It certainly doesn’t feel like it in Arizona with our high summer temperatures, but we’re “rounding the bend” toward another flavorful fruit and vegetable season. One of my favorites is fall. This also means our Arizona farmers have already plotted and planned their fall season plantings. Right now, fall vegetable seeds are sprouting in the greenhouse before transplanting takes place. 

When I think of these seasonal shifts in agriculture, I think of something Local First Arizona’s Patty Emmert often says. “The consumer is demanding flavor and seeking the health benefits in food and farmers are responding with new varieties with high flavor profiles,” she explains. 

A high flavor profile is another way of saying, vegetable varieties are grown for the peak of flavor and freshness. This also brings on the discussion of eating with the seasons: Whatever season you’re in, spring, summer, fall, and winter, eat what’s in season at that time. 

So, keep in touch with Arizona’s growing seasons and pay attention to what’s locally grown. 

“That plate of food is the connection to farming, nutrition, and the environment,” adds Emmert.  “I believe we have a future that with continued understanding and education about the challenges our producers face in growing food, the consumer will understand the “true cost” of that food and begin to support producers. At the end of the day, it is our farmers and ranchers that tend the land and feed us so we must ensure that their work is sustainable; in earning a living and in tending the land.”

Arizona Farm Bureau’s Fill Your Plate posts weekly nutrition articles and features four searchable databases to find Farmers’ Markets, farm and ranch products, recipes, and farms to visit. Plus, our seasonal charts can help you remember what’s growing and when.