Produce is a generalized term for a group of farm-produced crops and goods, including fruits and vegetables – meats, grains, oats, etc. are also sometimes considered produce. More specifically, the term "produce" often implies that the products are fresh and generally in the same state as where they were harvested. In supermarkets the term is also used to refer to the section where fruit and vegetables are kept. Produce is the main product sold by greengrocers, farmers' markets, and fruit markets. The term "produce" is commonly used in the U.S. but is not typically used outside the agricultural sector in other English-speaking countries.
In parts of the world including the U.S., produce is marked with small stickers bearing price look-up codes. These four- or five-digit codes are a standardized system intended to aid checkout and inventory control in produce markets.
Although in most parts of the world some forms of produce are available year-round, produce is at its best and least expensive when in season. The seasonality of produce depends on regional variables such as climate and weather, and the seasons of the year.
Below is a general list of produce seasonality for north of and south of the tropics, including Canada, the United States, Europe, Japan, etc.
Spring fruits are apricots, strawberries, cherries. Spring vegetables are peas (sugar snap and snow) and more delicate cabbages including mustard greens, baby lettuce, baby spinach and watercress. Also in season are artichoke, asparagus, avocado, new potatoes, rhubarb.
Summer fruits include some berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries) and stone fruit (nectarines, peaches, and plums) as well as melons. Summer vegetables include beets, corn, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, tomatoes and zucchini.
Autumn fruits includes apples, cranberries, grapes, figs, pears, and pomegranates. Autumn vegetables include many cultivars of wild cabbage (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, endives, and kale). Root vegetables (garlic, ginger, parsnips, turnips and yams) and winter squash (acorn squash, butternut squash and pumpkins) are also in season. Corn is in season and peas, seasonal in spring, are also seasonal in late autumn.
Winter fruits include citrus (clementines, grapefruit, oranges, and lemons) and pomegranates. Winter vegetables include hardier cabbages (kale, leeks, radicchio, and Brussels sprout). Also seasonal in winter are some root vegetables (rutabaga, turnips, and radishes) as well as winter squash.
- Doyle, Martin (1857). Farm & Garden Produce: A Treasury of Information. G. Routledge & Co. OCLC Number: 39049007
- Microbial Safety of Fresh Produce - Google Books
- The Produce Contamination Problem: Causes and Solutions - Google Books
- Produce Degradation: Pathways and Prevention - Google Books
- Decontamination of Fresh and Minimally Processed Produce - Google Books
- Microbiology of Fresh Produce - Google Books
- Slow food: A Passion for Produce - Google Books
- Melissa's Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce - Google Books
- Procurement and Marketing of Minor Forest Produce in Tribal Areas - Google Books
- Public Produce: The New Urban Agriculture - Google Books
- Global standard for food safety: guideline for category 5 fresh produce (North American version) - Google Books
The dictionary definition of produce at Wiktionary