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Inspired by our Women’s Institute talk this month on eating in tune with the seasons, I’ve pulled together a guide for you on whats in season in the next few months, plus some recipes to give you some inspiration on how to use all that lovely seasonal produce!

Eating seasonably is something that many people are unfamiliar with, since supermarkets try to have all products available at all times of year – such as strawberries. If strawberries were only available in a supermarket when they are naturally growing in this country, we’d only get them during May, June, July, August and September. Instead they’re flown in from other countries through the winter months – and if you’ve ever tasted an air freight strawberry, you’ll know what the problems are with this – they tend to be unripe, tasteless, and very overpriced!

The benefits of eating in line with the seasons are

  • It will probably be cheaper – strawberries and blueberries are never so expensive than in the heart of winter and never so cheap as in June/July, even in Tesco!
  • You’ll be eating locally (and therefore reducing your food miles and carbon footprint, as well as supporting UK farmers) – if you’re eating foods that are in season in the UK, its far more likely that they’ll have been grown in the UK. Check the label if you’re unsure. If you can, try shopping at a local greengrocers as they always place a far higher emphasis on local produce than supermarkets.
  • You have a chance to miss things! Strange as this sounds, I think that if you have strawberries all year round, you don’t get so much of a chance to look forward to the summer knowing it will mean an abundance of strawberries! Plus the versions of fruit and veg that you tend to get out of season often taste rubbish.

September

What’s in season

Apples, blackberries, cabbages, chillies, damsons, elderberries, juniper berries, kale, mushrooms, pears  peppers, pumpkins, sweetcorn , crayfish, red grouse, goose, artichoke, aubergine, basil, beetroot, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, courgettes, cucumber, crayfish, fennel, french beans, garlic, hare, lamb, new potatoes, onions, pak choi, rabbit, radishes, red grouse, rocket, runner beans, sorrel, watercress ; apricots, blueberries, greengages, loganberries, peaches, plums, late raspberries, redcurrants.

What I’ll be making…

October

What’s in season… Fresh walnuts, sweet chestnuts, hazelnuts, Kentish cobs, quinces, crab cooking and eating apples and pears, cèpes, chanterelles and a great range of other fungi – parasol, oyster, horse and field mushrooms. Broccoli, celery, carrots, autumn varieties of cabbage, marrows and squashes, potatoes and young turnips.

What I’ll be making…

  • I LOVE the other foods available at this time of year that, especially autumnal pumpkins, squashes and gourds. Since I’ll be carving a pumpkin at Halloween, I’ll be looking for recipes to use up its innards, perhaps spiced pumpkin cake or pumpkin risotto?
  • I’ll also be eating lots of seasonal sweetcorn slathered with butter and salt and pepper – much to Lee’s horror (he has a phobia of sweetcorn!) But Marty and Milo love it too!

I’ll be back towards the end of October to give you the lowdown on the best seasonal produce for November and December!

In the meantime, if you’re interested in eating seasonably, check out this great website with loads of information and resources on the subject – they even have a free poster you can put in your kitchen to remind you whats in season!