April : In Season

Eating seasonally and prioritizing locally grown produce and ingredients : context for early spring

  • Spring has sprung! Let’s look forward to all the new growth…

Early Spring

  • In April, new growth proves the winter worth the wait.
  • Focus on finding asparagus, artichokes, sweet peas and snap peas, young carrots or overwintered carrots (extra sweet!), fava beans, radishes, rhubarb, and fennel.
  • For alliums, don’t forget about spring garlic (before it has been dried), spring onions, and leeks.
  • In many places, citrus may still be hanging on well from winter too.

What is “Overwintering”?

Sometimes in markets and produce stands, you’ll see the term “overwintered (produce)“. What does this mean? Well, basically overwintering is a gardening technique where root vegetables like parsnips, carrots, and garlic can grow slowly throughout the conditions of frost and snow during the winter, and with a little extra mulch to keep them warm and cozy, can be harvested in early spring. Although the green tops above may die off, the root continues to stay fresh underground. Similarly to citrus, the temperature dropping to freezing causes the sugars in the crop to concentrate, helping it survive the cold. As long as the crop is harvested before it flowers with the warming temperatures of spring, it makes a great fresh produce item to enjoy in late winter and early spring. So, next time you see locally grown root vegetables offered in the springtime, know that they may be overwintered, and extra sweet because of it!


isabelle's painted sky ● Copywright 2023