Posted: 09/13/2023 | by Tori

Lancaster County's Seasonal Produce Guide

You must know the optimal times and locations to acquire the freshest produce.

Fresh produce is highly valued in Lancaster County, where farmers offer their abundant harvests at local markets and farm stands. Chefs take advantage of the freshest offerings to add to their menus, which change with the seasons. It's a beautiful thing when passionate growers share their hard work with their community.

If you're looking for tomatoes and strawberries at their peak, or you're uncertain about what seasonal eats to pick up during the winter, our harvest guide can help you. As you pass by the fields and farm stands, be sure to keep your eyes out for these fruits and vegetables, picked at the peak of freshness, just waiting to be enjoyed.

January/February: Celery

Even in the chilly months, there’s something growing in Lancaster County. For the beginning months of the year, we’re celebrating celery. This veggie is great for snacking, in soups and stews, and in salads. Stop by Lancaster Central Market for some crisp celery, plus recipe ideas and tips from the many celery experts!

March: Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a versatile crop that can be grown indoors, making them the perfect choice for cold weather. Pennsylvania boasts great soil for these fungi, which makes it the ideal location for mushroom cultivation. In fact, Kennett Square in Pennsylvania is known as the mushroom capital of the world, where they produce millions of pounds of mushrooms each year. With its unique growing conditions and delicious taste, mushrooms have become one of the most popular crops in Pennsylvania and around the world.

April: Asparagus

Have you ever seen how asparagus grows? It's a fascinating sight to behold! The stalks sprout right out of the ground, waiting to be harvested and roasted. Make sure to pick some up at one of our Farmers Markets and serve it with your spring dinner.

May: Rhubarb

Spring's prized crop is a tart vegetable known as rhubarb. It's commonly paired with sweeter fruits like strawberries or made into jam with a generous amount of sugar. Kitchen Kettle Village hosts a two-day festival to celebrate the rhubarb festival which includes plenty of tasty treats, fun activities, and the world's only rhubarb race car derby.

June: Strawberries

June brings juicy, red strawberries to the fields and farm stands across Lancaster, PA. Strawberries are actually the first fruit to ripen each year. For the chance to wander the fields and pick your own, visit Cherry Hill Orchards, Kauffman Orchards, Village Farm Market, and many more.

July: Tomatoes & Corn

July is a great month for foodies as it brings along two delicious crops: corn and tomatoes. These can be found at most roadside stands and farmers' markets.

Tomatoes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, ranging from small cherry tomatoes to bumpy purple heirlooms. Washington Boro hosts the Annual Tomato Festival in mid-July, where you can indulge in mouth-watering tomato dishes and enjoy family-friendly activities.

Now, let's talk about corn. Sweet corn continues to be harvested well into August and September. Late July is when the corn starts showing up in abundance at farm stands. If you're looking for great deals, head to the Corn Wagon in Millersville, PA. The corn fields also offer a fun family activity with mazes carved through them, like the one at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm and Oregon Dairy.

Find Corn Mazes

August: Watermelon

Watermelon is a juicy and sweet fruit that is known for its refreshing taste and high water content. Which makes it perfect for those hot August days in Lancaster, PA. Watermelon can also be used in a variety of recipes, including fruit salads, smoothies, and desserts. If you find slicing a watermelon challenging, Lancaster Online's article offers step-by-step instructions for cutting watermelon "sticks" that make eating this delicious fruit easier and cleaner.

September: Apples

Fall is in the air - and there are plenty of apples just waiting to be picked. Orchards around the county grow a variety for baking, saucing, and snacking, and can guide you to the apples that will fit your taste and purpose. Orchards like Cherry Hill Orchard and Kauffman Orchards even offer hayrides for added family fun. Apples can continue to be harvested throughout November at some orchards.

October: Pumpkins

October is the perfect time to pick pumpkins here in Lancaster County. You can find pumpkins and gourds in our fields or at roadside stands like Fisher's Festivals. Whether you want to carve jack-o-lanterns or make pies, you'll find the perfect variety. If you're looking for an adventure, check out one of the fantastic pick-your-own farms and explore the patch yourself.

November: Kale

The mighty leafy green that reigns supreme in the fall. As the crisp autumn air sets in, farmers begin to harvest bundles of kale that can be used for a variety of purposes. Whether you prefer to use it in your favorite fall recipes or incorporate the design of kale into your home decor, this versatile vegetable is a must-have for the season. With its rich green color and hearty texture, kale adds a touch of earthy elegance to any dish or arrangement. So, hail to kale in November, and let us celebrate the wonders of this beloved autumnal crop!

December: Beets

You can’t beat the beets in December in Lancaster, PA. Root vegetables, like beets, are a common winter harvest as they get plucked from the freezing ground. If you’re in search of the perfect jar of pickled beets, head to Kitchen Kettle Village’s Jam & Relish Kitchen. They also have great recipes to jazz up their traditional canned variety.

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