• In season now: May

    New this month: Asparagus! The food of gods... and carrots are back.

    Still in season from last month: cauliflower, chard, green cabbage, salad leaves, main-crop potatoes (from store), salad leaves, sea kale, spring greens, rhubarb

    Goodbye till next year to: Purple sprouting broccoli (sniff, sniff), leeks, stored parsnips, forced rhubarb

  • What I’m doing here

    This all started when I picked the first strawberries from my new allotment.

    I'd never been so enraptured or so excited by food. It was a shock to find that anything could taste so good.

    So what - I'd never had strawberries before?

    No - all the strawberries I'd had were shop-bought, like as not flown in from intensive growers in Spain or Chile, and eaten in winter when strawberries should be a distant summer memory.

    It revolutionised my thinking about the fresh food we eat every day. I started to wonder if you got the same amazing taste from all types of food grown and eaten in season. And then I decided to do something about it.

    The Year of Eating Seasonally is my little experiment to find out what it's really like not to have it all. The only fruit and veg I and my family are going to eat in 2008 will be what's growing in the ground at the time (or, in winter, what I can get out of store).

    I want to find out if the hungry gap is really as hungry as everyone says it is: whether you're really eating nothing but cabbage all winter; and whether you miss strawberries in December.

    Along the way I hope I'll save a few tons of carbon being released into the atmosphere on my behalf, as I won't be requiring those French beans flown from Chile, thanks very much. And I hope I'll be rediscovering what food can really taste like.

    If you have any comments, please feel free to post them anywhere you like - or you can email me at sallywhite@hotmail.com.

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Meaty matters

Domestic goddess rating: 10% Five-a-day: 4/5 Food miles: not too sure really

On the menu: Muesli and juice (breakfast); nibbles at a press do (lunch); pasta and (tinned) tomato sauce (supper)

Not exactly a virtuously seasonal day today – but I was out in London all day at a press conference. There were some fancy nibbles laid on for lunch – eating out is a little tricky when you’re trying to be seasonal as you have to second-guess what’s in everything. But I’m not going to turn down a free lunch so I just picked what I thought fitted the bill.

As you’ll probably have noticed by now, we do eat meat, and meat also follows the seasons to some extent. Being a bit of a seasonal-eating virgin, I’m not too clear as to what’s in season when, but we’ve been doing our little bit to try to fit in to what’s available. So we’ve chatted up the local smallholder, a very friendly and easy-going bloke called Howard who has a small flock of sheep in a field just down the road from us.

He’s been getting his lambs ready for slaughter in the last few weeks or so, and the other day he came up trumps, so we’ve now got one of his year-old lambs in our freezer. It’s great meat, and at £75 for a whole lamb – that’s four good Sunday joints, a good two-dozen chops and a couple of kilos of lamb mince – it’s almost supermarket prices. And best of all, it’s got about half-a-food-mile on the clock. Perfect.


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