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  • Laura Heely

What's in season? Autumn Edition

Look for these fruits and vegetables at your local farmer's market and in the produce section to enjoy what's freshest in the fall.



Apples are harvested late summer through fall in the Northern Hemisphere. They keep extremely well at low temperatures, so the apples you find at the supermarket can be up to a year old!


Artichokes first produce a crop in spring. Autumn sees a second, smaller crop that tends to produce artichokes on the smaller side.


Aubergine (eggplant) is ready to harvest at the end of summer, but will ripen on the vine into autumn.


Beetroot has a long harvest season -- from autumn through spring in moderate climates -- and relatively long shelf life. Have a hankering for fresh beets? Look for ones with the greens still attached.


Belgian Endive are grown predominantly in artificial conditions. When grown the old fashion way in fields, covered with sand to keep the light out, their season is late autumn and winter.


Broccoli grows all year in temperate climates, but it sweeter and and less bitter when harvested in cool autumnal climates.


Brussels sprouts have a cool season harvest with peak season from September to mid-February. Their flavour is said to improve after the stalks are hit by a light frost.


Cabbage is another frost-kissed vegetable. The cooler the weather during harvest, the sweeter it tends to taste.


Carrots are a good late season crop that can tolerate frost, with best results in the autumn and late spring. You can buy them all year round, but they are at their peak in the fall.


Cauliflower, like broccoli, may be grown and harvested all year, but performs best in cool weather. Find it at its peak in autumn through winter into early spring.


Celeriac (celery root) and many of its root cousins is at its best in the cooler periods from autumn to early spring. However, in cold climates, you will see it more often in summer and early autumn.


Celery has an ideal harvest period in autumn, continuing late in the year in warm and temperate climates.


Chard grows throughout the year in temperate climates. It is often best harvested in late summer or early autumn in colder areas, and can last throughout the winter in warmer areas.


Chicory, leafy greens with a slightly bitter taste compared to lettuce, mature best in the cool conditions of autumn months.


Chiles (or at least the fresh ones!) are best harvest starting late summer and into autumn. Dried chilies can pack heat for years.


Courgette (zucchini) begins its harvest season in summer, continuing into fall.


Cranberries, a North American favourite (and native), and are harvested in New England in the fall, just in time for Thanksgiving.


Edamame are fresh soybeans, known as "beer beans" in Japan. They are harvested in August through early autumn.


Escarole is chicory at its best in fall and winter.


Fennel is a cool weather crop which comes into its own starting in autumn through early spring.


Figs enjoy a second harvest, albeit shorter than their summer season, in late autumn.


Frisée is another chicory, optimally harvested in autumn and winter.


Garlic is plump and sweet at its natural harvest time of late summer and autumn.


Grapes ripen late summer through to autumn in the northern hemisphere. Wine grapes' ripening schedule varies considerably depending on the variety.


Green beans mature in summer and autumn when grown the old fashioned way.


Herbs of the sturdier, heartier variety last well into the autumn. Parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme.


Horseradish is best in autumn and winter, but can last underground well into spring.


Jerusalem Artichokes (sunchokes) are definitely not artichokes, nor are they really linked with Jerusalem. Look our for this small brown tuber in fall and winter when it is in season.


Kale performs well in cooler weather where it retains its sweetness.


Kohlrabi, like its cabbage cousins, does well in late autumn into the winter.


Leeks are in season from autumn through spring, reaching its peek in winter.


Lemongrass, native to Southeast Asia, grows in warmer climates can be harvested any time throughout its growing season, from summer through autumn.


Lettuce can be ground year-round in warmer climates and greenhouses. When grown the old fashioned way, it is best harvested before it gets too cold.


Limes are grown in semi-tropical and tropical regions in summer and autumn.


Mushrooms have different seasons in the northern hemisphere depending on their varieties. Most wild mushrooms are in season in summer through fall. Morels are one notable exception.


Okra needs heat to grow. When summers are long and hot, okra truly shines.


Onions are harvested starting in late summer through the autumn. They store very well, and can be found year-round.


Parsnips are in peak season from fall into spring.


Pears ripen starting in summer well into winter, depending on the variety and growing region!


Peppers - of spicy and sweet varieties - are ready for picking in late summer and early autumn.


Persimmons, often referred to as the "fruit of the Gods" are in season in autumn through winter, growing after the leaves drop in autumn.


Pomegranates are in season starting in October in warmer climates, and can often be found until early winter.


Potatoes can be stored for ages, but most types are harvested in autumn months.


Pumpkins - the ubiquitous fall vegetable - come into season around September.


Quinces' season begins around the end of October. They are the last of the orchard fruits to ripen.


Radicchio, like its chicory cousins, gains sweetness and loses some of its bitterness in cool weather. It is a late-season vegetable that does very well in late autumn and winter.


Radishes grow quickly, and often if can be sown several times during the growing season. Small red radishes go out of season in autumn, when larger daikon-type radishes start to flourish.


Rapini (tenderstream broccoli, or broccoli raab) is a leafier, more bitter version of broccoli, and likes similar cool growing conditions.


Rocket 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.


Shallots are harvested in late summer and into autumn. Like onions and garlic, shallots store well, but are sweetest when fresh.


Shelling beans, as their name suggests, must be removed from their pods to be consumed.They are found in dried form year-round, and fresh from mid-summer to early autumn.


Spinach can be grown year-round in temperate areas. In cooler areas, it does well in summer and autumn, and in warmer regions, it does well from autumn through spring.


Spring onion (scallions, green onion) are grown throughout the year in temperate climates.


Swedes (Rutabagas) are in season in the colder months of autumn and winter. Look for swedes that are firm, solid, and heavy for their size.


Sweet potatoes can be found year-round in warmer areas (and when stored!); and from late summer through winter in cooler regions. They are a totally different species from yams, despite looking and tasting quite similar!


Tomatillos are a Mexican staple. Firm and small, they ripen in summer through autumn, although they can be found year-round in North America.


Turnips are in peak season from October to February. In summer, they can be harvested when small and sweet.


Winter squash comes into season in autumn and usually last well into winter.