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Happy Spring! Out with the Old, In with the New (Produce)

on March 19, 2013

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Happy first day of Spring!  What’s not to love about this season?  The days are longer, the air is warmer, the kids can finally play outside again, and the farmers’ markets will be overflowing with fresh produce before you know it.  Good riddance to the root vegetables, apples, and pears of winter!  It’s time to make room for asparagus, spinach, broccoli, greens, beets, peas, lettuce, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cabbage, cucumbers, summer squash and corn (to name a few).  I may be getting a little ahead of myself with some of those, but the thought of fresh spring/summer produce really excites me.

Local produce at farmers’ markets is not necessarily organic, and I’m certainly not trying to start a war over local vs. organic, but I think local is the way to go when you don’t have access to organic.  The shorter the distance your fruits and vegetables have to travel to reach your plate mean the fresher they are, the less fuel they consume, and the less pollution their journey creates.  I also think it’s important to support local farmers, whether that’s at your local farmer’s market or through a CSA share, so that they don’t become obsolete.  Hopefully you are able to get the best of both worlds at your local farmer’s market by finding organic local produce.

Speaking of local, right now our west coast friends are enjoying artichokes, asparagus, avocados, broccoli, grapefruit, kumquats, lemons, mushrooms, oranges, and tangerines while we are patiently awaiting the arrival of asparagus and spinach in April on the east coast.  (I’m kind of thinking I need to move to California now!)  Do you know what the growing season is in your neck of the woods?  Epicurious has a great interactive seasonal ingredient map that provides you with a list of in-season produce by month based on your location.  It also allows you to click on the produce for descriptions and recipe ideas.  Check it out here.

What fruits and vegetables are you most looking forward to cooking with again?  Please share your favorite seasonal recipes in the comments section below!

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