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Cultivate Simple 39: Keep It Seasonal

July 22nd, 2013

Today we’re talking about living seasonally, particularly when it comes to the food on your plate.

Even in the dead of winter, the products of our labor were good. From the freezer we could choose broccoli or cauliflower, peas or beans or corn, anytime we pleased. In spring, we often had them all together in orgies of vegetable soups meant to clear the freezer for the next round. Though certainly we were well-fed, and spiritually content at living from our own labors, the broccoli, peas, beans, cauliflower, and corn came to have a certain sameness about them, a predictable ready-on-demand sort of quality that robbed us of much of the joy of them. The seasons were all flattened out, and one sitting to the table came to seem just like another.

Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd from Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill

What is your favorite season of eating and why?

9 Comments to “Cultivate Simple 39: Keep It Seasonal”
  1. Sheila Z on July 22, 2013 at 8:39 am

    How is it possible to just chose one? The first of each new food of the season is so special. No way can I pick one season over another. The first tart rhubarb, first strawberry, tomato, sweet corn, peach, apple, fresh pressed cider and all the other fruits and vegetables is such an experience. I’m preserving less and less. It’s hard to get excited about frozen broccoli when I can have fresh kale in December.

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  2. Mich on July 22, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I agree with Sheila Z it is impossible to pick a fav season! I love it when we get to eat the 1st strawberries & the 1st spears of asparagus….by the end of their season im fed up with eating those and looking forward to French beans, then corn….my autumn raspberries. Lol.
    We try and eat seasonally & thats one reason why i have a biggish veg plot, but I can’t give up banana’s or lemons….both of which have to be imported….But thanks to our unusually hot UK summer I may have some bumper figs to eat. Fingers crossed.
    Oh and I love Monty Don, have been lucky enough to meet him & he is such a nice down to earth bloke :)

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  3. Elyse on July 22, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Hm, that’s a hard pick – but I’d have to say summer. My first introduction to really seasonal eating was my husband’s love of sweet corn. We eat frozen corn periodically throughout the year, but we savor fresh, delicious corn-on-the-cob only during those couple weeks each year. It’s a wonderful thing to look forward to!

    Oh – and I am in agreement with you about delayed gratification – it’s something our culture could use more of on so many planes.

    Looking forward to the preservation podcast next week!

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  4. Adriana on July 22, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    If I have to pick one, I say Spring. It’s mostly about the anticipation – finally fresh salads and herbs, the first asparagus and ripe strawberries. Summer can feel a bit overwhelming with all the abundance. There is only so much zucchini and green beans you can pawn off on the neighbors, but I love to cook and I’m always finding new recipes. A couple of years ago I found a recipe for a zucchini cheddar bread and it’s become a summer lunch staple for the kids. We have root cellar and try to eat seasonally as much as possible, but there are some things we must have year round. We freeze a lot of berries for smoothies,, pancakes and cakes and it’s totally worth it when the kids reach for a jar of dilly beans instead of a bag of chips or candy.
    Thanks again for another great show, I’m starting to feel like a broken record, they are all great!

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  5. Melanie in Ca on July 22, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Brian and Susy, Well said! Since embarking on my own journey of living and eating simply,locally and seasonally I’ve come to understand and appreciate the flavor and nutritional nuances of fresh, local and in season. Even here in the climate of abundance we have our seasonal limitations (waving wistful farewell as I eat the last of the peaches from our tree). And trust me, those engineered-for-transit-and-shelf-life crops taste every bit as BLEAH to us natives as they do to you at the other end of the transit line.

    I’m recovering from surgery and today Chris brought me a special treat from the grocery store. With a sparkle in his eye he presented me with a bowl of absolutely beautifully formed, deep red and luscious looking….. Strawberries. I dug deep inside, mustered up a huge smile of gratitude for the thoughtfulness of his gesture, and ate them. There is irony in tuning in to the podcast while spooning down these pseudo fruit, presented with such love and which tasted only vaguely, faintly of strawberry.

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  6. Nebraska Dave on July 23, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Brian & Susy, another great podcast. If I was to pick a favorite season it would probably have to be fall and winter. No wait that’s two isn’t it. Ok winter then. My reason is that I love soup and bread. Summer is not supportive of hot soup and hot bread. The aroma of simmering soup and baking bread with the warmth of the kitchen is totally the best. The rest of the seasons are right up there but winter is the best for me.

    My book that I read over and over has been “This Organic Life (Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader)” written by Joan Dye Gussow. It’s more than just a gardening book but really a lifestyle of a suburban homesteader. She talks about the seasonal eating and storing food without canning or freezing. Canning is always done in the hottest part of the summer season and absolutely melts the kitchen while the airconditioning is pumping away trying to keep up. I will maybe do canning once again but it will be outside at a canning station. I’m sure you have heard ofJoan. She’s been an advocate of eating local all her life.

    She has also written a book called “Growing Older” which discusses gardening when you are over 80 years old. I know you two don’t even have that on the radar yet but some day when you least expect it, smile, it’s here. I shudder to think how fast it’s creeping up on me.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your life through podcasting. Susy, you ever thought about writing a cook book?

    Have a great Maine day in the garden.

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  7. Nebraska Dave on July 28, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Brian & Susy, I just started watching Fork to Fork. It’s a great series about gardening and cooking. Their garden is amazing. Of course since I’m in the process of building fences I couldn’t help but notice all the different kinds of fences around their garden. Some were brick; some were woven wooden; and some were hedges. I should only hope to achieve the look of their garden. It must have taken decades to have a garden like that.

    Thanks for the suggestion to watch the show.

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    • Susy on July 28, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      It’s a beautiful garden isn’t it. I’m currently reading a few of his other books that have some wonderful photos.

      Reply to Susy's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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