Spring Seasonal Eating — What Can We Hope to Find?

Reader Contribution by Tabitha Alterman
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Most of the foods below are likely to be in season
during April or May in many parts of the United States. You should be able to
find the best deals on these foods this time of year in grocery stores and at
farmers’ markets, which means it’s a good time to stock up on items that
preserve well. For example, you may want to dry herbs and freeze berries for
later use. (To learn more about when and how to preserve different foods, see Enjoy Fresh, Local Food All Year. To see which foods are in season in your area, click
on your state at this Peak Season Map. Or check for local resources, such as your state extension agency.)

Herbs: chervil,
chives, dill, horseradish root, mint, parsley, tarragon

Salad greens: arugula (rocket), baby lettuces, endive, mâche (corn salad),
mizuna, pac choi, sorrel, spinach, watercress

Cooking greens: beet greens, chard, collards, kale, radish greens, spinach,
turnip greens

Root veggies: beets, parsnips, radishes, salad turnips

Garden veggies: asparagus, garden peas, potatoes, scallions, spring onions, sugar
snap peas

Sea veggies: dulse,
various kelps (e.g. kombu, wakame), nori (laver), wrack

Fruits: apricots,
blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums,
raspberries, rhubarb (not technically a fruit), strawberries

Ephemeral garden treats: garlic scapes, pea shoots

Wild edibles: cactus pears, cattails, claytonia (miner’s lettuce), dandelion
greens, fiddlehead ferns, lamb’s quarters, morel mushrooms, nettles, pokeweed,
purslane, ramps (wild leeks)

Meat: Most
pasture-raised meat and wild game are best in the fall and winter, but spring
is a great time to stock up on frozen and aged meats. In some areas, there is
also a spring turkey hunting season.

Fish: Spring
is the season for most freshwater fish, including bass, carp, cat fish,
crappie, pike, salmon, sunfish, trout and walleye. Saltwater seasons vary.

Dairy: Fresh
milk and young cheeses made with milk from animals that graze on green pasture
are highly nutritious in late spring.

Eggs: Fresh
farm eggs are rich with omega-3 fatty acids and other grass-derived nutrients
in spring.

Nuts and seeds: Because most kinds of nuts are not harvested in
the spring, you will want to choose roasted nuts for the best flavor. (Note:
Nuts freeze well, so be sure to stock up like a squirrel when they are in

Photos by Tim Nauman (left) and Fotolia (right)

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