Thursday, March 30, 2006

Natural abundance

Raise your hand if you know what fruits and vegetables, etc. are in season? Doesn't it seem like many food items are in season all year round because many grocery stores make them available all year round? I can't stand it because it's confusing and worse yet I think grocery stores intentionally do this. Yeah, things are available all year round but that doesn't mean that fruits and veggies that peak in the summer should be available or eaten in January. It's not the same and it doesn't taste good.

Do you think if children were served fruits and veggies in the appropriate seasons they would like them better? I've been pondering this...

Anyway, I sure didn't know what was in season until a former co-worker sent out this e-mail which I use all the time and carry with me to the grocery store.

"To eat from the local foodshed year round, you must know the growing season. Here is a list of some ingredients and foods that express the lunar months of traditional farmers. This list is adapted from Jessica Prentice's soon-to-be-published Thirteen Moons: Food and the Hunger Connection."

January or February
-Root veggies, braised meats, sauerkraut, winter greens, dried beans, citrus fruits

February or March
-Same as above, plus corned beef, cabbage, asparagus, kiwi

March or April
-Spring tonic greens such as nettles and sorrel, asparagus, artichokes, eggs, lamb

April or May
-Lots of milk, butter and cream, fresh milk cheeses, baby carrots, new potatoes, young beets, snap peas, rhubarb

May or June
-Summer berries, cherries, early summer squash, shelling peas, roasting chicken, lettuces, plums, salmon

June or July
-Honey, sweet corn, tomatoes, fresh lavender, green beans, apricots, salmon, buffalo, beef, homemade ice cream

July or August
-Basil and other fresh herbs, eggplant, peppers, heirloom tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, salmon, cucumbers, melons, grapes

August or September
-Same as above, plus early winter squash and sweet potatoes, okra

September or October
-Pumpkins, potatoes, apples, pears, last of the season's salmon, oyster, figs

October or November
-Pork, Asian pears, persimmons, pomegranates, winter squash, celery

November or December
-Turkey, chestnuts, winter squash, winter greens, celery, rutabagas, parsnips, turnips, beets

December or January
-Roasts, meat stews and soups, Dungeness crab, cabbage, grapefruit

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