With summer coming to a close and fall right around the corner, this time of year signals harvest season. Gardens are flourishing and many crops are at their peak. The farmer’s markets have an abundance of fresh produce that’s just begging for you to take it home. The best part about this time of year is enjoying all the produce that’s in season.
For those of you who don’t know, Killer Creamery’s headquarters is in Meridian, Idaho, and Idaho is a big agriculture state. Which means lots of delicious, fresh fruits and vegetables this time of year.
Eating in season and eating local produce has many benefits:
When you purchase local produce, you’re supporting the farmers in your area. You’re providing them with job security, which is good for your local economy. Look for local produce at your grocery store. Go to your city’s farmers’ markets or find a mobile farmer’s market. Or even plant your own garden!
Fruits and vegetables eaten in season are at their prime. There is nothing better than eating fresh tomatoes straight off the vine or biting into a peach that was just picked. The flavor of seasonal produce is superb to all else. Most produce in grocery stores is picked before it’s fully ripe. Some produce will naturally ripen during shipping, in storage, or while on the shelves. Grocery stores also use ethylene gas to ripen some fruits (1).
Eating local produce also means that those fruits and vegetables didn’t have to travel across the country to get to you. This can mean less trucks on the road and reduced emissions. You can help have a positive impact on the environment.
Fruits and vegetables eaten in season also have higher nutritional value when consumed fresh than produce that has been processed or left sitting on the shelf for an extended period of time (2).
A great resource for finding out when produce is fresh in your state is The Spruce Eats. Just search for your state on the website. They also have some articles on local eats, depending on the state.
The chart below indicates when produce is fresh in Idaho.