Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Seasonal Celebration and Conscious Consumption

"One of the defining features of our time
is the slow and steady erosion of seasonality."
-Lorraine Johnson, City Farmer

During my pregnancy I've had a few cravings here and there, but nothing too terribly strong. Except I did find myself gazing at various fruits at the grocery store. Longing for them to be on sale. Jumping at the chance to get the occasional "cheap" strawberries or watermelon -- which tended to be those that came from Florida or California versus South America... and weren't really all that "cheap".

About three weeks ago I saw sweet corn in the front and center display, and got a half dozen. One of the [few] things I like about summer is sweet corn. The month of August usually consists of fresh boiled or grilled corn-on-the-cob at every dinner meal.

Wait... August? But this was the end of May... Oh of course, this corn came from the southern U.S...

Lorraine goes on in her book City Farmer to say "As the specificities of seasonal changes get lost, we progress into sameness. And it's in the sphere of food that the loss of seasonality can be felt most acutely. One by one, the foods that once marked a particular period of time -- a window of taste - have devolved into a condition of always available."

As I'm becoming more interested in growing my own food and visiting farmers markets for those foods I don't grow, I start thinking about growing seasons and which crops are ready when during the summer. I know that peas are early, cherries are in July, and zucchini are in August. Sure, all of these foods are available pretty much year-round, thanks to other states and other countries. But have we lost some sense of excitement and anticipation, or "celebration" as Lorraine calls it, in regards to our fresh food? "Ho hum, it's just another pear, like the one I had last month, and the month before that, and the month before that, every month in fact."

Putting aside all conversation about "food miles" (the arguments about how far our food travels before we consume it), don't you agree that a basket of green beans picked five minutes ago from your own backyard or a few ears of corn purchased at your local farm stand just taste so much better when they're in season?

Not to mention those fruits and veggies purchased in season are soooo much cheaper...

I'm thinking I'd like to try and choose the produce I get from the grocery store based on seasonality. It's easy to do at farmers markets or your own garden since that's all that's available... But walking into a regular store and seeing a display of watermelons or asparagus out-of-season can be so tempting...

What do you think? Are you a seasonal produce-eater, or do you enjoy the availability of it year-round?


  1. I generally buy produce that is in season, but sometimes make an impulse buy out of season...and am usually disappointed. Stopping by from the Alexa hop

    1. Yeah that out-of-season produce looks so good on the stand, but once I taste it I question why I ever bought it. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. New follower from GFC. Love for you to follow back when you get a chance.


  3. i won't mind if you don't ever buy that corn from the store again -- it wasn't even close to the same as the Michigan sweet corn we get.

    1. Yeah that Florida corn was only ok... I'll definitely wait till August to buy more!

  4. I try to buy in-season and have just recently began shopping at our local farmer's market. I grew up about 40 miles south of the small town I live in now... and had never heard of farmer's markets. LOL.

    There is nothing like the first bite of something fresh and in season and grown locally.

    Visiting from No Ordinary Blog Hop.


    1. I never went to a farmers market until a year or two ago! And I remember the town I grew up in having a weekly market, but my family never went because we grew such a big garden of our own. Now I love going to them to get those things I haven't had luck growing myself. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I like your blog! Following from a blog hop and hope you will please follow me too:)


  6. I LOVE fruit, and really all produce. I usually buy whatever is in my "buy-price" category. I love to keep my kitchen full of produce. I probably don't stick to what is in-season only, but since I buy by price, maybe it's similar to what's in season. For example, I don't normally buy all the berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), except right now and through the summer when they are a good price.

    I would love to buy more locally. I just finished reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and now I'm trying to figure out what to do with all the information. (Have you read it?) I've seen the lists for the dirty dozen of food, but I LOVE strawberries and buying strawberries organically is $5/pound and non-organic is $0.99/pound. I don't have money to buy the organic! Sigh...

    I'm still trying to figure out where I stand, and then how I can put that into practice.

    1. No I haven't read that one, it sounds very interesting! I'll have to see if I can get it from my library! I agree, it's so difficult to buy organic produce when it's soooo much more expensive than the regular stuff...


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