What's in Season? A Monthly List

 Maybe you are new to eating seasonally.  Maybe it's been a couple of weeks since you've made it to the Farmers Market.  Here's a Monthly List of What is in Season now in Upstate California based on what is available at local farmers markets.

Typically Available Year Round:

Organic eggs, grass-fed beef, local pork from farms such as Chris' Egg Farm and Chaffin Orchards
Brown rice and wheat products  from Massa Organics
Dried fruits, locally made preserves and jams
Honey, almonds and other nuts

tomatoes, peppers of all kinds, eggplants, cucumbers
parsley, green onions, basil,
summer squash
Summer Fruits: peaches, nectarines, grapes, melons

Limited availability:
winter squash
onions, garlic
herbs such as mint and dill
lettuces and various greens
Summer Fruits:  apricots
Fall Fruits:  pears, strawberries

tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers
parsley, green onions, basil
summer squash, winter squash
Summer Fruits: nectarines, peaches, red and green grapes, melons
Fall fruits:  apples, pears

Limited Availability:
onions, garlic,
lettuces and various greens

tomatoes, peppers, eggplants
parsley, cilantro, basil and other herbs
pumpkins and winter squash
Summer Fruits: peaches, red and green grapes
Fall fruits: pomegranates, apples, pears, kiwi

Other: Almonds,
onion starts and other plants suitable for a winter garden

Limited Availability:
onions, garlic
melons, cucumbers, summer squash

The last of the season's tomatoes and peppers.  Once the frost hits, they will be no more.
parsley, cilantro and other herbs: thyme, rosemary
winter squash
baby potatoes and, toward the end of the month, the first of the season's sweet potatoes
greens: lettuces, kale, chard and collards
radishes, turnips, carrots, beets
Fall fruits:  pomegranates, apples, kiwi
persimmons (first the hard ones that you can eat like apples, followed by the bigger, softer ones)

The "pickins" feel a bit slim in December after the bounty of the autumn months.
There are plenty of apples, and this is the time of year that everyone seems to be carting home a 10-pond bag of mandarins.  Kiwis and persimmons are in season too.
Winter squash and pumpkins are abundant, as are greens (lettuces, chard, kales, collard greens), and some of the root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, etc)
cilantro, parsley
The almond and walnut harvest has just finished, and with the holidays approaching there are plenty of nuts available for gift-giving.

And of course you can still find those faithful vendors who come year-round selling jams and preserves, meats, olive oil, brown rice (and whole wheat tortillas), eggs and cheeses.

apples - these would have been harvested in the fall, but they store well, so they are sold through January and into spring depending on supply
citrus (mandarins, oranges, pummelos, lemons),
greens such as chard, lettuces, kales and collards
root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and beets
Leeks are at their prime, but two things you may have trouble finding are bulb onions and garlic.

Fruits: apples, citrus, kiwis
Veggies: greens, winter squashes, carrots and beets
Dried chiles and dried fruits

If you're hankering for an apple pie, the end of March /beginning of April may be your last chance to buy apples at the farmers market.  There's also still a variety of citrus. 
Spring is happening now.  Spring onions are right around the corner.  Greens are still prolific.  Are you tired of them yet?
Herbs: parsley, cilantro, mint, lemongrass, burdock root.  (Herbal tea, anyone?)

The vegetable highlights of April asparagus, peas and spring onions.  Spring onions are delicious bulb onions with their greens still attached. Let them be the star of a gratin or grill them.
The fruit highlight is strawberries.  I've found a wide range of quality and flavors in the strawberries available at the farmers market.  I suggest you taste one before buying a basket or three.
There is still a wide variety of greens and root vegetables, even some some winter squash hanging around, too.

Asparagus, peas, spring onions, greens, lettuces.
Strawberries and the last of the winter's citrus.
The highlight of the May market to me are the seedlings. Now is the time to finish planting that garden.

The last of the asparagus, peas, onions, garlic.  This is a peak time for lettuces, as the valley heat is too strong for many varieties in mid-summer. Potatoes and beets. Greens and the first of the summer squash.
Cherries, all sorts of berries --seriously, you could spend your whole Farmer's Market budget on berries alone-- and later in June the first nectarines, peaches and apricots.

The veggies, in order of appearance:
Zucchini and summer squash, basil, cucumbers, green and yellow beans, cherry tomatoes, then finally the tomatoes that so many food writers seem to dream about all year-long.
Summer fruits: nectarines, peaches, plums, apricots and all their hybrids.  And later in the month: melons.