As the weather warms up through spring, the vegetable season moves south and the north comes alive with the tropical fruit for which Queensland is world-renowned.
Whether you’re after a crisp fresh salad, a springtime special or a juicy sweet treat, spring in Queensland has something to offer everyone.
Taste of spring
Spring is a brief pause between Queensland’s winter vegetable season and the summer tropical fruit season, so sometimes it can feel like there is a drop off of the variety available. But never fear, you can still capture the taste of spring with some new-season delights.
Both artichoke and asparagus come to the fore in springtime, and they are great ways to add a touch of class to your meals – even when they are most cost-effective. If you’re stuck on how to cook artichoke or asparagus, check out our advice in Recipes to put spring on your plate.
If you’re feeling nostalgic for the Australia of yesteryear, why not grab some choko! For the uninitiated, choko has a mild flavour and can be compared to a zucchini or squash. This ABC Everyday story has some great advice on how to choose and cook chokos.
It’s not really spring unless we are indundated with glorious strawberries from across Queensland. October is when the local season is at a peak with supplies coming from the Southern Downs, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay. This is the ideal time to stock up and freeze fresh strawberries for use in the kitchen all year round.
During spring, you can expect to see vegetables coming in from growing regions throughout Queensland including the Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley, the Whitsundays and the Atherton Tablelands.
In your leafy greens, look for lettuce varieties, spinach, silverbeet and Asian greens. Beans and peas are particularly good in spring, as is cucumber and spring onion.
You’ll also find plenty of brassica vegetables about, including cabbage, brocolli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Make sure you keep an eye out for special coloured variants, such as the geometric romanesco variety.
Don’t forget! Pop some fruit into your salad to make your creations truly special. Try adding avocado, citrus, stone fruit or melons to add some sunshine to your lunch.
At the start of spring, you’ll find some locally-grown citrus still available, such as limes, lemons, mandarins and oranges. In Queensland, these are grown in places like Mareeba, Gayndah and the Atherton Tablelands.
There’s plenty of pawpaw (round yellow fruit) and papaya (oval red fruit) coming in from Mareeba and the Cassowary Coast during spring, along with Pineapples from Bundaberg and the Sunshine Coast.
Melons are a feature of spring with rockmelon, watermelon and honey dew melon about, coming in from the Burdekin, Central Highlands and the Whitsundays. You’ll also see some table grapes, with varieties coming in from Mareeba and the Central Highlands.
As spring morphs into summer, you can expect to start welcoming the stone fruit season, with goodies such as lychees from Mareeba, stone fruit from the Granite Belt and delicious mangoes, which will start production in the top end from late September, and make their way down the east coast as the weather heats up.