Updated: Nov 26, 2020
This week is all about how to get the fruits and veggies you love at an affordable price! The trick you ask? Shop Seasonal Produce!
By: Allegra Pearl
Growing up my favourite day of the week was Sunday. The combination of family channel cartoons, Kettleman's bagels and simply being at home rather than school made for an unbeatable combination. But the main reason I longed for Sundays was to go to the local farmers market with my family. I can still picture it, my siblings and I running around tasting every sample in sight. My parents would buy an array of fresh produce and after a slight force of hand brought on by some tears, some artisanal chocolates.
Flashforward to today, “Sunday Scaries” have caused Sunday to lose it’s first place position, but my adoration for the farmer's market and fresh produce has remained constant. My student budget complicates this loving relationship as it does not provide the necessary grocery funds. However, I am still able to purchase yummy fresh produce by buying seasonally from local grocery stores.
Not only do fruits and veggies taste way better when they’re in season, but they also cost less! The reason they’re cheaper is because they're harvested locally in large numbers and require less transportation time to the grocery store. This sustainable system results in fresher tasting food ending up on your plate at a lower cost...so what are you waiting for!
Summer is the best when it comes to fresh seasonal produce in Canada. Fruits such as peaches, cherries and plums are known to be fresh, ripe, delicious and affordable when summer hits. Other fruits that are also in season during summer include: apricots, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes, nectarines, pears, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, etc. These fruits can be great snacks, desserts or ingredients in a variety of recipes. They can also be sealed airtight and stored in your freezer to keep from expiring. When it comes to vegetables, we highly recommend incorporating corn and tomatoes into as many meals as possible during the summer months. The great taste at a low price will have you wishing you bought more! Other seasonal vegetables for july-august include: artichokes, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, celery, cucumber, peppers, kale, onions, spinach, rutabaga, etc.
In Canada during the summer our grocery stores are filled with affordable in season local produce. However, because of our climate, locally grown food is only available for a short period of time! Therefore I would recommend taking advantage while you can and researching what fresh produce is available and until when. This way you can design your grocery list accordingly.
Sobeys provides an in depth guide to seasonal produce in Ontario. The chart highlights that September grocery lists should be packed with seasonal fruits such as: apples, cantaloupes, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, etc. However, once October rolls around, options for seasonal fruit greatly reduces with only apples, cranberries, pears, plums and raspberries remaining. But the good thing about fall is there are still plenty of vegetables able to grow in the colder months. Root vegetables like squash, carrots, potatoes, and turnips as well as field vegetables like corn, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumber are only among a few of the options available from September to November. Here is a link to the Sobeys chart so you can make informed choices on your seasonal produce. Happy shopping!