Ber-months are here! Discover the crops that are in season from September to October.

Alugbati 

Malabar spinach, locally known as alugbati, is one of the nutrient-dense indigenous vegetables in the Philippines. The varieties that are commonly grown here are the Basella alba with green stems and leaves, Basella rubra that has burgundy stems, and a hybrid of the said varieties. Alugbati is a fast-growing crop that can be harvested 30 to 45 days after transplanting. This warm weather-loving crop can be found in abundance from September to October. 

Photo courtesy of Don Bustamante.

Tanglad (Cymbopogon)

Lemongrass or citronella grass, otherwise called tanglad, is a tall herb with multiple uses. The plant has a citrusy scent that gives that fresh aroma and taste to soups, teas, salads, sauces, rice, and other dishes where it is usually infused or added. 

Image by Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay.

Tanglad leaves are utilized as a natural insect repellent, food flavoring, scent, and medicine in many countries, while lemongrass tea is traditionally used to relieve anxiety, headache, and pain. Lemongrass oil is also added to products like soaps, cosmetics, among others. 

Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum)

Rambutan is a seasonal tropical fruit from the Sapindaceae family that is native to Southeast Asia. The fruit’s appearance is similar to lychee except that it is hairy and has a seed inside. In the Philippines, these sweet and bright red fruits are usually consumed raw by locals. Rambutan is in season from August to October. 

Image by falco from Pixabay.

Santol (Sandoricum koetjape)

Santol, or cotton fruit, is another crop that ripens around July to October. It is a yellow-colored fruit with white edible flesh that surrounds the seeds. Its taste can be sweet or sour depending on variety and maturity. 

Photo by whologwhy from Flickr.

Santol is usually eaten with salt for extra flavor. A local dish that features this fruit is sinantolan or ginataang santol.