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Seasonal fruit and veggies

Living in the twenty first century certainly has its perks.  Feel like a mango in the middle of winter?  Just drop by your local supermarket and they’re sure to have one or two in stock.  It’s a great convenience but at what price?

I’m embarrassed to say, that it wasn't until a couple of years back, that I really became aware of seasonal produce. I always knew that peaches, plums and mangoes are the fruits of summer, however, I never made a conscious effort to buy them only in summer. I did notice that they didn’t taste as flavoursome in winter, and that more often than not, the cost was higher, but it’s not something I dwelled upon too deeply.

About four years ago, when I moved into our new home, I decided to start my own veggie garden.  It was then that I really started to take notice of the produce for each season.  I started to realise just how different the produce I was growing at home was, to what I was buying at the local fruit & veggie shop.  For starters, my tomatoes, carrots and broccoli were substantially smaller than the ones in the shops.  Even with a lot of organic fertilizer from cows, chickens and my well feed worm farm, I still haven’t managed to come close.  The size was disappointing but the taste more than made up for it.  I remember the first time I harvested my first corncob; it never made it into the house, we stood around eating it raw in the backyard, and relished the sweetness of the corn kernels.  We’d never tasted anything like it.

You don’t have to grow your own veggies to taste the difference; simply buying seasonal produce that is organic will awaken your taste buds, not to mention the health benefits to our bodies and the earth.

Here are a few facts & benefits of buying seasonal fruit and veggies:

  • Eating seasonally encourages you to buy local produce and helps support your local economy.
  • It encourages variety in your diet and is a great time to discover new ingredients and try out new recipes.
  • Seasonal food plays an important role in our holistic health by providing our bodies with the type of nutrients that are best for us. For example, winter foods, such as pumpkins, apples and oranges, provide a boost of vitamin C which helps combat colds and flu.
  • Scientific studies have confirmed that vegetables picked and frozen while in season are higher in nutrients than off-season vegetables. 
  • Non-seasonal fruits and veggies are transported long distances across the globe, increasing costs for labour, storage and transportation as well as ecological footprint.
  • Most of the fruits and vegetables are picked before they are ripe and refrigerated in order to increase their lifespan and retain ‘freshness’. Both these factors reduce the quality of flavor and nutrients.
  • That foreign born and bred mango you hold in your hand, in the middle of our Australian winter, has managed to increase greenhouse gas emissions, atmosphere pollution and depleted some of the earth's limited energy resources.
  • Some out of season food has been grown in artificial conditions, which reduces the nutritional value.


WINTER

Fruit:
mandarins, pears, bitter melon, walnuts, apples (golden and red delicious, granny smith, fuji), tangelo, pink grapefruit, orange, pineapple, custard apple, tamarillo,

Vegetables:
broccoli, cauliflower, white cabbage, brussel sprouts, spinach, silverbeet, chicory, kale, broad beans, peas, artichoke, horseradish, turnips, swede, celeriac, jerusalim artichoke, shallot, fennel, celery, potatoes, leek, fennel, beetroot, rhubarb


SUMMER

Fruit:
Pears, nashi, apples (jonathon, gala, bonza), cherry, apricot, peach, nectarine, plum, mangoes, yellow and lemon grapefruit, orange (valencia), gooseberry, strawberry, mulberry, blueberry, blackcurrent, redcurrant, blackberry, raspberry, pineapple, prickly pear, lychee, banana, passionfruit, rambutan, watermelon, rockmelon, honeydew melon, grapes, figs.

Vegetables:
Tomato, vine leaves, sorrel, watercress, rocket, marjoram, chervil, basil, mint, runner and snake beans, green beans, borlotti beans, okra, squash, zucchini flower, succhini, choko, cucumber, capsicum, chilli, radish, garlic, red onion, leek, celery, asparagus.


AUTUMN

Fruit:
Pears, nashi, apples (Jonathon, gala, bonza), quince, lime cumquat, pistachio, peanut, hazelnut, almonds, chestnuts, walnuts, pecan, macadamia nut, mangosteen, custard apple, persimmon, feijoa, guava, kiwifruit, pomegranate.

Vegetables:

Red cabbage, Asian greens, lettuce (butterhead, cos, iceberg, lambs lettuce), spinach, silverbeet, chicory, marjoram, avocado, pumpkin, olives, ginger, carrot, parsnip, daikon radish, potato, sweet potato, brown onion, shallot celery, red onion, leek, rhubarb.


SPRING

Fruit:
Loquat, cherry, lemon and yellow grapefruit, tangelo, cumquat, pink grapefruit, orange (Valencia), blood orange, cashew nut, strawberry, mulberry, blueberry, pineapple, pawpaw, lychee, banana. 

Vegetables:
Broccoli, cauliflower, savoy cabbage, Asian greens, lettuce (cos, iceberg), sorrel, watercress, rocket, chervil, basil, mint, broad beans, borlotti beans, peas, avocado, sweet corn, artichoke, zucchini, choko, cucumber, eggplant, capsicum ginger, beetroot, spring onion, garlic, red onion, leek, asparagus.

 




Sources:

 

Sol’s love of the earth undoubtedly started during one of the countless camping trips with her nature loving family. Catching tadpoles, racing long-necked turtles in the creeks in Bingara and baking sweet potatoes in open fires.

Inspired by David Suzuki’s last lecture in 2010, she has over several long and sleepless months, created this site, which she hopes will also inspire people to live healthier lives and create a healthier Earth for the generations to come.

She now lives in Sydney with her soul mate and their two amazing little people who remind her every day that life is awesome!

 


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    Arjay says:

    Reading this makes my decisions easeir than taking candy from a baby.

    8th November 2011 . 7 years ago