Seasonality and Availability

Because all of the fruits and vegetables sold in a certified farmers’ market are grown in California, they are limited by their seasonal availability. Certain products, like sweet corn and stone fruit, flourish only during warm weather. Others are only ripe and ready to harvest during cooler months of the year, such as pears and acorn squash.

This is one of the amazing benefits of shopping at a farmers’ market, the products available are constantly shifting with the seasons and are always at their peak of ripeness. But seasonality can also be a challenge for farmers’ markets, especially when trying to serve a population not familiar with the seasonal availability of products or who have become accustomed to the year-round availability of certain products at supermarkets which sell produce imported from South American countries whose growing seasons are the reverse of our seasons.

Outreach and education about seasonality is important to serve this customer base and engage them as farmers’ market shoppers. There are a number of California fresh produce seasonality guides available that can be used as educational tools.

You can find links to several seasonality charts in Appendix D.

A Guide to Opening Small Farmers' Markets in San Jose, California