It is a struggle in a prepackaged world with jets and ocean liners bringing everything we can possibly desire from the four corners of the globe right into our little community. Whereas the local harvest is selected at the peak of ripeness, it’s conventional counterparts are picked well before maturity and prior to maximal development of nutrition and flavor.
Calorie per calorie seasonal local produce outmatches its conventional cousins in nutrient density – and that’s just for starters. This nutrient density is essential for vibrant optimal health.
Seasonal eating is a subtle ~ and to be honest – difficult at times – asceticism yielding patience. The satisfaction of what nourishes us presently, along with the patience of the anticipation of the delicious nourishing foods of the next season…It is the patience that a connectedness to our landscape fosters. At the moment our table is laden with lots of squashes, broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower and beets.
Despite cool weather, winter gardens can yield a bounty!! They are also a traditional way to add sustainability and some distance from the industrial food chain into ones diet!
Plotting a little Victory Garden in your back yard is easier than you might think!
Although it is January in Virginia, there are kale, lettuces, carrots and fennel growing quite nicely in this Victory garden! Not quite enough to feed the entire family, but a great supplement to our meals!
Our eggs, meat and dairy are local, all within 300 miles of home. With the help of a little Victory Garden, local Winter CSA’s and our community market, enjoying the bounty of our local food shed despite winters chill, is a reality.
Depending where you live, winter is likely a time of scarcity. When unable to find food from your own state, try to stay as close to your own geography as possible. Our first choice is from our tri-state area, and we venture out from there, trying to stick with the eastern seaboard. That said, if we want oranges, we chose those grown in Florida rather than California.
Once we tire of our winter vegetables which are remarkably sweet if you can rustle them up locally, the harvest will be over, and we will again begin to savor the first spring vegetables – which cleanse the body and coincide with the beginnings of Great Lent ~ which cleanses the body and the soul.
Whole foods and seasonal eating ~ good for the local farmers, our pastoral responsibilities to our land and the nourishment of our bodies…
reprinted – originally posted January 2013