UPDATE! Is the Only Fruit in Season a Vegetable – Updated What’s in Season Now

May 30, 2013 at 10:48 am


We’ve updated our guide to what’s in season now to include what we’re seeing in Chicago area farmer’s markets now.

As all Chicago area eat local fans know, it’s been a very rough period for local fruit.  Crazy weather last year, too warm and then too cold, decimated much of the area orchard crops.  We all mourned the loss of our peaches, but where its really hurt us is in the field of apples.  In years past, the fruit in season at this time of year at area farmer’s markets would still be last year’s apples.  Instead, the only fruit around now is a vegetable, rhubarb.  Still, we are hearing reports that the first strawberries are turning red, and you might just find some in your market shopping.

What’s In Season Now


Rhubarb’s ample now, strawberries meager ample.  Cherries, raspberries and blueberries several week’s away–hearing cherries are around the corner!

Vegetables Newest

It’s starting to look like summer, regardless of the weather at the markets.  There’s summer squash/zucchini, kohlrabi, beets, and carrots all fluffing out the green nature of early markets.

Vegetables Newer

Peas are hitting the market.  We’ve seen both sugar snap peas and shelling/English peas; expect snow peas to be there too soon.  If there’s peas, favas should be near too.

You may not expect it or believe it, but through the magic or hoops or latitudes, there’s summer out there.  We’ve seen a few  cucumbers, and a lot more tomatoes than you might think.

Vegetables New

It’s nearly all green, unless the asparagus is purple or the chard’s rainbow.  Much  other leafy greens include spinach,  bok choy (and other Asian greens), collard and mustard greens, arugula, and lettuces.  There’s also early season roots like radishes and turnips.  All the roots also have delicious greens.

Also very much green this time of year, onions and garlic.

You can find good local herbs, last week we found lemon balm, and there’s tons of chives.  

Vegetables Old

Don’t forget what’s left.  It’s still local and delicious.  We’ve seen rutabaga, celery root, potatoes, winter radishes, and onions–amazingly, nearly all of this stuff is still around.

A nice surprise, we’re seeing more dried beans in the market than in prior years.


Your ability to purchase what’s in season is finally expanding.  Jeannie, in the Local Calendar is keeping you ascribed on key markets, and we’ll have our fuller 2013 Market Locator up soon.  There’s still plenty of time to find a CSA box too.  See our big list to find a CSA for you.  Our friends at Fresh Picks have a good and growing inventory of local food, or you can try one of these stores that specialize in local foods:

These stores specialize in local foods:

Artisanal Wilmette – 414 Linden Ave. Wilmette

Butcher and Larder 1026 North Milwaukee in Noble Square, Chicago

Dill Pickle Food Co-op – 3039 West Fullerton, Chicago

Edible Alchemy Foods Co-op - Located in the near-SW Pilsen neighborhood, the co-op has grown to five locations in, including Hyde Park, River North, Lakeview, and Logan Square

Green Grocer 1402 West Grand Ave in West Town Watch this fantastic video about GMOs, sourcing local and see what you are missing if you don’t shop at the GG.

Marion Street Cheese Market 100 South Marion St. Oak Park

Provenance Food & Wine - 2 locations Logan Square 2528 N. California Lincoln Square 2312 W. Leland Ave.

Publican Quality Meats – 835 W. Fulton, Chicago

Sauce and Bread Kitchen - 6338-40 N. Clark, Chicago