Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables in Your Region
Strawberries in January? Pears in May? With so many fruits and vegetables being grown in greenhouses or imported from other states and countries, it can be hard to know what fruits are in season around your restaurant, cafe, or bar. Incorporating local, fresh seasonal vegetables and herbs into your menu can be a rewarding and sustainable practice. The extra measures you take to find fresh fruits in season now is sure to be worth the effort because guests are willing to pay more for the addition of flavorful and vibrant local foods.
From fresh peaches in house-made desserts to the tomatoes used for scratch spaghetti sauce, cooking with fruits in season is delicious, healthy, and easy to do with this convenient guide. We've broken down the contiguous United States into regions, so you can see what’s in season all year round in your part of the country. As you explore, however, it’s important to keep in mind that these lists may vary depending on where you live, even within a certain region. Be sure to research your area using information from your local government or food guides.
Fall Vegetables and Fruits in the Northwest
There is no shortage of delicious fall vegetables available in the Northwest, including bulbs like fennel, garlic, leeks, and onions, all of which are perfect for seasoning dishes or making sauces. If your business serves a lot of salads, you'll also love the Northwest's selection of arugula, carrots, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, peppers, salad greens, spinach, and tomatoes.
Fall Vegetables and Fruits in the Midwest
Green, seasonal vegetables are abundant in the Midwest during the autumn months, such as broccoli, celery, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, spinach, and zucchini. There are also plenty of leafy greens available, like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. If you're looking for fall fruit, you'll need to import everything you need other than apples and pears.
Fall Vegetables and Fruits in the Northeast
Seasonal vegetables are plentiful in the Northeast during the autumn months, and the region ships these products to businesses around the country. Fall fruit is less common, but you'll still be able to find plenty of apples, cranberries, grapes, and pears to go around. If you're looking for other seasonal fruits, consider buying from distributors in the South and Southwest regions.
Fall Vegetables and Fruits in the Southwest
The Southwest is full of delicious crops during the autumn months, including avocados, dates, figs, limes, and pomegranates. You'll also find a host of fall root vegetables, such as carrots, leeks, parsnips, potatoes, radishes, sweet potatoes, and turnips. If your restaurant or grocery store is located in the Southwest, you won't need to import much, which will help your budget and keep your inventory stocked.
Fall Vegetables and Fruits in the South
Some of the South's signature crops are still going strong in autumn, including collards, okra, and sweet potatoes. You'll also find gourds like pumpkins and squash, along with kale, lettuce, and spinach for salads and side dishes. If your business bakes pies, you'll have plenty of apples and peaches to choose from.
Spring Vegetables and Fruits in the Northwest
Spring in the Northwest is similar to the Midwest: it's all about root vegetables. From carrots and fennel to potatoes and radishes, you'll be able to prepare these spring vegetables in a variety of styles while also creating delicious purees. The region also offers plenty of cruciferous greens like cabbage and chard, but you'll need to import most of your spring fruit.
Spring Vegetables and Fruits in the Midwest
While there isn't an overabundance of spring fruit available in the Midwest, you'll have no trouble finding plenty of fresh seasonal vegetables to add to your favorite dishes. Some of the Midwest's signature spring root vegetables are plentiful, including beets, carrots, parsnips, and radishes. Because fresh spring fruit isn't readily available, you'll need to import those items from other areas.
Spring Vegetables and Fruits in the Northeast
Spring is a bountiful and beautiful time in the Northeast region of the country. You'll find plenty of spring root vegetables in season (like carrots, beets, parsnips, and radishes), but leafy greens like chard, spinach, and arugula are also prevalent. If you're looking for seasonal citrus fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, or lemons for your drinks or desserts, you'll need to import them from the South or Southwest regions.
Spring Vegetables and Fruits in the Southwest
If your guests are craving guacamole, you'll love the Southwest's abundance of avocados. There are also plenty of leafy greens close at hand for salads and sides, including chard, kale, lettuce, and spinach. Additionally, you'll find fruits and vegetables in season that aren’t as common in the rest of the country, such as figs and squash.
Spring Vegetables and Fruits in the South
When it comes to spring in the South, you'll find plenty of seasonal green vegetables to go around, such as lettuce and spinach. Traditional Southern favorites are also plentiful, including collards, okra, and sweet potatoes. The South is also a great source of spring citrus fruit, particularly grapefruit and oranges.
Summer Vegetables and Fruits in the Northwest
Summer in the Northwest supplies a cornucopia of delicious seasonal fruits and summer vegetables, including unique varieties like artichokes, chilies, and garlic. The area is also known for seasonal root vegetables, such as beets, carrots, fennel, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes, and turnips. If your business is located in this area, you won’t need to import much during the summer, which will help your bottom line.
Summer Vegetables and Fruits in the Midwest
Predictably enough, corn is one of the Midwest's bumper crops over the summer months. You'll also find plenty of grapes to use at your winery or sell at your farmer's market. Additionally, there is an abundance of cucumbers, eggplant, squash, and zucchini to incorporate into all of your favorite appetizers, salads, and entrees.
Summer Vegetables and Fruits in the Northeast
Summer in the Northeast is bursting with almost every seasonal fruit and vegetable imaginable. If your restaurant or bakery sells pie, you’ll love having apples, blueberries, cherries, peaches, rhubarb, and strawberries close at hand. You'll also find a host of other perennial produce favorites, including brussel sprouts, eggplant, pumpkins, and watermelon.
Summer Vegetables and Fruits in the Southwest
Summer in the Southwest is all about summer fruit, including apples, blueberries, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, and watermelon. Pomegranates are also plentiful in the region during the summer months. These states are perhaps best known for their chilies, which come in a variety of types and are perfect for use in any spicy dish.
Summer Vegetables and Fruits in the South
The South is jam-packed with vegetables in season during the summer months, including asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, peas, and tomatoes. Your guests will also love the delicious seasonal fruits available in the South over the summer, such as peaches and plums.
Winter Vegetables and Fruits in the Northwest
The Northwest is one of the best places to procure winter root vegetables, as they have plenty of beets, carrots, fennel, leeks, parsnips, potatoes, and turnips to go around. The region also has clementines, a unique winter citrus fruit that is a popular item in grocery stores nationwide.
Winter Vegetables and Fruits in the Midwest
Like the Northeast, there aren't many winter fruits and seasonal vegetables to choose from during the cold months in the Midwest. You'll need to import everything other than mushrooms, which are always bountiful.
Winter Vegetables and Fruits in the Northeast
The Northeast doesn't have much to offer over the winter months due to snow and cold temperatures, so you'll need to import all of your winter fruits and vegetables other than mushrooms and parsnips.
Winter Vegetables and Fruits in the Southwest
If your business needs citrus over the winter months, the Southwest is your best bet. Boasting everything from grapefruit and lemons to oranges and tangerines, this region also produces delicious strawberries. Additionally, you'll find plenty of avocados for your Mexican restaurant and broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower for vegetable medleys.
Winter Vegetables and Fruits in the South
Citrus is abundant in the South during the winter, with grapefruit and oranges leading the way. You'll also find a variety of leafy greens, including collards, kale, lettuce, and spinach. Apples are plentiful, too, which is good news for restaurants and bakeries.