Yesterday we did a field walk to survey how our crops are doing and to prioritize upcoming work to be done. Walking through our beds of bulbing fennel and sprawling green beans, curing potatoes and sweet corn stretching tall, the plants showed me where we are in the season. As someone new to farming and having a closer relationship to my food than I have before, seasonality is taking on new meaning for me. I understood it in theory, but am now intimately getting to know it.
Seasonality is essentially eating what is in season. But it is also much more. It is visceral, overwhelming, and joyful to eat seasonally. When peaches ripened and fell from the tree and juice dripped down my chin, I thought, “Oh.My.God. PEACHES!” When I walked through the young tomato plants on their trellises, my pulse quickened to see a hint of red within the foliage, and I sighed at its delicate aroma as I devoured it like an apple. Produce simply tastes multitudes better when it is in season, and it also blows your mind because you haven’t eaten it year round.
Seasonality is other incredible things too. Seasonality is about deeply respecting your environment. You pay respect to your local ecosystem by eating what it provides throughout the year within healthy boundaries to your water system, soil, and plant and wildlife, no cheating. Respecting the microclimate and ecosystem of your community allows it to provide for you in the future.
If you eat what your local environment provides, seasonality is inherently about eating local. Eating seasonally means not eating jet setting fruit that has traveled further than our farm crew ever has or veggies that have taken a cross-country road trip. Eating locally supports your local economy and local farmland, all of which supports the longevity of well-being in the place you live.
And, lastly, if you want to get philosophical while you eat your season-appropriate produce, seasonality is about honoring what you have, a celebration of the basic and of the profound. Seasonality connects us to the cycle of life of which we are a part, and ultimately connects us to a larger ecosystem. It tells us that our earth is rotating around the sun at a tilted axis, which creates our seasons, and reminds us of our small, mysterious, and beautiful place in the solar system and the universe.
In celebration of seasonality, I want to share with you what you have to look forward to in the coming season. We are a few weeks late compared to other years due to heavy rains and mischievous cold spells that set us back on soil preparation and getting crops in the ground. But now it feels like we’re officially entering the summer’s bounty. This week you have green beans, cucumbers, and blackberries in your box! Melons, corn, eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, and grapes are also a few of the crops that are shaping up nicely for your upcoming CSA boxes.
I’d like to give you a chance to think about seasonality and what it means to you. Each sharebox is a weekly demonstration of seasonality, and I hope it allows you to savor the tastes of the seasons and to fall in love with your food.