Buying Produce In-Season

by CCE Onondaga – Eat Smart New York

Choosing fruits and vegetables that are in season is a great way to stretch food dollars. In general, locally and regionally grown produce is less expensive than produce from out of state.

  • Food that doesn’t have to travel long distances may retain quality longer.
  • Out of season fresh fruits and vegetables may cost more due to transportation and storage requirements.

The freshest, in-season food can best be found at your local farmer’s markets. There are many benefits to buying fresh, nutritious, delicious and locally grown foods at a farmer’s market. Here are some of the benefits:

  • The produce is picked at the peak of freshness, flavor and nutrition.
  • Knowing where your food comes from.
  • The taste is so much better.
  • Farmers offer some great recommendations on how to prepare fresh produce.
  • Purchasing fruits and vegetables from the markets directly supports the farmer.
  • Consumers anticipate what’s coming in season.
  • Buying in-season, local produce connects the community with the environment.

Use your EBT benefits and Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program coupons (WIC and seniors) are participating markets. Vendors will post signs to share what type of coupon benefits they accept.

In Syracuse, both the Downtown Market on Tuesdays (8-1 pm) and CNY Regional Market on Park St. (Thursdays and Saturdays 7 am- 2 pm) accepts EBT benefits and Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program benefits. Stop by the Visitor center to redeem benefits for special tokens that can be used at the Regional market all summer.

Visit our Nutrition Educators at the CNY Regional Market on Park St. each Thursday this summer between 11 AM-1:30PM. Sample seasonal produce recipes, learn tips to select, purchase, prepare and store produce picks of the week!

For a complete list of Farmer’s Markets for 2017 in New York State visit:

In addition to farmer’s markets, you can find fresh, local produce at road side stands or CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture). To learn more about the fruits and vegetables that are fresh and in abundance each season, visit the USDA’s website,  Type in Seasonal Produce.

Try this tasty, low cost recipe for fresh sweet corn! Note- no cooking needed!

Fresh Corn Salad

Makes 6 – 3/4 cup servings

5 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut off (do not cook)

1 red onion diced

1 green pepper, finely diced

3 Tbsp.  olive oil

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves- cut into thin strips

  1. Toss the corn kernels in a large bowl with the onion, green pepper, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  2. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil.
  3. ENJOY!!!

Funded by USDA. This institution is an equal opportunity employer. El USDA es un proveedor y empleador que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.