The growing season in Alberta, Canada, is relatively short, but many farmers use hoop houses, greenhouses, and other methods of extending harvest time, so you may well find local cucumbers in November and other delightful oddities.
In any case, winter storage (canning and freezing) and root vegetables can keep you eating local produce all winter long. Availability will vary based on your location within the large Canadian province, as well as the specific conditions each season.
There are a number of roadside stands, farmer's markets, and U-pick farms scattered throughout Alberta—you can find great produce in the denser population centers of Calgary and Edmonton—as well as outlying mountain areas and prairie lands. You might even want to consider one of the numerous harvest festivals in the fall.
July through October is the general harvest season, with different varieties being picked at different times. Since apples are storage-friendly you may well find local versions for months after harvest. This lists the typical availability of most fruits and vegetables in Alberta and the best times to visit U-pick farms and farmer's markets for these types of produce.
- Apples: July through October
- Asian pears: August through October
- Asparagus: May and June (the use of hoop houses can force these to emerge earlier in the spring, so keep your eyes open)
- Beans: July through September
- Beets: July through October
- Blackberries: July and August
- Blueberries: July and August
- Brocolli: June through October
- Brussels sprouts: September through November (if you buy them at markets you may find them still on the stalk—while striking and convenient, take them off the stalk, wrap them loosely in plastic, and pop them in the fridge once you get home for the best storage)
- Cabbage: July through November
- Cantaloupe: July through September
- Carrots: July through November
- Cauliflower: July through September
- Celery: July and August
- Cherries: June and July
- Corn: August and September
- Cucumbers: July through September
- Eggplant: July through September
- Gooseberries: July and August
- Greens and herbs: June through October
- Lettuce: June through September (hothouses and other methods can greatly extend the lettuce-growing season, so if you see them at other times, be sure to ask)
- Nectarines: July and August
- Pears: August through October
- Peas: July and August
- Peppers: July through September
- Potatoes: June through October (as with apples, potatoes are harvested over a fairly long spell, and then can be kept in cold storage even longer, so you may see locally grown potatoes available through the winter)
- Pumpkins: September and October
- Raspberries: July through September
- Rhubarb: June through August
- Saskatoons: July through August
- Strawberries: July and August
- Summer squash: July through September (the blossoms come into season a bit earlier—let farmers know if you are interested in buying them since in many cases the blossoms get tossed).
- Tomatoes: July through September
- Wild mushrooms: Spring through fall (foragers may bring these lovelies to farmer's market when most available.) Most mushrooms greatly depend on the weather over the course of the year. For best availability, you should contact a forager directly, since they may be able to tell you what the mushroom forecast looks like.
- Winter squash: August through October