WHAT IS EATING IN SEASON?
In today’s environment where we are so easily connected by fast transport options it is no surprise that a vast array of fresh produce is available to us all year round.
Having a vegetable garden helped my awareness of what can be grown in each season. It also introduced me to just how fantastic the flavour of vegetables and fruit grown in season can be. There are many times when I have not managed to get a nice crop of seasonal vegetable seedlings planted or there has been a little crop failure or I just don’t have the room. This makes it necessary to purchase my fresh fruit and veg.
It was easy to make the choice to eat consciously by eating what is in season. That way, I can guarantee getting the full flavour and benefit from all the minerals and vitamins I want to get from my fresh produce. Eating all the asparagus I can when in season, tomato salads and sauces galore when in season, roasted beetroot when is season, fejoa desserts, muffins and cakes when in season............its changed the way I eat and I love it.
Your local roadside vege stalls and farmers markets will benefit from your support as these places will be selling what they can grow at the time. Spending the time buying your fresh produce locally, supports your local community businesses. I tend to buy my fresh produce once a week and usually buy more than I need as everything looks so yummy. Being so fresh, I find that this produce lasts a lot longer so I have less waste.
My preference is to eat out at places that base their menu on the produce that is in season too as this indicates that they are conscious of flavour coming from the base produce.
Asparagus in October, strawberries in November, peas in December, courgettes in January, tomatoes in February, watermelon and melon in March, pumpkin and squash in April, fejoas in May, mandarins in June, yams in July, leeks in August, oranges in September.
There are some varieties that are grown most of the year. Cauliflower, broccoli, spring onions, carrots, green cabbage, spinach, rhubarb, lettuce, radishes, sprouts, potatoes.
Spend a minute or two looking at how much of the produce in your local supermarket is from another country. Its an eye-opener if you haven’t noticed it before and many times I have succumbed to the temptation to buy that bag of beans or nectarine for a treat. Problem is that more often than not, that temptation is a big disappointment as the taste I am expecting is just not there. The fact is that the fruit or vegetable that is not currently in season here in NZ, will lack flavour and texture. This is due to it being grown in an environment such as glasshouses where the natural heat and light have not enabled the mature flavour and texture to develop. The other possibility is that the picking process has been done early to ensure the fruit or vegetable will survive the transportation from country to country so once again, the flavour and good nutrients have not developed to full maturity.
Wow.... all these lovely pictures of food are making me hungry!!
In summary, enjoy the flavour of the seasons, support your local fresh produce and cafe/restaurant businesses and gain the benefit of all those vitamins and minerals. Enjoy eating in season.