Fruit for Thought: Knowing The Seasonal Fruits


Many people cut fruit into shapes to celebrate Valentine's Day. Labeled for reuse by Pixabay.

Whether it’s employees or customers in the produce aisle of the grocery store, we’ve all watched at least one person became angry when a store doesn’t stock a specific fruit. However, there’s a very good reason for that.

“Seasonal” fruits exist because some plants grow differently in specified weather. Strawberries grow better in the spring and tend to not be sold during the winter.

The strongest winter fruits consist of grapefruit, oranges, and tangerines. They are prone to be found in neighborhood markets during the winter season.

Even though spring follows winter, spring fruits won’t always return to stores right away.

Producers have to be able to grow the fruits before there’s access to buy them in the stores. Keeping up on the availability of fruits can help prepare farmers to have them at the neighborhood markets.

“To grow plants in the wintertime requires a greenhouse or at least a cold frame system, which I don’t have. So the biggest challenge is either using all of the vegetables that my garden produces when they are ripe (which usually happens in August and September) or finding ways to preserve them for the other 10 months of the year (canning, freezing, etc.), or giving them away to students and staff at Air Academy,” said AP Environmental Science teacher Nathan Chisholm.

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During the spring season, the strongest fruits, apricots, mangoes, pineapples, and strawberries, appear in stores first.

These are only listing a few of the possibilities of what you will and won’t see in your neighborhood market during the seasons of your favorite fruit.

Your favorite fruit could belong to any or all of the seasons. There are fruits that can grow during any season and weather; however, not all fruits follow this path. You can find apples year-round, coming from every direction during the seasons and weather, this fruit will never be off the market unless producers stop growing it.

The seasons affect the ways that farmers can grow their fruits. Many farmers use daylight savings to help them change over their products for the next set of seasons. Others use the changing weather patterns and seasons to help them know what fruits they need to grow.

“Plants don’t survive outside after mid-October, which is about the time we get our first frost each year. If it’s a light frost (just barely dipping below freezing), then I can cover with an old bed sheet or plastic tarp whatever vegetables haven’t completely ripened yet and give them a few more days, but that effort depends on how many warm days are predicted after the frost and how much more time the fruits need,” said Chisholm.

The weather has effects on how quickly or slowly the plants can and will grow. They don’t always have harmful effects, but when the temperature drops, it’s safer to let your plants ripen under the safety of something to keep them warm, but that also won’t interfere with the plant’s cycle.

Producers prepare spring fruits for shipment to grocery stores. Labeled for reuse by Piqsels.

While many people find it difficult to grow their own products, others think it’s a much healthier way to go through life and think that it’s safer than trusting the labeling on packaged goods.

“I have used pesticides on my plants, but only sparingly and as a last resort. By keeping the soil and plants as healthy as possible I very rarely have to do so. Regardless, I know exactly what’s on the food I’m feeding my family, and that it was picked when it was most ripe, not weeks before to make a delivery schedule happen. Plus, by working outside I’m exercising and spending time with my family, all good parts of a healthy lifestyle,” said Chisholm.

Fruits also have several health benefits. According to Medical News Today, fruits are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and are also high in fiber. Eating a high diet in fruits can reduce a person’s risk of developing heart disease, cancer, inflammation, and diabetes.

However, many people think that daylight savings can hurt or help the actual growth of the plants. Most gardening seasons actually take place during the daylight savings time. Since it becomes harder to grow fruits or vegetables after mid-October, by the time daylight savings ends, it has no effect on the previous gardening season.

“As my meteorology professor said, daylight savings is like cutting the top 30 cm off your blanket then sewing it on to the bottom of the blanket. Plants don’t watch clocks, and all of the outdoor gardening season happens during daylight savings time anyway, so it doesn’t affect anything,” said Chisholm.

They are ways to think of how to garden. Firstly, make sure the soil around is sufficient for gardening. If the soil is poor, the fruits or vegetables could come out poor, not ripen, or not even have the chance to grow.

This isn’t the only problem though. Many people that garden in their free time or mass farm for big companies sometimes have plants that ripen together. When having so many plants that ripen together, there should be an action plan in place to keep plants from going to waste.

Seasonal fruits are put together to make beautiful art. Labeled for reuse by Soorelis.

“People like to think about seeds and plants, but to grow plants here you first need to think about the health and components of the soil, which needs to happen before any seeds or plants go in the ground. And like I said, lots of vegetables become ripe all at once, so you have to have a plan for what to do with them or you’ll have a lot of waste on your hands! Giving food away to friends and neighbors is a good way to keep on good terms with them,” said Chisholm.

Understanding all of these things can help encourage people to learn how to garden, when to find fruits at the neighborhood markets, and what to look for when buying fruits.

This is just a little bit of fruit for thought.