Buy local...in Season


We’re getting close to the end of garden season here in the Midwest – and soon we won’t be having those great fresh vegetables and fruits to cook with.  Now is the time when most produce is at its peak, it’s least expensive, and there is an abundance of it.  Many of us are canning, dehydrating and freezing this bounty for the winter.  We often have trouble even giving away that garden bounty, and may not want to even see another zucchini or tomato for a while.  Or we may be very lucky non-gardeners and be the recipients of that largess.
But a surprising number of people simply buy what they want, when they want it – woody tomatoes in December, and asparagus imported from who-knows-where in October at an exorbitant price.  Buying local produce or growing your own is the cheapest way to get great, fresh stuff.  The price is right because the supply is good and so is quality.  So, enjoy all the bounty of fall…and preserve what you can.  That perfect warm juicy garden tomato is worth waiting for.
And this winter, ask yourself “would Mom or Grandma have purchased this at this time of year?”  Or perhaps then, if you can't go to your own "fruit cellar" or freezer, even commercially canned or frozen produce would be the right choice – it’s usually preserved at the peak of the harvest, and is not a budget-buster.
Myrna and I decided there is a reason we're not enamored of some exotic food items - they are just exotic to us.  Where they are grown locally, I'm sure they are wonderful, but out-of-season, or shipped for thousands of miles, they just aren't as good as what we can grow close by.

3 comments:

  1. Great post! I really try to buy in-season, either at the farmers market or at the grocery store. When I'm at the store, I look at the produce labels to see if it is from the United States. If so, then it's probably in season. I've noticed that most of the apples now are from Chile. In a few weeks, the U.S. grown apples should be hitting the stores, although there won't be as many this year because of the drought.

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  2. My watermelons and cantaloupe are still very green...any chance they'll finish up before a frost (October)? It's so hard to see them not doing anything! It's been 3 months!

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  3. I don't know if we're going to get an early fall or not but you might try setting the melons on a light-reflecting surface, such as aluminum foil, which will concentrate heat and speed up ripening somewhat. I like to garden, but I'm not a gardening expert - but I know some folks who say this helps. Our dad used to set some melons up on overturned large coffee cans for the same reason - it keeps them warmer and off the wet soil.

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