Thursday, 9 February 2017

Veg, Fruit and Foraged Foods in Season in February

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 February? 


February can be a month to tease us that Spring is here.  Snowdrops are in flower and the days are getting longer but do not be deceived.  In all but the mildest of areas it is still well and truly winter and it will be a while before we see a major shift in what produce is available locally.

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

Vegetables


  • Turnips
  • Swede
  • Beetroot 
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Leeks
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Celeriac
  • Cavolo Nero and Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Red Cabbage
  • Lamb's Lettuce
  • Cauliflower
  • Parsnips
  • Radicchio 
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Chicory
  • Salsify

Veg from stores:

  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins and squashes
  • Onions and shallots
  • Carrots


Fruit


  • Yorkshire forced rhubarb
  • Apples (from stores)
  • Pears (from stores)

Foraging


If the weather is particularly cold in February or worse still the ground is covered in snow then it will be hard to find much to forage for.  However, in periods of mild weather there will be things to gather:


  • Chickweed
  • Wild garlic 
  • Nettles 
  • Dandelion leaves 
  • Violets
  • Wood avens 
  • Ground elder
  • Alexanders
  • Birch sap

February seasonal foods are great for making warming stews, steaming soups and hot sticky puddings.  How about a chicken and pumpkin stew or maybe some leek and potato soup and who can resist an Eve's pudding?

If you have a blog post for a recipe using produce available in February do let me know and I'll add it to this post. 


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