Sustainable Summer Foods

Well then, what can I eat
in the summer months?

As we mentioned back in our previous post on what doesn’t qualify as a seasonally sustainable food in the summer months, it only seemed fair to provide a list of fruits and vegetables that can be found in abundance in summertime. Some of these are only available in certain regions, so be sure to check this guide to confirm what's available in your area. Special thanks to Molly Watson at About Food, and also to Eat the Seasons for much of this information.


Harvested late spring through fall.

Look for cobs with the husk intact. The husk should be green and fresh and conceal fine, silky threads.” - Eat the Seasons

Photo courtesy of Suttons Seeds

Summer and early fall.

Look for cucumbers that are very firm and rounded right to the ends. Avoid any that have withered, shriveled tips.” - Berkeley Wellness

Photo courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Summer and early fall.

Choose eggplants that feel heavy with smooth, taut, unblemished skin and fresh-looking unwithered green stalks.” - Eat the Seasons

Photo courtesy of Bonnie Plants

Spring and early summer.

Look for pods that are full but not bulging -- overly mature peas are tough and starchy and not nearly as sweet as smaller ones.” - Cookthink

Photo courtesy of Wallpapers Wide

Early to late summer.

Look for plump, heavy tomatoes with smooth skins. They should be free of bruises, blemishes, or deep cracks, although fine cracks at the stem ends of ripe tomatoes do not affect flavor.” - Berkeley Wellness

Photo courtesy of SiamMandalay


Mid to late summer until fall.

Apples should be firm with taught unbroken skins. Many varieties have naturally freckled or dull matt surfaces - don't shy away from those without the high-sheen finish supermarkets have led us to expect.” - Eat the Seasons

Photo courtesy of Typewriter Monkey Taskforce

End of summer to early fall.

Look for plump, dry, darkly-colored fruit that are neither too firm nor too squishy.” - Eat the Seasons

Photo courtesy of Edible Landscape Guru

Mid to late summer.

Choose figs that are richly colored, plump and soft but with unbroken skins. At peak ripeness they may be covered with a light, fuzzy bloom.Eat the Seasons

Photo courtesy of Nutritious Life

Mid summer.

Choose fruit that yield slightly to pressure: firmish fruit are fine but hard fruit should be avoided.Eat the Seasons

Photo courtesy of Mother Jones

Late spring through early fall.

 “Plums should be plump, smooth and well colored. Ripe plums yield to gentle pressure and have an inviting aroma.Eat the Seasons

Photo courtesy of Mobile Cuisine

Hungry for more information? You can find it here:

10 Great Summer Vegetables (About Food)

Eat the Seasons

Guide to Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables (About Food)

Summer Fruits and Vegetables (About Food)

Sweet Summer Fruit (About Food)