Eating in Season

Foraging awakens people to the seasons and what’s around them. It’s the same for people who grow or buy fresh food. February means — at least where I live in Petaluma — chickens start laying eggs again. Fava beans arrive, along with nettles. The first raspberries miraculously appear. Blackberries come right after. A rolling tide follow of bush beans, beets, fennel, chard, Padrón peppers, snap peas, tomatoes, and kale. Always kale. Ditto for zucchini. You eat these things in mad flourishes, until you’re tired of them. Then the next year rolls around, you faintly remember what you missed, and the cycle repeats. These foods remind you of the passing seasons. They become something to look forward to. — Douglas Gayeton

In this edition of Food List, we’ll get your taste buds talking with our discussion of eating in season. We’ll first explore the map of the US, and take a look at a guide to eating seasonally across the country. We’ll then take a closer look at what seasonal eating looks like from a New York CSA farm, and find inspiration from all the delicious culinary recommendations.

Favoring locally produced foods and seasonal eating is not a new trend. In fact, it was the way of life before the establishment of mass transportation routes. Today, one of greatest challenges is reconnecting with the seasons.

What kind of local seasonal foods do you enjoy? Have you ever signed up for a CSA? Do you pay attention to the food miles? Tips from our local garden chefs will surely spark the locavore within you.

This week's terms

Food Miles

"Food miles measure the amount of energy and effort required to bring everything you eat to your door. All of your food comes from somewhere; that distance is called food miles." - Juliana Birnbaum, Culture of Permaculture

100 Mile Diet

A common unit of measure used to denote the maximum distance food can travel and still remain local to the consumer.


Foraging is the art of finding and enjoying wild food. It is the ability to survey a large area of land and find the treasures it has to offer.

Fallen Fruit

People search their cities and neighborhoods for unused or unwanted things: litter, refuse ... even food. Fallen fruit is often overlooked (either after it’s fallen to the ground or while still on the tree). It can be harvested, gleaned, or just observed.

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