Hey, Bud, What's Your Season?
You'd never know it from the variety in most produce departments, but at every time of year, certain fruits and vegetables are simply out of season. That asparagus you're eating was grown halfway across the world, so it sat on umpteen planes, trains and automobiles before reaching your plate.
Find out what the seasonal fruits and veggies are in your area. Plan some meals around these items, bought locally, and see how much fresher they taste. Community Supported Farms will deliver baskets of in-season produce to members regularly. You get whatever they have, fresh and delicious. You can also hit up your local farmer's market to get wonderfully fresh foods from farms within a local radius (here in NY, we're salivating for Honey Crisp apples, available at our market in the fall.)
September is also prime time for figs and blackberries. Eggplant is also best in the fall, and radishes and fennel are both perfect this time of year.
By eating seasonally, not only are you getting the best and freshest foods, you are eating earth-friendly and living healthier! You’ll find delicious recipes for in-season produce at sites like Food Network and 101Cookbooks. Incorporate some seasonal foods into your dinner this week!
I shop the farmer's markets all year long to cook with what's in season. I also shop at local stores in my neighborhood for the things they make themselves, like fresh cheese, fresh bread. I think it's important to put my money into the local economy.
I love the idea of community supported agriculture. You can even find plans that work for singles and couples, so don't think you have to have a large family to make it worth it.
One more reason to shop for produce locally - it's cheaper! We bought all our produce at farmer's markets this summer, and it's amazing how much money we've saved.