Thanks for modern transportation, you can buy strawberries in December and peaches in March. But those strawberries had to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to get to your local grocery store and by the time they get to you they may not taste as good, or cost as little, as strawberries in May and peaches in July.
Buying fruits and vegetables in season saves you money and insures you're eating food that's fresher and tastes better. While the growing season for fruits and vegetables varies by a few weeks depending on the area of the country, you can follow these general guidelines to know what to buy when.
Frozen fields and frosty nights mean few fresh fruits and vegetables will be in season during the winter. Exceptions include oranges, grapefruit, papaya and tangerines.
Spring brings the first fresh vegetables of the year, with artichokes, asparagus, green beans, mangoes, peas and spinach showing up in grocery stores and farmer's markets..
Summer brings bounties of fresh fruits and vegetables. This is the time to stock up on apricots, blackberries, blueberries, broccoli, corn, eggplant, grapes, green beans, kiwi, mangoes, melons, nectarines, okra, peaches, peas, peppers, plums, raspberries, strawberries, summer squash, tomatoes and zucchini.
Autumn's harvest includes apples, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cranberries, pears, pomegranates, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and winter squash,
Some fruits and vegetables are "in season" all year. Some, like lettuce and herbs, are grown in greenhouses and don't taste much different from those grown in fields. Others, like bananas and avocados, are raised in the tropics and can be shipped green to ripen on the way. While the banana you buy in your grocery story may not taste the same as one picked from the tree in Panama, most of us don't have access to those fresh picked bananas and the grocery story version is what we've come to expect. Fruits and vegetables available year round include avocado, bananas, carrots, celery, lemons, lettuce, onions and potatoes.