Embracing the seasons

When was the last time you had a tomato?

Now think again, when was the last time you had a tomato that launched a tomato styled assault on the taste buds instead of a tomato shaped object with little or none of the personality of the real thing?

We have become increasingly accustomed to having whatever produce we wish for whether it’s in or out of season. Shopping in any supermarket you will find an abundance of fruits and vegetables available which are not in season, providing convenience by having exactly the same foods available year-round.

Many of these out of season, non-organic foods depend on waxes, chemicals, and preservatives to make them look fresh and tastier than they are. These foods are produced for long shelf life and looks rather than flavour. It’s not only the flavour of the produce that suffers either, it also effects our local growers market opportunity as imported produce bucks the seasonal restrictions faced by local organic growers.

There is nothing better than a vine-ripe local tomato grown by a local farmer that you know by name.

Below are four simple benefits of purchasing organic seasonal foods from local farmers…

Health Benefits

Eating seasonal foods helps to support our bodies natural cleansing and healing abilities. They are picked at the peak of freshness and offer higher nutritional content than out of season unripe fruits and vegetables. Eating with the seasons you can enjoy a rainbow of colourful and diverse foods in your diet as well as providing your body with a wide variety of important vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that you need to maintain vibrant health.

Sustainable Benefits

Organic seasonal foods are grown in a sustainable manner by farmers who care about their local environment. Crop rotation is used to increase soil fertility with beneficial insects encouraged instead of using toxic pesticides and sustainable composting methods applied to dispose of organic waste.

By not using toxic chemicals, poisonous pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified seeds, organic and chemical free local farmers provide us with healthier foods whilst protecting our environment and the farm workers health. These sustainable methods of raising foods yields a superior product offering better taste, quality and nutrition over imported commercially grown foods.

Environmental Benefits

Eating with the seasons and purchasing local foods has environmental benefits reducing the number of miles your food has to travel before it reaches your plate. This helps cut back on fuel use, in turn reducing pollution. Making a conscious choice to purchase organic, seasonal, and local foods we help protect our water, air and land.

Economic Benefits

When you choose to buy seasonal, locally grown foods you provide financial support to the farmers in your area which helps to grow your local economy. Seasonal foods will also offer much better value than out of season foods which will save you money on your grocery bills.

These detailed infographics offer a guide to growing and buying fruit vegetables and herbs in season.
Thanks to www.chasingdelicious.com for the images.

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Companion planting

A simple pictorial guide to companion planting helping to reduce pests, maximise productivity and make efficient use of space.

Many of the problems experienced in large scale farming are due to the expanses of single crop, or monoculture, requiring significant intervention with chemical pesticides and fertilisers, in order to feed the crop and prevent pests and disease in a cost effective manner. The cheaper the food on the shelf, especially when imported, the more likely it has come from a large scale farming structure with a range of chemical nasties applied.

At the edible farm we offset the cost of producing the finest quality fruit and evgetrables by working with volunteer labour in exchange for produce and aim to celebrate the diversity of companion planting. We share this simple guide to help other smallholders follow suit.

Thanks to www.anglianhome.co.uk for the guide. View it in full here

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