Eating with the seasons is beneficial to the health of the body because it allows the body to go through various needed changes that balance our internal environment and functions. Eating with the seasons also allows us to get the most flavor, nutritional value, variety and allows for the most affordable selection of food. Foods hold their highest nutritional content at the peak of their ripeness, which occurs within the traditional growing season. When we eat in tune with the natural rhythms of the seasons it allows for our own balance to naturally to occur. Eating with the seasons is a great tool in balancing and improving digestion among various other improvements.
There are three options- farm 3 seasons (Winter, Spring and Summer) or Traditional Chinese Medicine 5 Element/Seasons (Spring, Summer, Late Summer, Autumn and Winter) or commonly known simple seasons (Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn)–if you decide to give this a try you can pick which one is best suited for you to work with and research more about each aspect….
Below is a simple list of what is available in the spring time which is not everything that can be accessed during this time of year…
Herbs: chervil, chives, dill, horseradish root, mint, parsley, tarragon
Salad greens: arugula (rocket), baby lettuces, endive, mâche (corn salad), mizuna, pac choi, sorrel, spinach, watercress
Cooking greens: beet greens, chard, collards, kale, radish greens, spinach, turnip greens
Root veggies: beets, parsnips, radishes, salad turnips
Sea veggies: dulse, various kelps (such as kombu and wakame), nori (laver), wrack
Fruits: apricots, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, raspberries, rhubarb (not technically a fruit), strawberries
Ephemeral garden treats: garlic scapes, pea shoots
Wild edibles: cactus pears, cattails, claytonia (miner’s lettuce), dandelion greens, fiddlehead ferns, lamb’s quarters, morel mushrooms, nettles, pokeweed, purslane, ramps (wild leeks)
Garden veggies: asparagus, garden peas, potatoes, scallions, spring onions, sugar snap peas
Meat: Most pasture-raised meat and wild game is best in the fall and winter, but spring is a great time to stock up on frozen and aged meats. In some areas, there is also a spring turkey season.
Fish: Spring is the season for most freshwater fish including bass, carp, catfish, crappie, pike, salmon, sunfish, trout and walleye. Saltwater seasons vary.
Dairy: Fresh milk and cheeses made with milk from animals that graze on green pasture are highly nutritious in late spring.
Eggs: Fresh farm eggs are rich with omega-3 fatty acids and other grass-derived nutrients in spring.
Nuts and seeds: Because most kinds of nuts are not harvested in the spring, you will want to choose roasted nuts for the best flavor.
(follows the Traditional Chinese Medicine 5 Elements/Seasons)