Eating seasonally means eating food that's naturally ripe and ready for harvest in your local area at the time, instead of imported foods from different climates around the world.
Eating organic, seasonal food, or food that you've grown at home can make a big difference in cutting down your food miles, helping to make your diet more sustainable and reduce your carbon footprint.
Though the midwinter season may be a little bleak, it's a time for greens to brighten your day, with a plentiful of healthy, mineral-dense winter veg on offer:
- Beetroots - cold-stored for winter but readily available from local farmers
- Broccoli - In season until April
- Cabbages - red, white and savoy (and sprouts) are at their very best during the winter months
- Cauliflowers - Remain in season throughout winter
- Kale - January is prime-time for cold-hardy kale - try some other varieties too, like redbor or cavolo nero (black kale)
- Leeks - these remain in season until February, when sowing season begins again in August
- Parsnips, Potatoes, Swede and Carrots - the classic British root veg are now all in season!
Winter is not the best time to enjoy the spoils of the UK's fruit trees! With apples and pears and berries falling out of season at the end of the Autumn, the New Year sees a real shortage of home-grown fruit.
If you're missing your fruity fix but are still keen to reduce the footprint of your food, try opting for frozen fruit for desserts and smoothies - these will have been frozen when they were in season over the summer.
On fresh fruit, check the label to avoid air-freighted fruits imported from the other side of our planet, to reduce food miles as much as possible!
Commonly homegrown winter veg, like sprouts, broccoli, leeks and parsnips are all ready to harvest at this time of year.
January is an important time to prune any fruit trees you might have, like apple and pear trees, and currant bushes.
A few crops can be sown at this time of year, such as broad beans (in mild areas & greenhouses only), and lettuces, summer brassicas (e.g. cabbages and cauliflowers), salad onions and onion seeds can all be down indoors too.
Most importantly, make sure to use these cold and rainy winter months to take care of your soils - read our guide.
What we choose to put on our plates has the power to make a world of difference. Find out how choosing organic can offer solutions to many of the crises around our climate, nature, and our health.
A great way ensure you are eating seasonally is to subscribe to a fruit, veg or meat box. You'll be joining a community of amazing citizens, farmers and organisations who are making sure the way we farm and eat is better for our health, better for nature and wildlife, and better for the climate too.
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