Part of cultivating a healthy, sustainable food system is to learning eat seasonally and locally.  This means enjoying foods at their seasonal peak. In addition, there is value knowing when produce items are in season as these products are often tastier, healthier, fresher and more economical.  Additionally, eating seasonally encourages a varied diet.

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), Fresh From Florida produce is plentiful! The month of June is especially productive!  June claims:  Fresh From Florida avocado, cantaloupe, carambola, eggplant, guava, lychee, mango, mushroom, oranges, papaya, passion fruit, peanut, potatoes, sweet corn, tomatoes and watermelon!

pink, green, yellow tropical fruit with green leaves

Tropical Fruit Day, 2005. UF/IFAS Photo Source: Thomas Wright.

Most of the listed produce items are pretty conventional.  But what about something not so straightforward like the lychee?

The lychee (Litchi chinensis), linked to the Sapindus genus, is native to warm temperate tropical regions of southern China.  The lychee is harvested ready to eat.  The lychee is covered with a hard, non-edible covering and contains a crisp, juicy, sweet pleasant inner (tasting a bit like a cross between a strawberry and a grape).  Lychee are a great source of nutrients, containing, energy (carbohydrates) as well as vitamins, minerals and fiber.   Lychee can be consumed fresh off the tree, frozen, canned, pickled, dried or even as ingredients in salads, marinades, sauces or desserts.

Try it!  You just might like it! The University Florida UF/IFAS Extension has a great publication if you are interested in growing lychee.    The World Wide Web has a plethora of interesting recipes for the lychee as well that you can check out.

Lychee Growing in the Florida Home Landscape

Florida Crops in Season