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.
Autumn brings wonderful, hearty winter vegetables. Look out for UK-grown:
- Aubergines - the best of the UK season are available until the end of September
- Beetroots - remain in season until about October, perfect for those 'transition' meals, from summer salads to warming autumnal dishes
- Butternut squash and the first pumpkin varieties come into season
- Cauliflowers - the start of winter season cauliflowers become available in September
- Courgettes & Marrows - reaching the end of the summer season in September, but some crops still available
- Leeks - the fist of these wonderful winter veg are coming into season
- Savoy cabbage and red cabbage
Autumn offers excellent foraging opportunity! Britain's hedgerows are full of life in September, packed with fruits and berries. In the wild, in gardens, and in the shops, you can find:
Autumn is also the best time to make the most of the nuts on offer in the UK. Sweet chestnuts and hazelnuts (cobnuts) abound at this time of year. Learn to identify the trees and fruits correctly and you'll be in for a treat!
Autumn is a brilliant time for home-growers. There are plenty of wonderful fruits and vegetables available for harvesting, and the weather remains (mostly) good for all of your overwintering tasks:
- Apple, pear and other fruit tree-owners will be enjoying their crops until late-september. If you're looking to plant fruit trees for the first time this year, now is the time to do it!
- It's time to sow vegetables for you to enjoy next spring, known as overwintering - this includes the likes of turnips, radish, winter lettuce and onions
- For some quick results, sow some oriental salad leaves such as mibuna, mizuna, mustard and rocket, which will provide salad throughout the autumn
- Sow green manures such as crimson clover and ryegrass to act as a soil improver and to cover bare areas. When dug in, they conserve nutrients and improve soil texture
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.
Delicious as part of a mezze or served simply with a green salad, this recipe from renowned eco-chef Tom Hunt will have you eating with the seasons.
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