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  • Writer's pictureSheri

Seasons on the Farm

We are coming out of the wintertime which makes for a big change in our lifestyle.

Over the winter, the gardens are dormant, there really isn’t anything fresh to pull out of the garden other than a bit of winter lettuce late in the season. We really eat very few fresh vegetables during that time. Instead, we are pulling vegetables that we either preserved in the freezer for things like stew and chili.

The way we eat since moving to the farm, really changes with each season but it is most apparent during the winter.

We work slowly (well, sometimes fast) to finish up our garden harvesting before the first freeze and work at getting all of those vegetables canned, stored in the basement or put into the freezers.

Our basement has a different look and our freezers start to fill up with vegetables and chickens we have harvested and prepared.

We move from the majority of our time spent outside in the garden, to spending more and more time indoors. We start eating more “comfort” foods, foods that are heavier and include a lot of root vegetables and meats. Those vegetables that are easiest to store are the ones that end up in our dinner over the winter.

We still work outside in the winter to care for the animals, but we definitely spend more time at the table eating, lingering, and we crave those heavier foods.

Now that spring is here, we make that slow shift back outside. We are already getting some fresh lettuce from the greenhouse and many plants are started in our grow room (and Keith’s office) which is in our basement.

In the summer we are using a bit less meat (most of the time) and using the BBQ grill more often. We tend to make our lunches very short so we can get back outside to all the work that awaits. We eat lighter and we crave more salads and cold foods to help us brave the heat.

It is still a learning curve for me to focus more and more on creating a seasonal diet rather than just running to the grocery store and getting the same items no matter what the season. I’ll admit to picking up some strawberries in February when a craving hit! But by in large, I’m learning to focus on seasonal eating. Each season brings a wonderful selection that fit with just what we need.

I want to ask myself more, “What is in season now?” and try to plan meals around those seasons. Storable foods help us keep the pantry full so that fewer and fewer items have to be picked up at the store. We aren’t at a place yet where we can make all of our food for the winter without any grocery store trips. But we are much closer now than we ever have been before.