Illinois Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Greens at Illinois Farmers Market
John Burke / Getty Images

Sure, the great restaurants in Chicago may get all the foodie attention, but where do those restaurants get all their delicious fruits and vegetables? Illinois farms, if they're lucky. A proud farming history, along with a tradition of kitchen gardens and otherwise growing your own food translates to stunning farmer's markets across the state. Anticipation for fresh produce after harsh winters spurs plenty of interest in eating locally, too. Learn how to make the most of available local produce by knowing what to expect when you get to markets, farm stands, and locally connected stores with this handy guide.

Exact crop availability varies year-to-year, as do harvest times, but this summary will help you know when to look for what at markets near you in Illinois. You can also lookup produce by seasons if you want to know what's available to eat right now.

Seasonal Illinois Produce From A to Z

A to E

  • Apples: July through November
  • Arugula: May through September
  • Asparagus: April through June
  • Basil: July through September
  • Beets: May through October
  • Blackberries: July into August
  • Blueberries: July into August
  • Broccoli: June through October
  • Brussels sprouts: August through November
  • Cabbage: June through November (local harvest available from storage through March)
  • Cantaloupes: August and September
  • Carrots: May through November (local harvest available from storage through winter)
  • Cauliflower: August through October
  • Celeriac/celery root: August through October
  • Celery: August through October
  • Chard: May through September
  • Cherries: June and July
  • Cilantro: June through September
  • Corn: Mid-June through mid-August
  • Cucumbers: July through mid-October
  • Eggplant: July through mid-October

F to K

  • Fava beans: May
  • Fennel: July through September
  • Garlic: August through November
  • Garlic scapes: May and June
  • Grapes: August and September
  • Green beans: July through September
  • Green onions/scallions: June through September
  • Greens (various): May through November
  • Herbs (various): May through October
  • Horseradish: June through November
  • Kale: June through November

L to R

  • Leeks: August through October
  • Lettuce: May through October; specific varieties will vary throughout the season
  • Melons (various): July through September
  • Morels: Spring
  • Mushrooms (cultivated): Year-round
  • Mushrooms (wild): Spring through fall; varies tremendously each year
  • Nectarines: June through September
  • Okra: June through October (it needs serious heat, so harvest times will vary summer-to-summer)
  • Onions: August through October (local harvest available from storage year-round)
  • Parsley: May through September
  • Parsnips: April and May and again in October through November (local harvest available from storage through winter)
  • Pea greens: May and June
  • Peaches: July and August
  • Pears: August through October
  • Peas and pea pods: June through August
  • Peppers (sweet): June through September
  • Persimmons: October
  • Plums and pluots: July and August
  • Potatoes: July through November (local harvest available from storage year-round)
  • Pumpkins: September through October
  • Radishes: May through October
  • Raspberries: June into August
  • Rhubarb: April through June

S to Z

  • Shelling beans: September through October (local harvest available dried year-round)
  • Spinach: May through October
  • Squash (summer): July through October
  • Squash (winter): August through November (local harvest available from storage into spring)
  • Strawberries: June and July
  • Tomatoes: July through October
  • Turnips: August through November (local harvest available from storage through February)
  • Watermelons: August and September
  • Zucchini: July through October
  • Zucchini blossoms: July and August