Shopping local and trying to stick to locally produced foods? Unless you live in a very warm zone such as south Texas, Florida or California you’ll find that seasonal means just that, seasonal. Tomatoes don’t like cold weather and neither do many other crops.
Did you know that your local grocery store ‘probably’ buys it’s produce locally? Some do! This gives them the added benefit of freshness. If it’s wintertime and the store has strawberries you can bet that those were shipped in. Fresh tomatoes in July? They’re probably local.
Buying seasonal foods that grow in your region mean you’re getting the freshest fruits and vegetables possible without growing your own. I’ve seen local growers visit the local store and offer a whole truckload of their bounty, be that potatoes, tomatoes or melons.
Sometimes your local grocery store will have a recipe book, booklet, or electronic media (such as their website) where they offer recipes for the ‘specials’ and the local produce. These recipes are typically tried and true and make a good way for you and your family to try something new and different.
Seasonal produce is also typically less expensive. There’s an abundance of squash (or other produce) the price goes down. Shipping of produce costs time and money and the savings are often passed onto the consumer.
Pay attention to your local grocery store’s prices (and the local farmer’s market). You’ll begin to notice price fluctuations. When someone has an early start and get’s their produce to market before everyone else they can charge a little more. Once everyone’s gardens are producing you’ll find the price dropping. This makes a good time for loading up on bushel baskets full to put away by canning (or other preservation method.)
When you shop seasonally you’ll find you save money and get fresher food for your family.