Farmers' Market Blog - In Season?


I used to think that "in season"meant:
a: It tastes better this time of year.
b: It's cheaper this time of year.


Consider the strawberry. I thought strawberries were "in season" when they tasted like actual strawberries and they were 2 for $5 at the grocery store.


It wasn't until I entered the local food system workforce that I learned the true meaning of seasonality.
Strawberries are not supposed to be available year-round. In northeast Ohio, we have three entire seasons when strawberries are not able to produce. The fact that we have access to them in the grocery store in the winter should be alarming. How far away do these puppies come from? Why do they taste like Lacroix?
In season = that special time of year when strawberries are ready to be enjoyed by us in Akron. When the berries are grown and picked locally, and travel less than 60 miles to get to your hands at the farmers' market. When they smell like candy and taste like sunshine and rainbows.
Not to mention, local produce is more nutritious since you are eating it shortly after harvest instead of after weeks of travel. But that's just a bonus perk.
Since entering the farmers' market world, I have made a commitment to eat seasonally. For me, this means waiting until strawberries are available at the farmers' market to partake in the party. The entire experience is so much sweeter when the winter-long anticipation culminates in a pint of the good stuff.
Eating within the seasons tests my patience and my taste buds, but it really is worth it to experience the true flavor of local.