Your Ballarat Fruit and Veg Guide for September, 2016
Spring is well and truly in the air! As the weather warms up, tender new season vegetables emerge.
Spring salads and greens
Lettuce, radish, and lots of delicate young leaves are available in September. You’ll start to see baby carrots, too, as farmers thin their new season’s crops. Enjoy them in a salad or pile them on a sandwich. Spring is also a top time for spinach, which likes mild weather. For a more intense flavour, try some of the endive and chicory variants that are at their best right now – Italian tradition has them sauted with garlic, or ribboned in a soup.
Fennel for flavour
Fennel is readily available, and has a delicious crisp, fresh flavour with a hint of aniseed. Buy them with their tops on, if you can, and get two vegetables in one: the fleshy bulb, which you can quarter and roast or slice into a salad, and the feathery fronds to sprinkle on a salad or over a soup as a garnish. Soon, wild fennel will be available for foraging too!
Various kinds of fresh peas start appearing at this time of year. Snow peas will have been available through the winter (hence their name – they don’t mind the cold so much), but keep an eye out for snap peas and pod peas as spring warms up. Broad beans will be along soon, too!
This is a fantastic time of year for fresh herbs. Check gardens, markets and produce swaps for parsley, sage, chives, mints, and many others that are waking up after their winter naps. Try mint with peas – a spring classic! And make the most of coriander, which is at its best in spring but quickly goes to seed in hotter weather.
Try to avoid buying…
Some veg, like tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini will be at their best six months from now. If you see them in the supermarket they’ve either been stored that long, shipped from the other side of the world, or grown in heated greenhouses. Same goes for stone fruit, which will ramp up around December. Berries are borderline at this time of year – the first strawbs will be available in parts of Victoria very soon, so keep an eye out and read the labels, and try to buy as local as you can! Raspberries, blackberries and blueberries won’t be with us until summer is truly underway.
Seasonal fruit and veg for September
Here’s what’s in season this month.
- Artichoke (globe)
- Snow peas
- Spring onion
- Avocado (Hass)
- Mandarin (Imperial)
- Oranges (Navel)