Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Veg, Fruit and Foraged Foods in Season in March

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 March? 


March is a month that gardeners often term The Hungry Gap.  Winter veg is getting to the end of its season but summer produce is not yet available.  However that doesn't mean you'll starve and there is still plenty of choice for in season produce. 

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

Vegetables


  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli
  • Leeks
  • Cavolo Nero and Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Spring Greens
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Lamb's Lettuce
  • Cauliflower
  • Romanesco
  • Parsnips
  • Radicchio 
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Chicory
  • Carrots (by the end of the month)
  • Pak Choi
  • New Potatoes (by end of month)

Veg from stores:

  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins and squashes
  • Onions and shallots


Fruit


  • Rhubarb
  • Apples (from stores)

Foraging


March begins to see a real growth (literally) in wht is available for foraging and even if March is cold you should find some things to forage for:


  • Chickweed 
  • Japanese Knotweed  NOTE - it is illegal to put any knotweed waste, however small, in your compost or garden as it will spread and you could get a criminal record if convicted!
  • Wild garlic 
  • Nettles 
  • Dandelion leaves and roots
  • Violets
  • Wood avens 
  • Ground elder
  • Alexanders
  • Birch sap

March seasonal foods are all still ideal for making warming meals to ward off the worst of the cold weather March can throw at us.  What about Purple sprouting broccoli with Parmesan & herbed crumbs or leek and wild garlic risotto followed by a baked sticky rhubarb pudding.

If you have a blog post for a recipe using produce available in March do let me know and I'll add it to this post.  I will certainly be making rhubarb puddings soon as my rhubarb is starting to peep through now! Do you have a favourite rhubarb recipe you'd like to share?


1 comment :

  1. I'm certainly looking forward to harvesting my purple sprouting broccoli this month. I've never seen it for sale here in France, have you? Certainly a good reason to grow it yourself, and it always seems to grow well, even with the cold winters where I am.

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