What's in Season?

Fresh produce may seem expensive, but it can actually save you money! Look for Vermont produce in your local grocery store. Buying local helps Vermont’s farmers. Local produce tastes fresher and may even cost less.

Consider buying large amounts of some vegetables and fruits in summer and freezing them for winter. For something like beans, it’s as easy as washing the beans, cutting off the ends and putting them in freezer bags.

Consider going to your local farmer’s market to buy vegetables. It makes a great outing for the whole family. It is easy to buy large amounts of vegetables, and often at a lower price. The farmers can also give lots of helpful advice on preparing vegetables. You might even try something new!

In summer, consider going to the berry farm to pick your own with the kids or friends. Pick-your-own can be cheaper than the supermarket, you can freeze any type of berry grown in Vermont and have a sweet treat all year long!

Finding a farmer’s market near you

Vermont produce harvest calendar

For more information on buying local products visit

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Choosing Fruits and Vegetables

Not sure what which fruits and vegetables to pick? Here you’ll find information on how to pick the best ones and what to avoid.

Fruits

  Selection Storage/Handling
Apple Choose firm, bright colored, smooth skinned fruit with no bruises; stem intact. Should smell fresh, not musty. To eat fresh choose Red Delicious, McIntosh, Granny Smith, Empire or Golden Delicious. For making pies or applesauce, choose Gravenstein, Grimes Golden, Jonathan, and Newtown.  For baking, choose Rome Beauty, Northern Spy, Rhode Island Greening, Winesap, and York Imperial Refrigerate in plastic bag away from strong-smelling foods. Use within 3 weeks.
Avocado Choose fruit with green skin lacking bruises and hard or soft spots. Pulp color and texture should be free of any dark spots. Ripens after harvest. Unripe: Countertop.

Ripe: Refrigerate until ready to use.

Banana Choose a bunch with uniform shape and color, no matter the degree of ripeness. Ripens after harvest. Unripe: Countertop

Ripe: Can refrigerate; skin may darken but banana is still fresh up to 2 weeks. Use within 5 days once ripe.

Blueberries Choose firm, plump, dry fruit with dusty blue color and uniform size. Unrefrigerated: 2 days.

Refrigerated: Up to 10 days.

Cantaloupe Choose symmetrically shaped melon with tight netting. Ripe cantaloupe will have distinctive aroma and ends should yield to gently pressure. Countertop for whole/uncut or in refrigerator up to 1 week; refrigerate cut melon in airtight container. Use within 5 days.
Cherries Choose firm, large, bright colored fruit with stem still attached. Avoid cherries with blemishes, rotted or mushy skins, or those that appear either hard and light-colored or soft, shriveled, and dull. Refrigerate immediately and use as soon as possible. Will keep for 2-3 days.
Dried Figs Avoid dried fruit that is darkened or moldy. Unopened: Countertop

Opened: Refrigerate.

Grapefruit Choose fruit with smooth, firm, blemish-free outer peel that is heavy for its size and well shaped. Refrigerate. Use within 2 weeks.
Grapes Choose plump, smooth fruit with dusty colored skin. Should be ready to eat upon purchase. Refrigerate in plastic bag. Use within 1 week.
Honeydew Choose fruit with good shape and color. Fragrant at stem. Firm with some give. Yields to gentle pressure. Best ones weigh 5 pounds. Countertop for whole/uncut or in refrigerator up to 1 week; refrigerate cut melon in airtight container. Use within 5 days.
Kiwi Unripe fruit will be firm to the touch. Ripe fruit will give to gentle pressure. Ripens after harvest. Unripe: Countertop. (To ripen faster, store in paper bag with apple). Ripe: Refrigerate. Use within 7-10 days.
Lemon Firm, heavy for size, thin smooth skin. Pleasant citrus fragrance when ripe. Refrigerate. Use within 2 weeks.
Lime Should be heavy for their size and firm with smooth, shiny skin. Refrigerate.
Mango Full, somewhat firm fruit. Taut skin; strong aroma. Ripens after harvest. Unripe: Countertop. Ripe: Continues to ripen after harvest. Only flesh is edible.
Nectarine Yellow background color with no hint of green. Ripens after harvest. Unripe: countertop in paper bag for 1-2 days. Ripe: Refrigerate. Use within 2-3 days.
Orange Firm, heavy for size, fine-textured skin. Refrigerate. Use within 2 weeks.
Peach Unripe: Green. Ripe: Creamy or yellow with red blush; yields to gently pressure. Overripe: Discolored and soft. Ripens after harvest. Unripe: Countertop in paper bag for 1-2 days. Ripe: Refrigerate. Use within 2-3 days,
Pear Firm, unblemished, stem intact. Ripens after harvest. Unripe: Countertop in closed paper bag. Ripe: Refrigerate.
Pineapple Heavy for size, well-shaped, with dark green crown leaves. Shell ranges in color from greenish-brown to golden brown. For best shelf life, remove crown and shell, refrigerate pieces in airtight container. Use within 5 days.
Plum Firm and plump. Should yield to gently pressure. Ripens after harvest. (To ripen faster, store in paper bag.) Unripe: Countertop. Ripe: Refrigerate.
Dried Plum Well colored, not darkened or moldy. Unopened: Countertop. Opened: Refrigerate.
Raisins Well colored, not darkened or moldy. Unopened: Countertop. Opened: Refrigerate.
Raspberries Dry, plump, and firm. Avoid moldy, soft or leaky berries. Refrigerate. Use within 1-2 days.
Strawberries Plump and firm with a bright red color and natural shine. Caps should be fresh, green, and intact. Avoid mushy, shriveled, or leaky berries. Refrigerate. Use within 4 days.
Tangerine Plump, heavy for their size, soft but form to the touch. Refrigerate. Use within 2 weeks.
Watermelon Symmetrical; heavy for size. Dried stem and a yellowish underside where it touched the ground. Countertop for whole/uncut melon; refrigerate cut melon in airtight container. Use within 5 days.

