Bet­ter ingre­di­ents help you cook bet­ter food, and pro­duce that’s in sea­son where you live is gen­er­al­ly bet­ter than pro­duce that’s endured a jour­ney of thou­sands of miles before reach­ing your kitchen.

You hear this advice again and again — in cook­books, on cook­ing shows, in online arti­cles. Sim­ple enough, except as a city dweller, it’s not exact­ly obvi­ous what’s in sea­son and what’s not. There’s the oft-advised look to see what’s on sale in your pro­duce sec­tion,” but I’m not con­vinced. It tells you what the retail­er wants to get rid of, pos­si­bly for any num­ber of rea­sons, among them that the pro­duce might be about to go bad — exact­ly the oppo­site of the desired outcome.

Thus began my quest to dis­cov­er what is, in fact, in sea­son here in west­ern Wash­ing­ton state. Among the resources I found: the Wash­ing­ton State Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (PDF), PCC, Pick Your Own, The Spruce Eats, and Seat­tle Neigh­bor­hood Farm­ers Mar­kets. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, infor­ma­tion var­ied from one source to the next, and was­n’t pro­vid­ed in a stan­dard, easy-to-work-with for­mat. You can’t sort a PDF, and it is no fun to hunt through an alpha­bet­ized list of more than 150 fruits and veg­eta­bles try­ing to find things marked in sea­son for the cur­rent month. For some rea­son I could­n’t just find a list of here’s what’s in sea­son this month,” either.

So I cre­at­ed a uni­fied Google Sheets spread­sheet. One sortable, fil­ter­able source of infor­ma­tion to rule them all. Each source has their own tab / sheet, and with­in each sheet you can fil­ter by month, sort by name, search, etc — all the things you can do with data in a spreadsheet.

I’ll also be post­ing through­out this year with a list each month of what ought to be in season.

(Obvi­ous caveat: grow­ing sea­sons aren’t set it stone and depend on weath­er, grow­ing con­di­tions and I’m sure many oth­er fac­tors. This is just a rough guide.)