2 years ago I did not know what “eating seasonally” meant. I was having a health crisis, a mental crisis, and trying to juggle so many things at once. As I learned to slow down my day-to-day life with elements such as gardening, starting my mornings outdoors, and seasonal eating; my life started to take a turn for the better. For the first time in a very long time, might I add.
In short, eating seasonally means eating what is in season at that time. It seems so simple, right? Wrong. With our current mainstream food supply system and grocery store options, we can pretty much eat whatever we want at any time of the year with a handful of exceptions.
As I began to grow our own food, I noticed a trend in what was available at different times in regards to my backbreaking effort.
I noticed that salad greens were non-existent in my climate during the summer/winter months. So why was I inhaling salads as if it was the only means of health June-September?
Cruciferous vegetables fall into that same spring/fall abundance category. What is interesting about this to me is greens/brassicas/herbs are all packed with micro-nutrients that give our bodies a solid boost coming out of those winter months where our ancestors would live primarily off of hunted game and what little they preserved in fat, sun dried, cured, or froze in the snow. And if you’ve ever read anything about this topic you know that fat preservation is not only good for you, (Our bodies need fat during the winter as a source of energy) but super effective to keep meats and things from spoiling.
Then comes summer where the summer squash, tomatoes, green beans, corn, melons, etc. come to fruition which packs in the electrolytes (perfect for dealing with the summer heat) and hydration factor.
The more I delved into this ancestral way of eating, the more I realized how to nourish my body the way it was designed to be nourished and not this constant overload of nutrients it wasn’t always wanting.
With all of that being said, I would like to add that I am thankful for modern technology that allows us to extend the life of various foods like meats and vegetables, even fruit so that living is not as intense as it once was. We don’t fret if we lose an entire crop of tomatoes to a bad growing year or corn that deer eat all of the heads off thus producing no fruit.
We have options, all of which I am thankful for. All of which I utilize.
However, I know not to seek out watermelon, regardless of craving and availability at the grocery store, in the winter months. It’s out of season, likely shipped from some far away place, and having already lost a good portion of nutrients present right after picking.
If our hens stop laying eggs for a period of time, we omit eggs. This isn’t always a bad thing because as our farm has grown, we have 24 laying hens. That’s a lot of eggs to work through day by day (hence why we give them away to friends and family!).
There is also the emotional satisfaction of knowing I’m eating what I grew. I know exactly what went into my food from seed to plate and that gives me all the feels.
The Summer Season
What are some of your favorite seasonal eats where you live? I would love read them in the comments!