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Eating with the seasons

Zoe Ramsay
June 26, 2024

Eating with the seasons

Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is important for our health and can enhance the joy of eating. Buying local, seasonal veg often means that produce hasn’t travelled so far and retains more nutrients. You may also find varieties or crops that aren’t bred for their transportability but instead cultivated for their flavours. Studies suggest that soil quality also impacts the nutrients available to plants – so organic farms are best to source food from if possible (not to mention their benefits for biodiversity and the environment).

The Hungry Gap

In late Spring and early Summer in our climate, there is a period known as "the hungry gap" when seasonal produce is scarcer. Winter vegetables have bolted, and roots run out, meanwhile, newly planted crops are yet to mature. Traditionally, we may have relied on dried beans or preserves but there are also hero crops we love to eat!

Asparagus has a short six-week cropping season. Harvest traditionally stops on summer solstice to allow the spears to grow into feathery fronds that will die down and return next year. Try it grilled with crispy capers and a creamy lemon dressing, as recommended by Growing Communities:

This year's onion crop was troubled by a wet autumn and winter and they didn’t store well. However, leeks are the perfect Springtime onion replacement. You can use leeks wherever you would onions or make this lemon, leek, and barley salad: 

Leafy greens tend to grow fast and so are more abundant. Growing Communities is hitting peak salad at its Hackney and Dagenham growing sites. Munch on a flavourful bag of salad as it comes – packed with a variety of leaves and herbs or make a stalks and stems soup with any other greens you have: 

Weekly veg bags at Core Clapton!

If you’re based in Hackney or Haringey, you may be interested in subscribing to the Growing Communities veg scheme – a weekly subscription of a bag of veg or fruit, packed with the season's finest. Organic and as local as possible, Growing Communities supports small-scale farmers with fair prices. It has 30 collection points (one of which is Core) across the area. Find out more and sign up: 

If you’re interested in sourcing ethical and sustainable food in other areas, have a look at the Better Food Traders map:



Zoe Ramsay

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