Seasonally and locally grown produce

farmers marketsBuying what is in season is better for many reasons. Your health is one good reason. Many people feel you need to eat with the rhymes and weather changes. In the winter food tends to be heavier and starchier like parsnips, turnips or pumpkins. In summer the vegetables are lighter and more fluidly like cucumbers and tomatoes. Reflecting what the body needs with the changing temperatures.

Secondly, buying and eating what’s in season supports our farmers and producers, making sure farming survive well into the future. It’s well known that buying what’s in season is cheaper, saving you money. Then there is the fact that it’s much more eco-friendly to eat seasonally as the food hasn’t flown halfway around the world.

I love our supermarkets I’m not knocking them but getting produce from your local farmers market or farm shop is even more eco-friendly. The food has hardly travelled at all. In the case of the supermarkets, food will often travel to central warehouses ready for distribution. Another consideration is the flavour of locally produced food. From farm to farmers market or farm shop is a very short time, this ensures the produce is really fresh, maintaining more of its flavour.

I am sometimes asked how do we know what is in season and what’s not. There are long lists available on the internet but I personally keep it simple. A rule of thumb, if it’s grown in Britain, or grown in Ireland if you live in Ireland then it’s generally in season. I say generally because some farmers have extended growing seasons because of sophisticated greenhouses with computer controlled environments. You have to decide how far you want to take this. I am happy buying what is grown in my country (no long list needed) and if it’s organic then that is even better. I try where ever possible to buy organic.

If you see seasonal produce on special offer it is worth considering preparing some for the freezing.

 

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