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Fall Fruits and Vegetables

What's in Season in Fall?

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Fall Fruits and Vegetables

Honey Crisp Apples

Photo © Molly Watson

Look for these fall fruits and vegetables at farmers markets and in produce departments for the best flavor (and greatest value) in season. Specific crops and harvest dates of fall produce will depend, of course, on your region's climate. See these regional seasonality guides and state-specific seasonality guides for more details.

Wrong season? See the summer, spring, winter, or general seasonality guides for in-season produce all year long.

Apples are one of those fruits people have forgotten have a season. But they do, and in the Northern Hemisphere they're harvested late summer through fall.

Artichokes produce a second, smaller crop in the fall (the first go-around is in the spring) that tends to produce small to medium artichokes.

Arugula is a cool weather peppery green harvested at different times in different places (winter in warm climates, summer in cool ones) but grows in many places during autumn.

Beets are in season in temperate climates fall through spring, and available from storage most of the year everywhere else. Fresh beets are often sold with their greens still attached.

Belgian Endive are mostly "forced" to grow in artificial conditions. Their traditional season (when grown in fields and covered with sand to keep out the light), like that of all chicories, is late fall and winter.

Broccoli can be grown year-round in temperate climates so we've forgotten it even has a season. It is more sweet, less bitter and sharp when harvested in the cooler temperatures of fall in most climates.

Broccoli raabe, rapini is a more bitter, leafier vegetable than its cousin, broccoli, but likes similar cool growing conditions.

Brussels sprouts grow on a stalk, and if you see them for sale that way snap them up - they'll last quite a bit longer than once they're cut.

Cabbage is bright and crisp when raw and mellows and sweetens the longer it's cooked. The cooler the weather when it's harvested, the sweeter it tends to taste (this effect is called "frost kissed").

Carrots are harvested year-round in temperate areas. Unusual varieties are harvested during the carrot's natural season, which is late summer and fall. True baby carrots - not the milled down versions of regular carrots sold as "baby carrots" in bags at grocery stores - are available in the spring and early summer. Locally grown carrots are often available from storage through early winter even in colder climates.

Cauliflower may be grown, harvested, and sold year-round, but it is by nature a cool weather crop and at its best in fall and winter and into early spring.

Celeriac/celery root is at its best in the cooler months of fall, winter, and early spring (except in cold climates, where you'll find it during the summer and early fall).

Celery is at its best in the fall, with its harvest continuing through winter in warm and temperate climates.

Chard like all cooking greens, chard turns bitter when it gets too hot. Chard grows year-round in temperate areas, is best harvested in late summer or early fall in colder areas, and fall through spring in warmer regions.

Chicories are cool weather crops that come into season in late fall (and last in temperate climates through early spring).

Chiles are best at the end of summer and into fall. Dried chiles are, of course, available year-round.

Cranberries, native to North America, and are harvested in New England and the Upper Midwest in the fall.

Curly Endive (Frisée) is a chicory, at its best in fall and winter.

Edamame are fresh soy beans - look for them in late summer and fall.

Eggplant (early fall) comes into season towards the end of summer, but bright shiny heavy-feeling specimens stay in season well into fall.

Escarole is another chicory at its best in fall and winter.

Fennel's natural season is from fall through early spring. Like most cool weather crops, the plant bolts and turns bitter in warmer weather.

Figs have a short second season in late fall (the first harvest comes in summer) just in time for Thanksgiving.

Garlic is another produce item that we forget has a season; fresh garlic is at its plump, sweetest best in late summer and fall.

Grapes (early fall) ripen towards the end of summer where they grow best; the harvest continues into fall.

Green beans tend to be sweetest and most tender during their natural season, from mid-summer into fall in most regions.

Green Onions/Scallions are cultivated year-round in temperate climates.

Herbs of hearty sorts are available fresh in fall - look for bundles of rosemary, parsley, thyme, and sage.

Horseradish is at its best in fall and winter. Like so many other root vegetables, however, it stores well and is often available in decent shape well into spring.

Jerusalem artichokes/Sunchokes are brown nubs, that look a bit like small pieces of fresh ginger. Look for firm tubers with smooth, tan skins in fall and winter.

Kale is like all hearty cooking greens - cooler weather keeps it sweet.

Kohlrabi (late fall) comes into season by the end of fall, but stays at its sweet best into winter.

Next page for Leeks through Zucchini.

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