more than just grapefruits and peppers. It’s the berry season in the south, with giant blackberries and blueberries growing by the pounds. With summer picnics and July 4th just around the bend, berry pies are in! Peaches are also abundant and simply incredible at this time of year. But our number one prized local fruit in spring is the classic tomato. We all know that store bought tomatoes often hold the flavor of a tasteless cold mush, but not at this time of year! Bursting with sweetness, nothing like a homegrown or local tomato brings back nostalgic thoughts of another place in time. They are perfect on their own, truly harnessing their classification as a fruit.
Venture out to your neighborhood farmer’s markets this weekend and support the local economy by picking up a basket of wholesome fresh produce. You’ll be glad you did!