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SlowMoneyFarm 8 Week Challenge – Eating Seasonal

August 20, 2012

Eating fresh, local or organic often means an increased view of eating seasonally. We in the USA are blessed with an abundance of food that is plentiful year round.

If we want blueberries in January we import them. Roses in February aren’t an issue – they grow somewhere! The concept of seasonal eating has lessened greatly from when we were a rural society. Traditionally hogs were butchered in the fall, as before refrigeration the cooler temperatures kept the meat fresh longer. Hams were cured to last longer, and a variety of meats were smoked as a means of flavor and food processing.

An increased view in seasonal eating means getting re-acquainted with these traditions. Although refrigeration means we can have meats year round, and we can extend the season on our own, it still is limited by when the produce grows. What this is can vary greatly from southern California to the midwest to the mountains!

Generally speaking, seasonal eating map guide that you can look by your location can be found here. Expect greens in spring, root crops in fall, fruits during summer. Nuts are often harvested in late summer or fall.

Can fruits and taking your own steps to preserving can make the most of spreading the harvest, holding to eating locally and eating seasonally without waste. Canning, freezing and dehydrating all make a big difference in the foods we have available in our own kitchen, without compromising the ideals we seek to follow.

This also means stocking up more, looking differently at the food we choose. Have an increased appreciation for those growing your food, and do what you can for yourself. If you think about it eating seasonally isn’t restrictive – it’s empowering! It allows you to learn when fruits and vegetables are ripe naturally – and the different types of each.

For example there’s early, mid season and late varieties of fruits such as peaches, apples, berries and cherries. Each may have a distinctive flavor and you may explore the difference of heirlooms and common varieties grown today. Think about where and how the food you eat was grown.

Explore the food map! It begins, like any journey, one step at a time.

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