Saturday, 12 April 2008

A List of Ontario Available Produce by Month

So the birds are singing; the bells are ringing; the grass is riz or at least we can see it, brown and patchy mess that it is; the rivers are flooded and everything else is sodden; and in general Spring is here. Sing fa-la-la, etc. The tide has turned and now it's time to say good-bye to endless cabbage and root veggies as we are in a new season of fresh local Ontario produce, right?

Wrong.

The second half of April through most of May are the hardest months of the year to stick to Ontario grown produce. Not only are you tired of all those root veggies and cabbage, but those root veggies and cabbage are either gone or pretty darn tired themselves. Asparagus, lettuce, spinach and other early greens are not really going to be around until the end of May, and that's assuming the weather is reasonably co-operative. I do see more and more market gardeners looking at extending the season with simple greenhouses, so I have hope that the situation will improve. In the meantime, you can buy a few of those imported items with a reasonably clear conscience.

This seems like a good time to try to put together an overview of what is in season in Ontario, and when, month-by-month. If you can see any errors or omissions, please let me know! I will add to this list and make corrections as they come in. I know I am missing quite a few greens, especially the Asian ones, mustard greens, and???

All Year:

Belgian Endive or Witloof (Peak in February through May?)
Cucumbers (Greenhouse)
Lettuce (and spinach?), hydroponic
Mushrooms, button
Mushrooms, shiitake (peak in the fall)
Peppers (Greenhouse)
Sprouts, mung bean
Sprouts, alfalfa and other small seeds
Tomatoes (Greenhouse)

May:

Apples (stored)
(?) Arugula (fresh)
Asparagus (fresh, but not until late in the month)
Beets (stored - but few)
Carrots (stored - but few)
Celeriac (stored)
Fiddleheads (fresh)
Herbs - chives, Welsh onions, dill (fresh)
Lettuce (fresh)
Onions (stored)
Potatoes (stored - but few and noticably reduced in quality)
Radishes (fresh)
Rhubarb (forced greenhouse)
Rutabaga (stored)
Spinach (fresh)

June:

Apples (stored - but few and noticably reduced in quality)
Arugula (fresh)
Asparagus (fresh)
Beans, green & wax (fresh, but not until late in the month)
Beets (stored - but few)
Broccoli (fresh, but not until late in the month)
Cabbage (fresh, but not until late in the month)
Cauliflower (fresh, but not until late in the month)
Celeriac (stored)
Cherries, sweet (fresh, but not until late in the month)
Cucumbers (fresh field, but not until late in the month)
Herbs - chives, green onions, garlic scapes, dill, parsley, cilantro (fresh)
Kohlrabi (fresh)
Peas (fresh, but not until late in the month)
Radiccio (fresh)
Radishes (fresh)
Rhubarb (fresh)
Rutabaga (stored? fresh?)
Strawberries (fresh, traditional varieties, should appear in mid-month)
Turnips (fresh)

July:

Apricots (fresh)
Beans, green & wax (fresh)
Beets (fresh, with or without greens)
Blueberries (fresh)
Broccoli (fresh)
Cabbage (fresh)
Carrots (fresh)
Cauliflower (fresh)
Celery (fresh)
Chard (fresh)
Cherries, sweet (fresh)
Cherries, sour (fresh, can also buy prep'd and frozen)
Corn (fresh)
Cucumber (fresh field)
Currants (fresh)
Gooseberries (fresh)
Kohlrabi (fresh)
Lettuce (fresh)
Onions (fresh; often sold with the greens)
Peas (fresh)
Plums, Yellow (fresh)
Potatoes (fresh)
Radiccio (fresh)
Rapini (fresh)
Raspberries (fresh)
Rutabaga (fresh)
Spinach (fresh; hard to find as really prefers cooler weather)
Strawberries (fresh, traditional varieties)
Tomatoes (fresh field, but not until late in the month)
Turnips (fresh)
Zucchini/Other summer squash (fresh)

August:

