The Manitoba growing season is relatively short, but many farmers use hoop houses, greenhouses, and other methods of extending harvest time, so you may well find local eggplant in November and other oddities. In any case, winter storage and root vegetables can keep you in local produce well into winter with some planning. Availability will, of course, vary based on your exact location within the large province, as well as the specific conditions each season.
, July through October. You'll likely find apples well past the harvest season, since many varieties store well.
ASPARAGUS, May and June. Here's a vegetable with a harvest season that can really be quickened or extended through the use of hoop houses and other methods.
, July though September. Green beans and similar pole beans will come to market first, followed by shelling beans later in the season.
BEETS, July through March. Early season baby beets will be followed by mature beets (look for ones with their greens attached!), and then storage beets through the winter.
BLUEBERRIES, July and August. Look for bright, plump berries.
BROCCOLI, June into October. If full heads with leaves still attached are available, know that those leaves can be cooked just like kale.
, September through November. If you're lucky, you'll find them sold on the stalk!
, July through March. Cabbage that gets "kissed" by frost tends to be sweeter, so it can be at its best in late fall.
It stores well, which is how you'll find it through the winter.
, July through March. During harvest, look for carrots sold with their greens attached (although know to separate the carrots from their greens when you get them home; both will last longer that way).
CAULIFLOWER, July through September.
Like broccoli, cauliflower leaves can be cooked to tasty effect.
, August and September. Don't forget to use any attached leaves in a salad—they're tasty, too.
CORN, July into September. Choose corn that feels heavy for its size and has fresh looking and tightly closed husks.
CUCUMBERS, July into September. As with most vegetables, choose cucumbers that feel heavy for their size.
, July through September. Look for eggplant with smooth, tight, shiny skin.
GREENS, June through October. Tender greens come to market earlier, with hardy greens being harvested into fall.
LETTUCE, June through September. Various lettuces do very well in greenhouses, so extension of this season is pretty common.
, June through September. Cured onions—lightly dried to store—are available through the winter.
PEARS, August into October. Look for smooth skins and know that ripe pears will smell like ripe pears!
, June through September. Pea greens or tendrils may be available earlier in the season as farmers thin the fields.
, July into September. Odd shapes are fine—even fun—when it comes to peppers, but you always want to look for smooth, shiny skin and peppers that feel heavy for their size.
, June into October. Like other root vegetables, potatoes store very well when kept in a cool, dry place, so you will find them available through the winter, too.
PUMPKINS, August into November. Know that sweet, eating pumpkins are different from (and more expensive per pound) that field pumpkins commonly sold for carving.
, June through August. They tend to get spicier as the season wears on.
, July into September. Plump berries are the name of the game, as are containers without any sogginess or musty smell.
RHUBARB, June into August. Firm stalks are what you want—they should stay rigid when held at one end and have very little give when bent.
, August through March. As root vegetables, they have the staying power of being able to the stored for awhile, hence their availability through the winter.
STRAWBERRIES, June into September. As with other berries, don't rinse these fruits until you're ready to eat them!
TOMATOES, July into September. When they start to ripen, tomatoes tend to come to market fast and furious, in giant piles ready to can.
, August through March. Even earlier in the year you may see baby turnips, usually with their greens still attached, for sale.
WILD RICE, year round. Harvest takes place in the fall, so look for freshly cured wild rice then.
WINTER SQUASH, August through February. Some varieties store beautifully and will be available through the winter.
, July through September. These prolific veggies are great raw in salads or cooked in all kinds of ways.