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summer produce, berries

Seasonal Produce: Summer Edition

summer produce, berriesYou know that you’re supposed to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables each day. But they sure can cost a lot! One way to save money on produce is to purchase in-season fruits and vegetables, which cost less per pound.

Why Does Seasonal Produce Cost Less?

When farmers don’t need to take any extra steps to grow food, it’s cheaper to produce. When you try to make strawberries grow in the middle of winter, it’s going to take extra energy. The berries will either need to be planted in a greenhouse and provided with heat, or grown in an environment with a warmer climate.

Berries grown elsewhere will need to be shipped further to reach your table. Those shipping costs get tacked onto the price you pay. You can see how out-of-season produce can be more expensive.

Buying in season produce helps cut costs. It takes advantage of the natural cycles of the harvest. Knowing what’s in season will help you get fresher, more economical food.

What’s in Season This Summer?

Summer is the perfect time of year to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables. Seasonal offerings are in abundance, and you’ll find rock-bottom prices on many of these favorites. Remember to take advantage of low prices and stock up. You can freeze or can the extras to enjoy all year long. Making jam or jelly is another way to preserve seasonal produce.

Berries

Summer is the season for berries of all varieties. These delicate fruits need plenty of heat and water to grow abundantly. Look for deals on:

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries

Tomatoes

Vine-ripened tomatoes that are fresh taste delicious! If you can find locally grown tomatoes, you’ll be rewarded with a ton of flavor.

Melons

Summer melons are superb! Look for savings on all different types, including:

  • Watermelons
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew
  • Muskmelon

Pit Fruits

Many summer fruits have a large pit in the middle. These bruise easily, and can be difficult to ship long distances. Stock up while you can, and enjoy a variety of:

  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Nectarines
  • Apricots
  • Cherries

Summer Squash

They’re called summer squash for a reason. Unlike the hard-fleshed winter squashes, summer squash doesn’t store as long without being frozen or pickled. They’re meant to be enjoyed fresh in the summer. These include:

  • Green and Yellow Zucchini
  • Pattypan Squash
  • Round Zucchini
  • Yellow Squash
  • Crookneck Squash

Peas & Beans

Peas and beans are in abundance over the summer months. The hot weather is just what they need to grow. You can find typical green beans and sugar snap peas, but keep your eyes out for these other varieties as well:

  • Lima Beans
  • Green Soybeans
  • Chinese Long Beans
  • Black-Eyed Peas

Corn on the Cob

Fresh corn is starting to hit the stores, and you can typically pick up several ears for a dollar this time of year.

Don’t Forget the Farmer’s Markets

Depending on your area, you might find the best produce deals at local farmers’ markets this summer. If you have one or more close to you, check them out for even more savings.

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