Local food should be particularly fresh as the time spent travelling will be short. Short journeys can also mean better care of our planet as fewer greenhouse gases may be emitted than when transporting food from distant places in the world.
By eating local and seasonal food, we also learn about each crop and its relationship with the cycles of nature.
- Spinach isn’t too fussy. It is hardy and can grow all year round, whether it is hot or cold outside.
- Carrots can be put to sleep under straw and black plastic in late autumn so that they can be harvested in January and February.
- Lettuce, one of the oldest known vegetables, and probably introduced in the UK by the Romans, is a member of the daisy and thistle family. It must be eaten fresh since it can’t be frozen, dried or pickled.
- Beetroot can remain in the soil, waiting for the time it is needed.
- Broccoli is often the subject of jokes, but it is a ‘superfood’ that can be planted in early spring and harvested throughout the summer and autumn.
- The asparagus plant looks just like the asparagus on our plates.
- The pea is green when eaten because it is picked before it is ripe. A ripe pea is more yellow.
- The potato contains nearly all the vitamins and minerals needed for life.
- Rhubarb comes up year after year and can be harvested in early spring and late summer. The stems are delicious, but the leaves are poisonous.
- Strawberries have pretty flowers during the spring and then give tasty fruit in early summer. The whole plant is edible.
- Raspberries have many different varieties with wonderful names like Polka, Joan J, Glen Ample, Autumn Treasure, and Valentina. Some raspberries give fruit in the summer, and some in the autumn.
- Sowing seeds of a crop over a period of a month or so can lead to a harvest period that lasts just as long!