It’s gonna be … I’ll spare you, as I’m sure you’re getting enough of that meme on your social media feeds…
Anyway, it’s May! And guess what that means? Seasonal farmers markets will be opening up this month, or soon! I am so excited for this time of year. The flowers are blooming wild colors, the birds are singing in the morning, and the grass is coming up green. With more seedlings, too, comes more fruits and veggies to enjoy! I mean, this is the greenest the chart has been all year! So get to it—have a quick look at the chart and get out there and enjoy some delicious foods!
In Season, but Not Necessarily Local:
So far, we’ve had a pretty depressing disclaimer every month, which is that the seasonal-local palette is pretty slim, so we’ve explained how you can look outside the local limits for more variety while still sticking to seasonal. Well, now’s the start of the time of year when you actually could eat just local (in Maryland) and be happy!
Of course, we definitely would recommend trying to eat exclusively local for a while, but don’t beat yourself up if you still want to expand your palate. You can feel good eating these not-necessarily-Maryland, but nevertheless in-season foods:
- Bok choy
- Broccoli Rabe
- Brussels sprouts
- Cactus Pads
- Collard Greens
- Dandelion Greens
- Fava Beans
- Fava Greens
- Green Garlic
- Mustard Greens
- Pea Shoots
- Peppers, chile*
- Peppers, sweet
Fruits & Nuts
- Cactus Pears
*Can be found at the market, but not within its natural growing season.
Where to Buy
Most seasonal Farmers Markets are starting to open now. Have a look at the Maryland Farmers Markets webpage from the Maryland Department of Agriculture to find a market close to you. One of our favorite Baltimore markets is the year-round 32nd Street Farmers Market in Waverly!
Additionally, it’s not uncommon for grocery stores, particularly health food stores, to carry and label produce grown locally (typically, ‘local’ to a grocer includes a multi-state region—at least it does from our experience in Maryland). And remember, buying food while it’s in season can be a lot cheaper! You might also be surprised to find out that wholesale stores (e.g., BJ’s, Costco, or SAM’s Club, etc.) will shift their stock depending on the season! (Bulk kale? Kale yeah!)
For the Seasonal, Local, Cheap series, we’re also partnering with (vegan) farmer Emma Jagoz from Moon Valley Farm in Baltimore County. She’s providing some great information about local food. There are a number of share types (so you can select one to suit your needs) as well as various pick-up locations (so you can find one that’s conveniently located). Check out Moon Valley Farm online.
Eating seasonally can be quite rewarding, but once you allow yourself to perceive it as limiting you might find yourself hitting road blocks. You can complement seasonal foods with grains, pastas, breads, dried goods, canned goods, and jarred foods, or with frozen foods as well. We highly recommend saving money by purchasing these goods in bulk, or preserving and storing foods from earlier seasons yourself. Buying in bulk might be especially valuable this time of year, to avoid last minute trips to the grocer before impending snow storms. And of course season your food with dried spices and sauces you’ve either purchased or made throughout the year!
We’ve perused a collection of vegan websites and recipe sites to select a handful of recipes you might want to try. Most or all of the ingredients are typically in-season this time of year, with the occasional out-of-season addition. We encourage you to play around with the recipes yourself, and if you think you can make it 100% local and 100% in-season, we would love to see what you cook up! Here are some ideas:
- Two-Bite Vegetable Samosas | I Love Vegan
- Vegan Garam Masala Soup | A Beautiful Plate
- Vegan Bombay Potatoes & Peas | Vegan Richa
- Lemon Garlic Fava Beans & Mushrooms | Isa Chandra Moscowitz
- 60 Second Raw Vegan Ice Cream | Raw Food Recipes
- Seasonal Foods Guide
- Cookie + Kate January Produce Guide
- CUESA Seasonality Chart
- CUESA Seasonality Chart for Fruit
- Shari’s Berries Fruit Seasons Chart
- Calendar of Maryland Harvests
- Pick Your Own | Maryland Harvest Calendar
- Maryland Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables
- Maryland Fruit and Vegetable Seasonality Chart