Food seasons

I grew up eating local and seasonal fruit and vegetables. We had a large orchard where we grew several kinds of apple, pear, plum, sweet and sour cherry trees; also gooseberries, black and red currants, raspberries and blackberries. We also had a walnut and hazelnut tree. Taking part in the harvest and preserving of the seasonal fruit, I had a good idea of what ripened when and what was characteristic to the climate I lived in (Poland, temperate). In my hometown, you could not get strawberries in winter. Plums? Forget it, only at the end of summer.

These days supermarkets offer a variety of produce all year round and it can be difficult to know what is actually in season. I've put together a list of products* relevant to sweet baking and desserts; it's mostly fruit and nuts, but also some veggies (how about that carrot cake) and herbs for those who are not afraid of a savoury touch (I am!).

November

  • Apples
  • Beetroots
  • Carrots
  • Chestnuts
  • Clementines
  • Cranberries
  • Dates
  • Pears
  • Pumpkins
  • Quinces
  • Sloes
  • Walnuts

December

  • Apples
  • Clementines
  • Cranberries
  • Dates
  • Grapefruits
  • Pears
  • Quinces

January

  • Apples
  • Clementines
  • Dates
  • Forced rhubarb
  • Grapefruits
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Pears

February

  • Apples
  • Clementines
  • Forced rhubarb
  • Grapefruits
  • Lemons
  • Oranges

March

  • Bramley apples
  • Grapefruits
  • Lemons
  • Oranges and blood oranges
  • Passion fruit
  • Pineapple
  • Rhubarb
  • Young carrots

April

  • Grapefruits
  • Herbs – rosemary, thyme and sage
  • Nectarines
  • Rhubarb
  • Spring carrots

May

  • Apricots
  • Grapefruits
  • Carrots
  • Elderflower
  • Rhubarb

June

  • Apricots
  • Beetroot
  • Blackcurrants
  • Carrots (early)
  • Cherries
  • Gooseberries
  • Nectarines
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries

July

  • Apricots
  • Beetroot
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Cherries
  • Courgettes
  • Currants (black, red, white)
  • Gooseberries
  • Nectarines
  • Raspberries
  • Rhubarb (outdoor)
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

August

  • Apricots
  • Beetroot
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Cherries
  • Courgettes
  • Currants (black, red, white)
  • Figs
  • Gooseberries
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Rhubarb (outdoor)
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

September

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Autumn raspberries
  • Beetroot
  • Blackberries
  • Carrots
  • Cobnuts
  • Courgettes
  • Damsons
  • Figs
  • Gooseberries
  • Grapes
  • Hazelnuts
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Quinces
  • Tomatoes

October

  • Apples
  • Autumn Raspberries
  • Beetroot
  • Blackberries
  • Carrots
  • Chestnuts
  • Cobnuts
  • Courgettes
  • Cranberries
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Pumpkins
  • Quinces
  • Walnuts

* I sourced these from the BBC Good Food Magazine which I have been subscribing to for years. Therefore, please bear in mind that the relevance of this list is location-dependent. I live in the United Kingdom which has a temperate maritime climate.

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