One of the things that I preach to all my Pantry TakeOver clients is to eat the produce that is in season and avoid it when out of season. I understand people have cravings for watermelon in the winter and strawberry’s in the fall but it is a much healthier practice to learn to enjoy the fruits and vegetables that are currently in season. We are a “give me what I want when I want it” society and unfortunately we have moved away from appreciating things at the time and place they should be received and enjoyed. If you are at your local grocery store and you see out of season produce, it has most likely been shipped from far away or possibly even from out of our country. It takes a lot of gas and resources to get out of season produce to your grocery store and ultimately into your home. Produce that is shipped from far away, is generally picked way before it is ripe and ravels for many days to weeks before it is even ready to be consumed. Eating local in season produce used less gas, supports your local economy and generally tastes better. Also, you might even have the opportunity to talk directly with the farmer(s) and learn about their farming practices (ie, do they use any pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, or genetically modified seeds).
I always enjoy visiting local farms and picking my own produce. June and July is one of my favorite times of year in Georgia because I love blueberries and blackberries. My children wait all year to be able to feast on berries during the summer. North Georgia has a lot of wonderful berry farms that allow you to pick your own berries. This year we visited The Berry Barn in Woodstock Ga and Odom Farm in Canton Ga. Both farms do not spray any insecticides, pesticides or herbicides. The Berry Barn has both blueberries and blackberries and the farmer also sells jams and honey (he is a bee farmer).
Within the last month my children and I have picked more then 17 lbs of berries and have made 3 jars of blackberry jam. They love eating and picking this summer treat and if you pick enough, you can freeze some to enjoy year round! Check out local farms in your area and enjoy some in season produce!