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The Seasons

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Recently there have been inquiries regarding when certain fruits and vegetables will be making their first appearance at local farmers' markets.

This might be a good place for us to to announce discoveries around town or offer general remarks concerning the weather's effects on local growing seasons.

While several markets send out newsletters announcing arrivals and even pass out charts with most of the information you may need, I thought it might be worthwhile to provide the following links:

1) Sustainable Table

This site provides information on seasonal crops in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland if not West Virginia.

2) National Resources Defense Council

This link invites you to choose a state & time of year, specifying early and late periods of each month.

3) Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative

Chart courtesy of growers who sell produce in Washington, D.C.

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Seasonal threads are ready to use. What are they?

Here's how things are organized:

The Farms - Individual farms themselves, which I consider to be the raison d'etre for this forum. When someone finds things from a single stall and wants to mention it, the individual farmer's threads are where they'll get the most visibility and credit.

The Markets - Individual markets, also supremely important and vital. For when you stroll around a single market, and buy several things at several stalls.

The Produce - If someone wants to discuss cardoons, for example, there's a thread just for that.

And finally, The Seasons - what is available around town, and when. Free-flowing conversation - not about any particular farm, or market, or vegetable - would tend to fit naturally into these:

Spring (Mar 21 - June 20) Early Mid Late

Summer (June 21 - Sep 20) Early Mid Late

Autumn (Sep 21 - Dec 20) Early Mid (No thread for Late yet)

Winter (Dec 21 - Mar 20) Early Mid Late

This all might seem terribly rigid, but it's really just an extension of what we do in the Restaurants and Dining forum (which has threads on individual restaurants, areas, and food items). It's a successful model that works, but there's no need to overthink it either - this is, after all, supposed to be FUN and easy to use. So just enjoy, don't worry about it, and I'll accept the burden of organization.

This entire forum was spun off from one single thread (which I'm still in the process of splitting off). It has been a lot of work, but I think it will have been worth it when all is said and done.



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