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Vegetables

 

Selection

Storage/Handling

Artichoke

Fat, firm looking buds, dense, tightly packed dusty green leaves. Pull back one leaf to check heart for any black blemishes. During winter, white blistered or bronze appearance does not affect quality.

Refrigerate in plastic bag. Use within 1 week.

Asparagus

Odorless, tight, dry tips, range from green to purple.

Refrigerate in plastic bag with moist paper towel at base of bunch. Use within 4 days.

Beets

Firm, round, with a slender main root, rich, deep, red color, and smooth over most of the surface. Avoid wilted or damaged tops.

Store unwashed beets in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Bell Pepper

Firm and brightly colored. Avoid shriveled, dull, or pitted peppers.

Refrigerate in plastic bag. Use within 5 days.

Broccoli

Odorless, firm, clean stalk with tight, bluish-green florets.

Refrigerate in plastic bag. Use within 3-5 days.

Brussels Sprouts

Fresh green sprouts, free of spots. Buy them on the stalk whenever possible.

Refrigerate in plastic bag. Use within 1 week.

Carrot

Well-shaped with firm, smooth exteriors. Tops should be closely trimmed. Avoid soft, wilted, or split carrots.

Remove tops and refrigerate in plastic bag.  Will last up to 2 months. Revive limp carrots in ice water.

Cauliflower

Creamy white, compact curds with bright green, fresh and firmly attached leaves.

Refrigerate in its wrapping. Use within 3-5 days.

Celery

Straight stalks with rigid ribs. Ribs should be clean and smooth and snap when bent. Leaves should be fresh, well-colored, and show no signs of wilting.

Refrigerate. Use within 1 week.

Collard Greens

Small, firm leaves with no yellowing.

Refrigerate. Wrap in damp paper towel. Place in plastic bag. Use within 2 days.

Cucumber

The darker the better. Should be firm, well-shaped, and uniform in size. May be treated with an edible wax to prevent moisture loss and enhance appearance.

Refrigerate in plastic bag. Use within 1 week.

Eggplant

Firm, heavy, smooth, and uniformly dark purple color.

Wrap in plastic and store for 1 to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Green Beans

Should have long, straight, well-colored pods. Snap easily when bent.

Refrigerate. Store in plastic bag.

Green Cabbage

Should be well-formed, compact, smooth, even colored, and heavy for its size.

Refrigerate in crisper.

Green Onion

Crisp with fresh, green tops, and slightly white ends.

Refrigerate in plastic bag.

Iceberg Lettuce

Full spring head with fresh green color.

Wash upon purchase. Refrigerate in plastic bag. Use within 1 week.

Leaf Lettuce

Full spring head with fresh green color.

Wash upon purchase. Refrigerate in plastic bag. Use within 1 week.

Mushrooms

Should have a well-shaped appearance, a firm texture, and be free of spots and slime.

Refrigerate in original container or paper bag. Use within 5-7 days.

Mustard Greens

Small, firm leaves with no yellowing.

Refrigerate. Wrap in damp paper towel. Place in plastic bag. Use within 2 days.

Onion

Should be firm with short, tight necks, and dry papery skin.

Cool, dry, well-ventilated location-not in the refrigerator, not in a plastic bag. Use within 4 weeks. Once cut, keep in tightly sealed container in refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Potato

All potato varieties should be uniformly sized, fairly clean, firm, and smooth.

Cool, dark, dry place in open container/basket. Use within 3-5 weeks.

Radish

Should be bright in color with firm, well-formed roots and crisp, white flesh. Attached tops should be green.

Refrigerate in crisper or in plastic bag for up to 1 week.

Romaine Lettuce

Full spring head with fresh green color.

Wash upon purchase. Refrigerate in plastic bag. Use within 1 week.

Spinach

Should have clean, fresh, and fairly crisp leaves with good green coloring.

Refrigerate wrapped loosely in damp paper towel in plastic bag. Use within 3-5 days.

Summer Squash

Solid heavy feel. Firm but tender. Sleek, unblemished skin. Smaller sizes are more tender and flavorful.

Refrigerate in plastic bag for up to 4 days.

Sweet Corn

Should have firm, tightly wrapped green husks, with pale, silky, slightly damp tassel.

Best eaten right away, though can be refrigerated in a plastic bag for 1 day.

Sweet Potato

Choose small to medium sized potatoes without cracks, soft spots, or blemishes.

Cool, dry, dark place in open container/basket. Use within 3-5 weeks.

Tomato

Should have bright, shiny skins, and firm flesh.

Countertop away from direct sunlight, with the stem end up. Use within 1 week once ripe.


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