Friday, 3 June 2016

Veg, Fruit and Foraged Foods in Season in June

What is seasonal food? 


If you grow your own vegetables the packet will tell you when you can expect to harvest the crop and this is when it is in season.  If you see vegetables for sale outside of this time then they are not in season and may well have been imported or grown under heat in a greenhouse.

Why eat seasonal food?


Food that is in season has many advantages over imported food or that grown under cover:
  • It will have the best and freshest taste.
  • It will have a higher nutritional value.
  • It is good for the environment as it will have low food low miles and less energy will have been used than glass-grown plants to produce it.
  • As a result it will be cheaper.
  • Finally, as a consumer, you will get seasonal variety and the excitement of the first taste of a just in-season food is hard to beat.  A strawberry in winter may look appetising but it has minimal taste compared to a summer one.




What is is Season in June? 

(Please note I have based this list on UK and Northern France)

Veg


  • Peas and mangetout
  • Broad beans
  • Spring onions
  • Radishes
  • Beetroot
  • Spring and summer cabbage
  • Fresh garlic 
  • New potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Salad leaves and lettuces
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes - but do check these are locally grown not imported.  
  • Asparagus - my father had 2 large asparagus beds and never cut the spears after June 21st, allowing the plants the time to lay down stored for the next year.  This perhaps explains why these 2 beds survived over q- years from when his grandfather planted them.

Herbs

  • Fresh herbs are all in season now - if you grow your own you can dry them for later use.  Keep picking them to stop them going to flower too. 

Fruit

  • Rhubarb
  • Gooseberries
  • Strawberries 
  • Currants
  • Raspberries 
  • Hybrid berries such as jostaberries and tayberries

Foraging

  • Wild garlic
  • Samphire
  • Watercress
  • Nettles 
  • Gorse flowers
  • Sea beet
  • Wild thyme
  • Wild strawberries
  • Elderflowers

Now is the ideal time to make elderflower champagne and elderflower cordial, 2 of my favourite summer drinks.  I'll try and add some recipes soon but please note - if you are making elderflower champagne PLEASE ensure you use strong enough bottles used previously for champagne/sparkling cider or plastic bottles.  Not doing this can have explosive consequences as we found out one year.

Here is my recipe of strawberry jam that sets every time.
Do you have any favourite recipes using these June ingredients? 

2 comments :

  1. Here in central Portugal you'd think we would be overwhelmed with garden goodies, but we're behind your list for the UK still! There's plenty of broad beans and peas, plenty of cabbage and leeks, but what I'm really appreciating is the diversity of wild foods to be found at this time of year to keep our table interesting. Loving the stronger flavours than we are used to in our cultivated crops, and the colours of edible flowers.

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    Replies
    1. Have you had a cold spring too or do you always start late? I am harvesting very little at the moment and am hoping we get a nice summer and autumn to allow things to mature. I don't forage for a lot of greens so I really should try and do that more but I do love flowers in my salads.

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