• 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.

Everybody’s doing it…

Domestic goddess rating: 50% Five-a-day: 4/5 Food miles: about 10 (but lots of cheats)

On the menu: Toast, marmalade & juice (breakfast); paté, bread and salad  (lunch); sausage, chips ‘n’ peas (supper – look, the kids had friends round, OK? No sprouts!)

Enjoying some of my seasonal produce today – home-made marmalade for breakfast, and home-made paté for lunch too. Delish.

It seems I’m not alone in my devotion to seasonal eating. It turns out Sheherazade Goldsmith (great name), mum of three and wife of Zac Goldsmith (a living contradiction in terms in that he edits the Ecologist and is a tub-thumping Tory) also sticks to seasonal fruit and veg. I quote:

“People think that eating seasonally will be very complicated, when, in fact, it is a very natural way of eating.”

And:

“If you think about what you crave in the winter, it’s crumbles and apple pies and Sunday roasts – not cucumber salads and strawberries. And during the summer, all you want to eat is cold, refreshing food. If we all listened to our instincts, we would eat seasonally anyway.”

What’s more, she’s healthier for it:

“My skin has become really good and my immune system is a lot better; I used to get ill all the time, but now it is a rare occurrence… Recently, everyone we knew had flu, but Thyra [her daughter] didn’t get so much as a sniffle. It’s well worth not being able to eat a tomato in January.”

Come to think of it, it’s now nearly spring and neither of the kids, nor I, have had a cold since Christmas. Could it be….?

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