Eating food that is local and in season is the best way to ensure you’re consuming high quality, nutritious food. When we choose to eat what’s currently ripe or ready for harvest and grown in our community we can skip the lesser quality options that have traveled across the country or even around the globe. Eating local and in season not only guarantees better, tastier food, it also supports our local farmers and can make us feel more connected to our place.
For some of us, eating with the seasons can take some getting used to. International shipping of food has made it easy and possible to eat items that are in season in other, far away places. Yes, we can start buying strawberries in March but those strawberries don’t really taste that great. If we’re patient, we can enjoy the most delicious local strawberries a few months later in June (or in this year's case May!).
ACME Farms + Kitchen Locavore Boxes are an excellent example of what it’s like to eat with the seasons. Because of our commitment to sourcing locally you’ll always find items that are currently in season in our region.
Like all of you, we are very excited about the spring time and the food items this season brings. Farmers are planting the seeds and starts that will provide our local, seasonal choices this spring and summer.
You can see the change in season in our boxes already as we move from the root based veggies, hearty greens, and storage crops of winter to more tender veggies and leafy greens. So far this spring, we’re enjoying fresh asparagus, radishes, rhubarb, and local spot prawns, all currently at the height of their season.
We look forward to including more of our region’s spring time and summer bounty as it becomes available.
To get a better understanding of timing for local crops we talked with Farmer Anna Martin of Osprey Hill Farm.
The photos above show the trays that Osprey uses to start seeds. They also show the progression of the growth of their yellow storage onions. This season, Osprey will grow 12,000 onions that take up about 1,350 linear feet of growing space. This seems like an incredible amount but Anna assures us they don’t plant a lot of onions.**
When asked if they start all their plants this way Anna said, “Many of our seeds are started in plug trays like this one, but not all. Some crops don't like to be transplanted so we direct seed those crops including: carrots, beets, beans, turnips, parsnips, radish, cilantro. Notice something these crops have in common? Roots! Yes, indeed. These are mainly root crops.”
Anna shared that the time from germination to transplant into the ground varies by the crop and is based on how aggressively they grow. Their quickest turn-around time from tray to ground is for cucumbers and summer squash, taking only 3 weeks. Celery takes the longest at 12 weeks.
After many seasons of farming, Anna and her husband Geoff have learned what grows and sells well and have adjusted their yearly crop plans accordingly.
It takes so much work for our local farmers to dial it all in, to bring us the fresh, local food we enjoy. Join us in supporting their hard work by committing to eat as seasonally as you can. We’re certain you won’t be disappointed.
**Follow the progression of Osprey’s onions with us on Facebook and Instagram.
Check out this guide for a better idea of what crops become available by season in our region:
Many thanks to Sustainable Connections and their Eat Local First campaign for sharing this handy guide!
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