Let’s make the most of the time we have left this summer with a hearty, healthy dose of plant-eating this August! Gardens are buzzing (hello, friendly pollinators!) and so are the farmers markets! So what are you waiting for? Get some of that local, seasonal grub!
In Season, but Not Necessarily Local:
We definitely recommend trying to eat exclusively local for a while, but don’t beat yourself up if you still want to expand your palate. You can feel good eating these not-necessarily-Maryland, but nevertheless in-season foods:
- Bitter melon
- Bok choy
- Cactus pads
- Collard Greens
- Ginger root
- Green beans
- Mustard greens
- Peppers, chile
- Peppers, sweet
- Shelling beans
- Squash, summer
- Taro root
- Cactus pears
*Can be found at the market, but not within its natural growing season.
Where to Buy
Most seasonal Farmers Markets are starting to open now. Have a look at the Maryland Farmers Markets webpage from the Maryland Department of Agriculture to find a market close to you. One of our favorite Baltimore markets is the year-round 32nd Street Farmers Market in Waverly!
Additionally, it’s not uncommon for grocery stores, particularly health food stores, to carry and label produce grown locally (typically, ‘local’ to a grocer includes a multi-state region—at least it does from our experience in Maryland). And remember, buying food while it’s in season can be a lot cheaper! You might also be surprised to find out that wholesale stores (e.g., BJ’s, Costco, or SAM’s Club, etc.) will shift their stock depending on the season! (Bulk kale? Kale yeah!)
For the Seasonal, Local, Cheap series, we’re also partnering with (vegan) farmer Emma Jagoz from Moon Valley Farm in Baltimore County. She’s providing some great information about local food. There are a number of share types (so you can select one to suit your needs) as well as various pick-up locations (so you can find one that’s conveniently located). Check out Moon Valley Farm online.
Eating seasonally can be quite rewarding, but once you allow yourself to perceive it as limiting you might find yourself hitting road blocks. You can complement seasonal foods with grains, pastas, breads, dried goods, canned goods, and jarred foods, or with frozen foods as well. We highly recommend saving money by purchasing these goods in bulk, or preserving and storing foods from earlier seasons yourself. Buying in bulk might be especially valuable this time of year, to avoid last minute trips to the grocer before impending snow storms. And of course season your food with dried spices and sauces you’ve either purchased or made throughout the year!
We’ve perused a collection of vegan websites and recipe sites to select a handful of recipes you might want to try. Most or all of the ingredients are typically in-season this time of year, with the occasional out-of-season addition. We encourage you to play around with the recipes yourself, and if you think you can make it 100% local and 100% in-season, we would love to see what you cook up! Here are some ideas:
- Nutty Redcurrant Muffins | Vegalicious
- Warming Leek & Celery Soup | In Vegetables We Trust
- Okra & Chickpea Tagine | Eating Well
- Spicy Lime Cauliflower Steak | One Green Planet
- Rustic Apple & Pear Crisp | The Simple Veganista
- Seasonal Foods Guide
- Cookie + Kate January Produce Guide
- CUESA Seasonality Chart
- CUESA Seasonality Chart for Fruit
- Shari’s Berries Fruit Seasons Chart
- Calendar of Maryland Harvests
- Pick Your Own | Maryland Harvest Calendar
- Maryland Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables
- Maryland Fruit and Vegetable Seasonality Chart