After last week’s discussion on eating local, I’ve come to a compromise with my resolutions. Locally grown fruits and vegetables are hard to come by in Oklahoma, and I can’t can what I didn’t grow last year. A girl’s gotta eat, and this girl really likes to eat.
Hence my compromise: For now, I’ll focus on eating locally grown produce when possible. If I can’t source it locally, I’ll at least try to buy produce that’s in season, preferably organic.
Once spring rolls around, I’ll start making regular visits to the farmers’ market—even if that means I have to drag myself out of bed earlier on Saturday mornings. I intend to learn more about the food co-op that my ever-wise reader, Tracy, suggested. I can’t wait to grow my own herb garden (hopefully it will fare better than this one!) so I can have fresh herbs on hand during the warmer months. Home canning is an intriguing solution that is experiencing a modern-day renaissance, according to NPR and my readers. I was surprised that so many of you suggested canning! I wouldn’t know where to begin, but I suspect my grandmother knows a thing or two about canning, so I’ll ask her!
Given the plethora of produce in an average grocery store, the transition to buying only in-season fruits and vegetables is going to be tough. Growing up, our dining table seemed to offer the same fruits year-round: apples, oranges and bananas. Getting used to eating in-season fruits and vegetables will be a stretch for me. How am I ever going to give up fresh tomatoes for part of the year?
Fortunately for us, the winter bounty offers an abundance of colorful, juicy citrus fruits, like grapefruit, lemons and limes, and exotic fruits like coconuts and kiwi. The winter fruits feature colors I would normally associate with spring and summer; their punchy hues seem to be nature’s gift to the winter doldrums. Cheers to winter fruit! Rather than beat myself up for buying out of season fruit, I intend to get excited about in season treats, which inevitably taste better, anyway. It’s just a matter of educating myself on the difference. If you’re interested, here’s a more thorough list of delicious winter produce.
Where do you stand in the argument for eating in-season produce? To what extent will you go to eat fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables? Do you feel that my compromise is reasonable? Let’s hear it!