This week’s cooler weather means that we still have a pretty good variety of spring produce available – check it out here.
As we launch into another warm week, however, it’s time to start thinking about saying goodbye to those spring vegetables. Cauliflower is gone, the last of the broccoli has been harvested, just a few turnips and radishes remain in the ground. The lettuce is ok for now, but will soon be bolting – producing flowers rather than continuing to put on luscious, delicious leaves.
When you eat seasonally and locally, it really helps you to value and appreciate the food you’re eating. Sure, these days you can get just about any food you want at any time of the year, but with that you lose a sense of anticipation for the coming season. I’m already thinking ahead to the coming weeks when I won’t have huge, farm-fresh salads for lunch every day. But after the heat of the summer passes, I know that fall will bring another crop of beautiful lettuce, and a wide variety of root vegetables to dice and toss into the lettuce mix. And summer will bring a whole different realm of foods that I haven’t enjoyed for almost a year – eggplant pizza rounds, okra stews, tomato salads, squash and onion casserole. I’m drooling already in anticipation of my summer meals.
Eating seasonally didn’t come naturally to me at first; it was a lot of work, and required creativity and a willingness to, among other things, learn to cook greens into every meal I made (ok, I have not made the leap to putting kale in my oatmeal – but it does go into my daily smoothie!). But now that I’ve been doing it for several years, and especially now that I grow so many different types of vegetables, I don’t look at grocery store produce the same anymore. Lettuce from California? Sure it may be pretty, it may even be organic – but no, thanks. I’ll wait until it’s back in season in Georgia. However, I’m not a fanatic, I do make exceptions to seasonal and local eating, especially for things that I can’t produce. That asparagus from who knows where? I’ll buy it once or twice a year as a treat. After all, I love asparagus, but it does not grow well in the heat of south Georgia.
I realize I’m somewhat of an anomaly in my approach to food, and that makes me a little sad. As a society, we’ve grown used to unreasonably inexpensive food, and expect it to be available year round. I know I alone can’t change this paradigm, but I hope that by having Calamint Farms around as a local grower striving to provide high-quality, organically grown produce, that maybe a few others will see the joy in eating fresh, seasonal, local food. So join me, it’s quite an adventure!