Photo: Seasonal eats

Live life on the edge — eat with the seasons

You've heard it a thousand times, "eat more fruits and veggies."

Author and food activist Michael Pollan says "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Sam Graci of Genuine Health also suggests you get 10 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day. He formulated greens+ to help many who struggle to meet that target.

You won't find an easier time of year to get your 10 servings a day!

Tip 1: Get out of the grocery store

Contrary to what's in a typical produce section, apples and carrots are not in season year round. Apples are almost the exception to the rule, unavailable locally only three months a year: May, June and July. And you'd be hard-pressed to find carrots in season January to May.

Tip 2: Try a local farmer's market

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They showcase local bounty like no other! And farmers know stuff. Find out which crops are faring well and prepare for some that aren't looking so great. (I'm dreaming of corn-on-the-cob but corn needs 90 days of sun. In B.C., where we had a long, rainy spring — this buttery staple could be rare.)

Farmers can also give you tips on storing produce to avoid food waste, preparation, and how to use the whole vegetable (onion tops make great veggie broth).

Tip 3: Be prepared for the unexpected

Live on the edge, shop without a grocery list. The list itself isn't the problem — it cuts back on impulse buying. But if you buy the same thing every week all year you'll miss out on produce that's in season.

Note: adjust your smoothie recipe — strawberries in June, raspberries and cherries in July, blueberries and blackberries in August — you get the idea. See a list of seasonally available fruits and veggies in B.C. and Ontario.

Tip 4: Start a seasonal food tradition

For 32 years, David Suzuki and his family look forward to an annual organic cherry run at the end of June and hand-pick hundreds of pounds! This summer I grabbed some friends for a Slow Food Cycle, an experience not to be missed.

How do you get your 10 a day and celebrate local and seasonal food?

Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green

P.S. If you're in B.C. there's still time to register for Pemberton's annual Slow Food Cycle August 21st

August 8, 2011

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