If you’re the sort of person who buys cherries in the winter and asparagus in the fall, then throws a fit because they taste like dirt, these posters are for you.
Russell Van Kraayenburg’s Produce Calendars offer a complete guide to seasonal fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Each type of produce is rendered as a bar that rings a bullseye. The bullseye visualizes the months and seasons. The length of the bar, and where it falls around the bullseye, reveals when, precisely, a fruit or vegetable is ripest. So here, you see cherries represented by a relatively short bar from May to June. At a glance, then, you know to avoid them—no matter how juicy the lighting at Albertson’s makes them seem—until spring rolls around. Granted, it’s not a beautiful chart and it’s not particularly easy to read—just a simple Gantt chart would have been better—but there’s a dearth of tools like this one.
For Van Kraayenburg, a self-described creative director, photographer, and foodie, the calendars are about more than just saving your tastebuds. They can actually help promote good health. "Though you may be able to find just about every type of fruit, vegetable or herb everyday of the year in the grocery store, a majority of those items are not in season," he says on his website. "If you are buying a strawberry in December, you are likely purchasing a fruit that was picked six months ago and stored in a climate controlled facility. Or you are buying a berry that has spent the last few weeks in a shipping container as it trekked halfway across the globe from somewhere in the southern hemisphere. This extra time between picking and eating means loss of nutrients, flavor and quality and an increase in cost and carbon footprint."
Produce Calendars are available for fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Buy a print for $20 here.