Apples (fresh, but not until mid to late month)
Apricots (fresh)
Beans, green & wax (fresh)
Beets (fresh, with or without greens)
Blueberries (fresh)
Broccoli (fresh)
Cabbage (fresh)
Cantelope (fresh)
Carrots (fresh)
Cauliflower (fresh)
Celery (fresh)
Chard (fresh)
Corn (fresh)
Cucumber (fresh field)
Eggplant (fresh)
Garlic (fresh)
Grapes (fresh)
Kale (fresh)
Kohlrabi (fresh)
Leeks (fresh)
Lettuce (fresh)
Muskmelon (fresh)
Nectarines (fresh)
Onions (fresh; often sold with the greens)
Onions (should start seeing some of the storage types again)
Peaches (fresh)
Pears (fresh)
Peas (fresh)
Peppers (field, fresh)
Plums, yellow (fresh)
Plums, purple (fresh)
Potatoes (fresh)
Radiccio (fresh)
Rapini (fresh)
Raspberries (fresh)
Rutabaga (fresh)
Shallots
Spinach (fresh; hard to find as really prefers cooler weather)
Strawberries (fresh, day-neutral varieties)
Tomatoes (fresh field)
Tomatillos (fresh)
Turnips (fresh)
Watermelon (fresh)
Zucchini/Other summer squash (fresh)

September:

Apples (fresh)
Arugula (fresh)
Beans, green & wax (fresh)
Beets (fresh, with or without greens)
Blueberries (fresh, mostly wild from up north by now)
Broccoli (fresh)
Brussels sprouts (fresh)
Cabbage (fresh)
Cantelope (fresh)
Carrots (fresh)
Cauliflower (fresh)
Celeriac (fresh)
Celery (fresh)
Chard (fresh)
Corn (fresh)
Cucumber (fresh field)
Eggplant (fresh)
Garlic (fresh/stored)
Grapes (fresh)
Kale (fresh)
Kohlrabi (fresh)
Leeks (fresh)
Lettuce (fresh)
Muskmelon (fresh)
Nectarines (fresh)
Onions (fresh/storage)
Parsnips (fresh)
Peaches (fresh)
Pears (fresh)
Peas (fresh, but getting to be noticably fewer)
Peppers (field, fresh)
Plums, purple (fresh)
Potatoes (fresh)
Radiccio (fresh)
Rapini (fresh)
Raspberries (fresh)
Rutabaga (fresh)
Shallots (stored)
Spinach (fresh)
Squash, winter (fresh)
Strawberries (fresh, day-neutral varieties)
Sweet Potatoes (harvested at end of the month)
Tomatoes (fresh field)
Tomatillos (fresh)
Turnips (fresh)
Watermelon (fresh)
Zucchini/Other summer squash (fresh)

October:

Apples (fresh)
Arugula (fresh)
Beans, green & wax (fresh)
Beets (fresh, with or without greens)
Broccoli (fresh)
Brussels sprouts (fresh)
Cabbage (fresh)
Carrots (fresh)
Cauliflower (fresh)
Celeriac (fresh)
Celery (fresh)
Chard (fresh)
Cranberries (fresh)
Eggplant (fresh)
Garlic (stored)
Grapes (fresh)
Kale (fresh)
Leeks (fresh)
Lettuce (fresh)
Onions (stored)
Parsnips (fresh)
Pears (fresh)
Peas (fresh, but getting to be noticably fewer)
Peppers (field, fresh; will disappear with first frost)
Plums, purple (fresh; a few; mostly gone)
Potatoes (fresh)
Raspberries (fresh)
Rutabaga (fresh)
Shallots (stored)
Spinach (fresh)
Squash, Winter (fresh)
Sweet Potatoes (stored)
Tomatoes (fresh field - will disappear with first frost)
Tomatillos (home stored)
Turnips (fresh)
Zucchini/Other summer squash (fresh)

November:

