Monday, 3 October 2016

Veg, Fruit and Foraged Foods in Season in October

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 in Season in October? 


October sees a definite shift in what is in season - many summer crops will no longer be available locally produced so if you are buying salads etc do check they are not imported (I have marked these with asterisk * in the list).  However, whilst we may have bid farewell to some summer produce there is still a huge variety of seasonal produce available as the early winter crops start to appear ... and jist in time for the cooler weather when our thoughts turn to hearty stews and steaming puddings!

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

Vegetables


  • Turnips
  • Celery
  • Kohl Rabi
  • Peppers *
  • Squash and pumpkins
  • Beetroot 
  • Broccoli
  • Globe artichoke
  • Leeks
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Celeriac
  • Lettuce *
  • Onions
  • Pak Choi and other Oriental Vegetables
  • Peas
  • Radishes *
  • Tomatoes *
  • Cavolo Nero and Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Lamb's Lettuce
  • Salsify
  • Marrow

* Check these summer vegetables are still locally produced and not imported

Fruit


  • Apples
  • Plums
  • Figs
  • Pears
  • Autumn Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cranberries
  • Quince

Foraging


The hedgerows have plenty of fine pickings throughout October so hopefully you can find something from this list locally.  There are also a lot of edible mushrooms but I am not an expert and advise you only eat them if you are absolutely sure know what you are doing.


  • Nettles - new young nettles only
  • Rowan berries 
  • Blackberries
  • Elderberries
  • Walnuts
  • Crab-apples  
  • Hazelnuts
  • Rose hips
  • Chestnuts
  • Sloes

So what can I recommend you cook with seasonal food in October?  How about a delightfully sticky spiced pumpkin cake or some marrow and ginger jam?


Do you have any favourite recipes using October produce?  I am always on th elook out for pupmkin ideas as every year I grow so many!

2 comments :

  1. One of the things I love most about living here is living with the seasons, those first strawberries taste so sweet, the first melon, the first figs, the first squash, tomatoes, I could go and on. Great post!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you ... mind you things are a bit weird this autumn and I still have outdoor strawberries fruiting ... in Normandy!

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