Can you eat seasonal food in winter?

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eat seasonal food calendarI find it quite incredible how the wonderful Change the World Wednesday challenges Small Footprints comes up with, always stimulate some thought (and often guilt!) in me.

Often she comes up with the very thing that has been nagging at my conscience and this week is no exception.

But back to last week, when I promised I would take daily photos of my trash. That didn’t happen, but I DID take a look through and see how I could reduce landfill waste.

What I discovered was that, due to an exceptionally busy lifestyle at the moment, I’m buying into convenience. Rather than visit individual shops and independent retailers I’m getting a home delivery from a supermarket. <gasp>

Many packaging items are ok – they are tins, cardboard or glass that can be recycled easily but it’s the things like pizza, ham or cheese – things that I used to make or buy in my own containers from the deli or the butcher that is creeping back in. In all honesty, without finding the secrets to bending time or employing a PA I can’t see my situation changing for a few months.

Anyway, back to this week’s challenge:

This week develop a strategy which will ensure that you and your family enjoy local produce next winter. Need some suggestions? Plan a garden with preserving in mind. Consider freezing, drying, canning, etc. and start gathering the items/tools you’ll need to accomplish it.

Visit your farmer’s market and learn about the items which they’ll have available and when they will arrive for purchase. If you are a member of a CSA, talk to the farmer about your goals and see how he/she can help. This week is all about planning with the goal of having local produce on your plate next winter.”

Wow, that feels huge, but it is something that is frequently on my mind. I mean, if the world economy were to grind to a halt tomorrow, I’d pretty much be in a challenging situation, to say the least, when it came to feeding my family at meal times!

One thing we have done is taken receipt of 4 new chicks! These are coming along well and should be ready to lay at the beginning of summer. My garden is a mess and every year I set goals and plans to make it productive but apart from when Little Miss Green was a tot and I was a full time Mum, (and she took long naps), it’s been pretty much a haven for weeds and wildlife.

I do preserve stuff – sometimes. A couple of years ago I dried apples which we are still eating today. And I still have apple pies, green beans and blackberries in the freezer from two seasons ago.

So it’s better than some, but by no way something we could live from.

I’m not sure where to go with this plan. What I do is support my local organic farm shop – I go there weekly after receiving the dreaded weekly supermarket shop delivery. So I pretty much know what’s in season. [If you’re unsure, check out this fantastic seasonal eating calendar] I’m lucky in the UK because we get all the delicious root veg such as maincrop potatoes, carrots and beetroot to eat along with amazing leeks and cabbages. I love all of those but in terms of protein, if we were to eat locally, it would be back to meat and off a veggie diet.

Hmmm, so much to think about. I think this will definitely have to be a ‘good enough’ challenge, where 20% is better than nothing.

What about you – can you eat seasonal food all year round?


  1. EcoGrrl on March 15, 2013 at 5:38 am

    What about all the greens you can grow in the winter like kale and chard and, in many areas, spinach? Also, protein doesn’t just come from meat – eggs, yogurt, nut butters, quinoa – there’s a ton you can supplement with winter veggies that don’t involve eating mass quantities of meat 🙂

  2. Mairi Stones on March 16, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Like you my garden needs attention. But it is my intention to grow more becuase where I live eating seasonally and without much packaging is a massive challenge in the water. Our local veg box scheme only runs in the summer months so I’m left with supermarkets in the winter as no green grocer in the town. Sadly the organic veg is all packaged so our bin is full of plastic. As this bothers me so much I am planning a lot more winter veg. X

  3. CelloMom on March 19, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Take heart: it seems to me that between your farm shop and your chicks you’ll be set for the coming winter! I hear that a steady diet of vegetable scraps inspires chickens to the laying of lots of eggs. If you have a slow cooker that will take you a long way?

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