Following the Seasons Through Food

For those who want to be a part of improving our food system, the single best way to do that is to buy directly from farmers whenever possible. And because you’ll not only be helping make the world a better place but also getting superior food for you and your family, it’s a win-win.

To spread the goodness throughout the year, and to lower the cost, consider buying produce in bulk when it is at it’s peak, and freezing or canning it for later. Local tomatoes for example are impossible to find in the winter for example, and grocery store tomatoes are bland and expensive. But the chances are good you can stock up on local organic tomatoes in the heart of the summer at a price much less than you’d pay for inferior tomatoes later in the year.

One of the best things about buying local, in my humble opinion, is that it enables people to eat seasonally, and follow the seasons through food. I try to remember to take a photo of our table every Saturday before the market opens. I haven’t remembered to do that every day this year, but here are the shots I did get. Unfortunately I can never seem to get clear pictures at our market. In any event, these pictures show how our produce offerings change throughout the season.

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May 7. Opening day. Lots of lettuce, asparagus, spinach and onions

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May 14. More goodies are starting to arrive

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May 21. Rayne was with us.

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May 28. Yay for root crops and Asian greens!

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June 4. Broccoli and Chinese cabbage are in the house

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June 11. Sunflowers and Rainbow Chard brightening the table

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June 18. Lots of kale

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June 25. The first squash and zucchini is starting to appear

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July 2. And now there’s a few bell peppers and eggplant

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July 16. It’s tomato time

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July 30. Watermelons and okra have joined the party.

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August 6, last Saturday. The winter squash have started to come in.

This Saturday cantaloupes and purple hull peas will make their 2016 debut. And we’ve already started the seedlings for our fall gardens.

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16 comments on “Following the Seasons Through Food

  1. Susan says:

    Great food in season, fresh as you can get, and CHEAPER than a lot of the stuff in the stores–what’s not to love?
    I grow most things , but always have to trek to the farm market for canteloupe and raspberries and soon–brussels sprouts (yum!).
    Our local market actually SHRUNK this year. I’m devastated. We lost a couple of vendors I really liked to patronize. Hope someone steps up to fill the void!
    And no–not me. My garden is all I can handle. Hubby is a full time job!
    😀

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    • Bill says:

      Without people like you there wouldn’t be any farmers markets and without farmers markets there wouldn’t be any farmers like us. So on behalf of our comrades there, thanks for supporting your local market!

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  2. Beautiful, Bill. Your veggies are really impressive! I feel healthier just looking at them. –Curt

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  3. NebraskaDave says:

    Bill, wow, you have a beautiful display. I can see why you sell out. It was interesting to see the seasonal differences. I hope you can stay in the market place even if you cut back.

    Have a great seasonal market day.

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    • Bill says:

      Well we don’t always sell out. When our production peaks we usually end up with more than we can sell. Our local food bank has a donation station at the market so farmers can donate their unsold produce at the end of the day. So nothing is wasted.

      I’m really torn about what to do next year. We’ve worked really hard to build our farm’s reputation, but I am seriously considering scaling way back. Whether we’ll be at the market next year is undecided at this point.

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  4. what a great record of the seasonality of your produce -brilliant idea. And your farm stall looks wonderful!

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    • Bill says:

      Thanks. I didn’t start out with that purpose but it did turn out to be a good way to look back and see what was in season and how it changed and transitioned. I’m glad you like the stall. Cherie gets the credit for that. I do a midweek market without her and the stall looks much different at that one. 🙂

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  5. avwalters says:

    What great photos. I’m realizing that there are several seasonal lenses. My garden has always focused on what’s fresh in the moment. (Your photos evidence this with a much larger seasonal panorama.) The bees have made me look at season in terms of what is blooming. And being “ready for winter” has made me chart the season in terms of assessing needs and cutting wood. All these things make me more connected to place and season in a way that defines “home.”

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    • Bill says:

      Yes I agree. You’re growing into the seasonality of homesteading as we have done here. Now we not only eat seasonally, but my other farm chores are mostly seasonally-determined as well (cutting wood being a good example). I love how you put it in your last sentence. Living this way connects us to place, roots us to home and helps ground us, I believe, in authenticity.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Scott says:

    I can’t load the pics, but I remember earlier market pics you’ve shared. You guys have a nice display. Our problem is getting out the door early with young kids, early enough to have a selection of anything at our very small market. I’ve never seen a market vendor as large as you.

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    • Bill says:

      I can relate Scott. Most days I can load pictures here, but it’s common for us not to be able to load videos. As I’ve said before, lack of high speed internet is the only disadvantage I can think of to country living.

      I totally understand about the market. Our market opens at about 7:15 and there are always people there then to snag the best produce. Back in my other life I wouldn’t have gone to the market that early on what is supposed to be a day off. To help people out we allow pre-orders by email. We send out a weekly email newsletter with a list of what’s available that week and people can reply to it with an order that we’ll hold for them at the market. That has been quite popular, especially with our customers who use our newsletter to determine their menus for the week.

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  7. great post. great display 🙂

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