Apples (fresh/stored)
Beets (fresh, with or without greens)
Broccoli (fresh)
Brussels sprouts (fresh)
Cabbage (fresh)
Carrots (fresh)
Cauliflower (fresh; not many though)
Celeriac (fresh)
Celery (fresh)
Chard (fresh)
Cranberries (fresh)
Garlic (stored)
Grapes (fresh)
Kale (fresh)
Leeks (fresh)
Lettuce (fresh)
Onions (stored)
Parsnips (fresh)
Pears (fresh)
Potatoes (fresh)
Rutabaga (fresh/stored)
Shallots (stored)
Spinach (fresh)
Sweet Potatoes (stored)
Turnips (stored)

December:

Apples (stored)
Beets (stored)
Broccoli (fresh; maybe, depends on weather)
Brussels sprouts (fresh)
Cabbage (fresh/stored)
Carrots (stored)
Celeriac (stored)
Celery (fresh)
Cranberries (not many at this point)
Garlic (stored)
Grapes (fresh; not many and only early)
Leeks (stored)
Onions (stored)
Parsnips (stored)
Pears (fresh)
Potatoes (stored)
Rutabaga (stored)
Shallots (stored)
Sweet Potatoes (stored)
Turnips (stored)

January:

Apples (stored)
Beets (stored)
Brussels sprouts (stored)
Cabbage (stored)
Carrots (stored)
Celeriac (stored)
Garlic (stored)
Leeks (stored)
Onions (stored)
Parsnips (stored)
Pears (stored; Bosc only)
Potatoes (stored)
Rutabaga (stored)
Shallots (stored)
Sweet Potatoes (stored)
Turnips (stored)

February:

Apples (stored)
Beets (stored)
Cabbage (stored)
Carrots (stored)
Celeriac (stored)
Garlic (stored)
Leeks (stored)
Onions (stored)
Parsnips (stored)
Potatoes (stored)
Rhubarb (forced)
Rutabaga (stored)
Shallots (stored)
Sweet Potatoes (stored)
Turnips (stored)

March:

Apples (stored)
Beets (stored)
Cabbage (stored)
Carrots (stored)
Celeriac (stored)
Garlic (stored)
Onions (stored)
Parsnips (stored)
Potatoes (stored)
Radishes, black (stored)
Rhubarb (forced)
Rutabaga (stored)
Shallots (stored)
Sweet Potatoes (stored)

April:

Apples (stored)
Beets (stored)
Cabbage (stored)
Carrots (stored)
Celeriac (stored)
Onions (stored)
Parsnips (stored)
Potatoes (stored)
Rhubarb (forced)
Rutabaga (stored)
Shallots (stored)
Sweet Potatoes (stored)

8 comments:

Peter M said...

I was just looking at the Foodland Ontario site just last week.

We're still pretty limited to what we can eat from local produce.

Thanks heaven for greenhouses.

Andrea... said...

This is so useful!

Neen said...

What a useful list. Is this based on personal experience, or did you use other sources? I totally agree that the "Spring" months are the worst, because everyone else seems to be feasting on spring bounty (folks in the blogosphere have been posting on strawberries since FEBRUARY!) and it's really hard to hold out for the local stuff that just seems to be taking its own good time.

That said, I thought of you the other day. My Dad brought home Eggplants last week to make into an Indian dish, and they were AWFUL. They wouldn't cook all the way through, and when they did the texture was wooden and the flavor was non-existant. It was a very validating experience for those of us trying to avoid getting our veggies from Latin America six months early. (I don't blame my Dad, he's used to living in countries where the groceries stock only in-season produce, so you never have to hesitate before buying something.)

Ferdzy said...

Neen, I started with the list produced by Foodland Ontario (the link is on my sidebar) which I have added to and adjusted according to personal experience.

Living Local said...

Love your recipes!
Thanks for the list of produce in season, I've posted a link on the Living Local site,
http://www.livinglocal.ca and http://www.livinglocal.ca/ONTARIO/seasonal.html,
to help others find your list and enjoy your recipes.

Amanda said...

If you wants to eat seasonal Ontario food lots of web sites is available for recipes follow these instruction and enjoy your home made seasonal food

pat said...

May is also ramps -- and the potatoes may be tired, but you can make a really wonderful vichyssoise with them and ramps. Just add the leaf part only about 5 minutes before pureeing.

maria said...

Your list is what I have been looking for so long.thanks