Going to the farmer’s market and filling your bag or basket with seasonal produce is one of the great joys of life. You get to stroll around in the fresh air, taste samples, connect with local farmers and gardeners, and, of course, restock your fridge with fresh organic produce.

Farmer's market with zucchini stand.

But if you’re new to the world of farmer’s markets or are still learning the basics of home gardening, knowing which produce to eat or buy at different times of the year can be challenging.

Fresh produce availability varies throughout the year, as dictated by each of the four seasons. It is always better to buy produce when it is at its seasonal peak, such as tomatoes in summer or beets in winter. This can result in a more nutritious, affordable, and rewarding farmer’s market grocery haul.

Let’s find out which fresh produce you should pick out every season so that you can reap the benefits of perfectly ripe organic goods from Canada’s thriving farmer’s market scene!

Summer Produce: Tomatoes, Beans, Juicy Fruits, Gourds

If you enjoy fresh fruit and veggies, summer is the best time of year to be a Canadian. This season brings a vast and beautiful harvest of produce that is rich in color, flavor, and life. You can find perfectly ripe tomatoes, a wide range of berries, cantaloupe, and all sorts of savory veg.


Vegetables like asparagus, kale, lettuce, rhubarb, and broad beans are at their prime during summertime. Light, bright green produce like chard and even rhubarb also grow well at this time of year.
You can also find lots of juicy peaches, nectarines, celery, corn, bell peppers, courgettes, and shallots at this time of year. There’s nothing like the bounty of summer harvest—so make the most of it while you can!

Fall Produce: Root Vegetables, Brassicas, And Stone Fruit

The arrival of fall and its cool, crisp weather bring with it a vast bounty of delicious, immune-boostingfruits and vegetables that will prepare your body for staying strong through the upcoming winter.

Red and green apples.

Fall in Canada typically means lots of root vegetables, squash, gourds, and brassicas. Pumpkins, turnips, potatoes, carrots, and a variety of other root vegetables tend to shine in this season – and many of them contain essential vitamin C and beta carotene for fighting off the flu.
Brassicas are abundant in fall, and these layered leafy or cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower, are seasonal.

In terms of fruit, fall creates a great environment for stone fruits like plums to grow tart and juicy. You will also see a lot of apples and pears, which are sweetest in the colder months of the year. Grab your pumpkin spice latte, wrap up, and head out for this season of earthy produce in the North.

Winter Produce: Squash, Root Vegetables, Onions, And Mushrooms

Winter in Canada typically means snow, making growing a particularly wide variety of produce difficult. But there’s still plenty of nourishing fruits and vegetables to be gleaned from winter, even if many of them are similar to fall’s harvest.


Root vegetables thrive in the winter because they are protected from the elements by growing underground. Beetroot, carrots, turnips, parsnips, potatoes, and rutabagas are all popular veggies to grow around this time of year. You may also find leeks, onions, and brassicas still thriving in the cold.

Winter can be a good time for mushrooms to grow in the northern hemisphere, too. In Canada's more mossy terrains, you can find chanterelles, field mushrooms, edible boletus, and pine mushrooms.

If you’re a fan of winter fruit, you’ll find similar varieties to fall. Apples and pears are happy to grow in low temperatures, as are certain citrus fruits, such as lemons and oranges. This is a great time of year to buy seasonal produce for hearty meals such as stews, soups, and comforting roasts.

Spring Produce: Berries, Leafy Greens, Cucumbers, Watermelons

Spring is a fantastic time for fresh produce all over the world, Canada included. As the sun comes out and the rain keeps things moist, a much wider variety of produce becomes available.


This is a great time of year to buy delicious, flavorful, colorful fruits. Saskatoon berries, raspberries, cherries, blueberries, and strawberries, as well as hydrating melons like watermelon, are all popping up, as are salad-friendly produce like lettuce, cucumbers, rhubarb, and asparagus.

You can also find bell peppers, artichokes, and a range of root veggies lingering around this time of year. Spring is the best season for fresh produce; diverse, juicy, and colorful groceries thrive.

Why Buy Seasonal?

Generally speaking, if you’re buying from a farmer’s market, a fruit of the month club, mom and pop store, or an independent grocery store, you are probably already buying seasonal produce. Local farmers who supply these markets, clubs, and stores have to work with the seasons to yield healthy crops and maintain a sustainable rotation of produce throughout the year.


But occasionally, you might find some imported products at a farmer’s market. People like exotic goods and this can be a lucrative offering for local farmers. However, while imported, out-of-season produce can be fun to buy every now and then, here are some reasons why buying seasonal is always better:

  • Supports local farmers – When you buy seasonal produce, you help keep local farmers in business and support them throughout the year.
  • Healthier for your body – Seasonal fruits and vegetables often contain the vitamins and nutrients we need at certain points of the year. For example, winter produce contains vitamin D and inflammation-fighting nutrients, and warm summer fruits are typically more hydrating.
  • Diverse year-round groceries – Buying seasonally means enjoying a fresh rotation of produce as the year unfolds. Meals will never get dull or repetitive when you buy seasonal produce.

Ultimately, seasonal produce is healthier for your body, supports local farmers, and can ensure your groceries are always fresh, exciting, and varied throughout the year.

Plums and nectarines.

Taste The Seasons Canadian-Style

Buying seasonally is good for your local agricultural economy, your taste buds, your wallet, and your immune system. Follow this guide to make the most of your farmer’s market trips throughout the year.

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