Planning A Holiday Meal? This Seasonal Food Guide Is Here to Help!
Eating with the seasons is a great way for all of us to help cultivate a more resilient, sustainable food system. Farmers work hard as stewards of the land, overseeing our food’s journey from farm to plate. When you purchase food that's in season from local farms, you're supporting both local farmers and your local economy. Seasonal choices can also mean supporting food that spent less time traveling and in storage, which can really cut back on environmental impacts. And if you've ever had an apple in peak season, you know this to be true: seasonal food simply tastes better!
Sustainable Table, a program of GRACE Communications Foundation, is dedicated to cultivating conversation around sustainable food and agriculture. Their free, Seasonal Food Guide aims to help you eat in-season produce, all year round, which also helps support your local farmers and the local economy. Read on for more, and scroll to the bottom to visit the guide or download their free app.
Though certainly we’ve seen a rise in popularity in seasonal eating in recent years, the concept is not at all new. In fact, many feast day traditions originated around farmers’ harvest calendars. Before our food system was industrialized, you simply couldn’t get produce out of season, so when the first seasonal crops were harvested in the field, it was a cause for gathering and celebration. Eating in season allows us to return back to these simple roots and eat with the cycles of the farm harvest.
Seasonal eating is always important – but it’s even more important throughout the holiday season, when our appetites are large and the bounty is plentiful. What other moments throughout the year are you forced to slow down, step away from the bustle and simply be with one another? Food brings everyone to the table, cultivating an opportunity for togetherness, shared stories and poignant memories over a communal meal. It’s not every day that we take part in holiday gatherings, so this meal is made even more meaningful when the ingredients come from your local market, where you can build a relationship with your farmer and more confidently understand the process of how your food got from farm to plate.
As we enter the throes of feast preparations, it’s natural to start feeling a bit overwhelmed. But don’t fret–our Seasonal Food Guide is the perfect planning companion for seasonal gatherings, offering a thorough list of the in-season produce you’ll be able to find at your local farmers’ market – even in the fall and winter months! Our Seasonal Food Guide is your farmers’ market cheat sheet, so eating seasonally is made simple. The GRACE Communications team has been hard at work over the past year updating and expanding upon the Guide’s already comprehensive seasonality information, giving the website a spiffy new makeover and (wait for it!) creating a Seasonal Food Guide app. Now more than ever, seasonal food is right at your fingertips – no matter where you are. Want to know how long a produce item will be available at your local farmers’ market? Wondering what’s in season at other times of the year or in other states? Look no further than our Seasonal Food Guide.
Beyond the early planning stages of the shopping list, we’re also here for your meal inspiration needs. The Seasonal Food Guide includes links to recipes and in depth information on local, seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs, legumes and nuts from our Real Food Right Now series. And for a planning bonus: our app lets you set a calendar invite to remind you when your favorite produce item can be found at a farmers’ market near you so you can stay organized as you gear up for the holidays. With the help of our Seasonal Food Guide, you’re all set to head to your local market and start foraging for the best seasonal ingredients!
Seasonal Food Guide: The Quick Perks
- We’re your one stop shop for seasonality information, boasting comprehensive data on more than 140 types of fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts and herbs in all 50 states!
- We’ll help you reach ‘foodie’ status with our food literacy resources: links to incredible recipes, factual tidbits and environmental impact data for each type of produce.
- Don’t worry, you can trust us. We sourced our data from the experts: The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), USDA, state agriculture extension offices and state departments of agriculture.
- We offer seasonality data accurate to half-month increments, so you’ll never miss your favorite fruit or vegetable season!
This article is brought to you by Sustainable Table's Seasonal Food Guide