Seasonal, local eating is more than just a fad. It’s not even a new idea! It’s the way our grandparents, great grandparents, and great great great great grandparents ate. In fact, the concept of strawberries and tomatoes in January is pretty new!
Why does it matter? Isn’t it awesome that we can have so much choice?
Let’s start with nutrition. When foods are harvested ripe, they are at their peak nutrient value. They’ve soaked up the maximum vitamins and minerals and are most digestible. How does a January tomato taste compared to an August one? How does it feel in your stomach? Local food is picked ripe because it doesn’t have to travel. It’s at it’s best so you can be best nourished. The food of the season is also designed to meet your body’s needs for nourishment in that season. Your needs change between August and January. A fresh tomato is very satisfying and gives your body what it needs in August. It is challenging to your body and requires extra energy to digest in January. Nature’s garden (wild edibles, “weeds”) are even more perfectly designed to meet your body’s needs in the given season, and are more nutrient dense than any green in your garden. Check out the book on the right to learn more about some basic, common weeds and easy ways to incorporate them into your diet.
Does your digestion matter? More than anything! Nature’s garden plants are designed to help your digestion by balancing your gut flora and promoting healthy mucous membranes (like your colon). They also help decrease inflammation and many of them help your liver out so it can remove toxins more efficiently. A strong digestion is essential to your immune system as it serves as an incinerator for germs, viruses, and bacterias that are unwelcome. Eating your ecosystem is a great way to promote great digestion!
Nature’s ecomony revolves around giving/receiving and wholeness. When you tune in to the foods that are available locally and seasonally, you tune in to what nature has for you so abundantly. Nature wants to give you nourishment and health. All it asks in return is a willingness to receive and gratitude. Wait! Those aren’t body systems! You’re right. Nature is all about making you whole. On all levels. Gratitude and receptivity are mental and emotional benefits of what brings health to your body. They all go together. That’s what nature’s all about.
Do you enjoy the seaons? Living in the moment is a powerful attitude, and seasonal local eating helps you out! What’s around you to eat right now? How do you enjoy cooking it? What are your favorite ripe-right-now fruits and vegetables? What feels good in your body right now? You just focussed on what you have, what’s good, rather than what you lack. Enjoying the current season and what is abundant is one of the gifts of seasonal local eating.
Sustainability and resiliancy become yours personally, physically when you eat from your ecosystem. More than that, when you harvest from your own backyard, support small local farmers who in turn support other local businesses, and connect around shared values of economy and environment, you build a stronger web of community around yourself. Communities that are strong socially, economically, and environmentally are more resiliant from “storms” of all sorts, be they natural, political, or anything else. You strengthen yourself when you participate in your multi-level ecosystem.
Want to learn more about what’s available to you right now?
This is a great book for learning about some common wild edibles and how you can eat them:
This resource will help you find what’s available for your area right now: SEASONAL FOOD GUIDE
Here are some of my favorite recipes for using “wild edibles”
- Salad spinner or collander
- Cheese cloth or bag strainer
- Greens: grass, dandelion, plantain, thistle, mallow, chickweed
- Harvest the greens of your choice. Wash in cold water.
- Cut greens into large pieces and fill blender without packing it.
- Add water to cover or up to max. amount blender will take.
- Blend until the greens are well chopped and the water looks green.
- Steep for half an hour (or so, give or take)
- Pour blender contents into a cheesecloth or bag strainer, capturing the water in a jug of some sort. Gently squeeze cloth or bag to get all the liquid possible out of it.
- Enjoy your "liquid chllorophyl" straight, in water, lemonade, added to tea, etc.
- 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp Green Juice (use more if desired)
- 2 tsp Maple syrup (to taste)
- 1 qt. water (to fill quart jar)
- Combine all ingredients in one quart jar. Enjoy!
Green Smoothie Eggnog
- salad spinner
- 2 whole Farm Fresh Eggs
- 1-2 cups Weeds or dark greens
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 Tbsp. Maple syrup (or honey)
- 1/2 cup chia seeds, soaked
- 1 1/2 cup Milk (can be part water if desired)
- 1-2 tsp. spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
- Put eggs, greens, vanilla, and maple syrup in blender. Blend on high speed until the greens are thoroughly chopped.
- In a small pan, warm the chia, milk, and spices.
- Add warm ingredients to the blender. Blend until thoroughly mixed.