Eating in Season
Have you ever considered buying a bushel of potatoes or onions? Do you ever visit the local orchard and buy a half bushel of apples and a peck of pears? Did you know that winter squash can be stored all winter in your closet (65 degrees or so)?
Upstate New York is one of the best farming and gardening regions in the US. We have plenty of rain, long summer days for rapid growth and very good soil. Within a few miles of your house, if not in your own yard, there is a tremendous bounty to eat all year round. Foods eaten in season are sensational, bursting with freshness, flavor, color and nutrients. We know that about tomatoes. Many people will patiently wait until the “real” tomatoes hit the shelves before spending their food dollar. It is true of every fruit and vegetable. If you wait until the produce is at its peak, it is less expensive and can be purchased in bulk to preserve for other times of year. Even though fresh is best, onions, garlic, potatoes, winter squash, beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes are fresh here all winter. When stored properly, they loose few nutrients and no flavor.
Some of the best reasons to eat in season are satisfaction, excitement, variety and anticipation. When you only have asparagus in May and June, you really, really enjoy it. You can eat it every day and never tire of it because it was a long time since you had it and you know that it will be a long time before you have it again. It is truly exciting to have the first locally grown melon, sweet, juicy, messy, wonderful. You can never be bored with the food choices because they are always changing, each month new wonderful tastes are available. Sometimes in April, one may think, “I don’t care if I every see another winter squash or potato”. By October you are ready, even looking forward to the pumpkin pie and the baked squash. What you can’t have anything you want, when you want it? You can, but if you choose to eat with the seasons you will feel better about that choice and it will be like so many other things in life that are better if you wait for them.