Tuesday, April 06, 2010

in season: get it while it's good

I figure in Australia being a vast land and all that, almost anything is in season somewhere in the country at any time of year. Hass avocados, for instance, are grown all year round according to the industry’s marketing information. But Melbourne prices tell a different story when it comes to quality and availability.

I’ve put together a guide from organic stalls and farmers markets for what looks good, in Melbourne this April. Feel free to add to it.

Apples are at their peak; worth spending a bit more to explore the dozens of different organically grown varieties that taste like apples did in your childhood.
Pears are slowly ripening.
Mandarins are heading the new citrus season, watch out for local oranges and grapefruits coming soon.
Limes have been a cheaper buy than lemons in the past month. If local trees are anything to go buy it will still be another month or so til lemons make a come back.
Persimmons, just in for their short and sweet season.
Quinces are starting to trickle in.
Still some figs about but not for much longer.
Grapes are on the way out but still a good buy.
Chillies are still abundant in my garden.

The new season Tasmanian walnuts have arrived and taste great.
Chestnuts are starting to make an appearance.
Keep an eye out for local hazelnuts.

Pumpkins are still abundant and cheap.
Root vegetables are coming into their own – carrots, beetroot, sweet potato are a good buy.
Hopefully later in the month we’ll see some interesting mushrooms.
Say goodbye to tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini and cucumbers as their season ends and prices rise.

Update It's the second to last week of April and am overjoyed to report that feijoas are now in season too. I got a kilo of (admittedly small sized) feijoas for $3 from the market. The bonus was they were grown locally and without sprays. Larger ones were $7.50 (from the most expensive conventional stall at the entire market) and $9.50 (organic).

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Blogger Simon Food Favourites said...

i like this post as it's good to know what's in season. i bought some cauliflower yesterday and it was pretty expensive so this must be out of season too? $3.99 for a half small.

9:04 am  
Blogger Lisa (bakebikeblog) said...

What a handy guide! Thanks for sharing :)

11:22 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Simon - in my book they are definitely out (and the price you quoted was even higher than the $3.75 for 1/2 an organic cauli I saw last week). The Victorian government thinks otherwise (http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcrecipes.nsf/InSeasonView/InSeason?OpenDocument&month=4) You can see why I'm making my own list when our own health department tells us asparagus is in season in Victoria in April!

Thanks Lisa.

1:56 pm  
Anonymous Janet(Pantry Bites) said...

Brussels sprouts are also everywhere. I think they are in season.

5:03 pm  
Blogger Ali-K said...

Great post, it really can be so confusing to determine what is in season and what isn't. When Australia is such a large place every locality is different, just to make things even harder to keep track of.

12:30 pm  
Blogger lisa said...

Is it just me or was fig season dismal in Melbourne this year? All the trees I usually raid fruited early but they were mostly inedible and the second, on-time crops were small and not all that juicy.

5:58 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Janet - not where you are seeing the sprouts in Melb. They are over >$12 kilo for organic at the moment.

Lucy - I think the drought made the figs dismal. They've become precious little morsels. But I've spotted a few ripe ones in my neighbourhood that look luscious.

6:13 pm  
Blogger Emma said...

Such a handy guide. I always find it hard for some reason to constantly keep track.

Chilli's are still abundant in my garden too. I have couple of lebanese cucumbers that are still growing a little, and amazingly some eggplants have come through in the last week too, although both these I think will be coming to an end shortly.

My lemon tree is buckling under the weight of lots of lemons, I think they should be ripe within the next month or so.

Thanks so much for posting! :)

1:37 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Hi Emma, let me know if you have any favourite ways of using green chillies. I'm enjoying their flavour even more than when they turn red at the moment, they still pack some heat but has a nice rounded taste.

A visitor from a warmer climate has just given us a bag of lemons and I'm looking forward to making some lemon cordial again. Good to hear there will be some on local trees in another month.

7:19 am  
Blogger Emma said...

I might do a blog post today on my fave ways of using green and red chillis AOF :)

12:41 pm  
Blogger Emma said...

Hey I just did a quick post here: http://dontgiveafig.blogspot.com/2010/04/ingredient-profile-fresh-green-red.html Enjoy!

3:12 pm  

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