The slight nip in the air during the early morning hours as I make my way to an 8:00 am class tells me that summer is over. Fresh strawberries, abundant cucumbers and zucchinis are giving way to pumpkins, butternut squash, acorn squash, cabbage, kale, crisp apples, and luscious pears. The golds, reds and oranges that color the world, and my yard, tell me that it’s time for our family to make our yearly trip to our favorite apple orchard. With the changing of the season, each member of my family knows that apple sauce making time is about to commence.
What do fall, food, farmers markets and apple sauce making have to do with health and wholeness? Seasons change and with that change, the foods that are abundant and available change. This does not have to be a bad thing. The foods available to us in each season provides us with a chance to diversify our eating habits, as well the amount and range of nutrients we put into our bodies. The nutrient density of foods eaten in their season tend to be higher. Eating seasonally means we get the chance to continue eating fresh, nutrient dense foods. What is exciting to me is that eating seasonally means you get to try new things. We get to connect with the farmers who have planted and harvested these foods. We get to see and experience a rhythm to the year. We get to eat adventurously. The abundance of wholesome foods that is available to us can be found even in the fall. The adventure and wisdom in eating seasonally can nourish our bodies, our lives, and our communities.
The wonderful thing about farmers markets is that you are guaranteed to find a fruit, vegetable or plant that you have never seen before. Summer seems so abundant, but so is fall. There is no need to panic. The farmers market at the Dixie Classic Fairgrounds in Winston-Salem is overflowing with the bounty of the fall. The Old Salem Cobblestone Market is winding down its third season, but the fall harvests are waiting to be enjoyed. Farmers markets across the state belie our panic that the abundance of summer is over. Let’s eat adventurously!
Information to help you eat seasonally
- List of seasonal availability for fruits and vegetables in North Carolina, courtesy of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences
- Seasonal availability of seafood
- Forsyth County 2014 Farmers Markets and Stands
–Nicole Johnson, PHW Intern, Wake Forest University School of Divinity