Seasonal Eating (Key To Cutting Ties to the Grocery Store)

Eating seasonally on the homestead for improved health and cutting ties to the grocery store! #homesteader #gardener

One of the best things about growing your own food is eating seasonally!
I have always liked to cook, like to can, love to bake, but doing it seasonally was really challenging for me at first!
We are a country of people that eat what we want when we want... no matter the season. That was me all the way!

That's a nice thing but the problem is the veggies and fruits are often tasteless and sometimes from other countries that allow way more dangerous chemicals sprayed that we do. Maybe those veggies and fruits can hit a craving but they don't do much for our health.
Which is why a lot of people want to farm, healthy and tasty foods!

So if you're thinking you want to grow your own food??
Better start thinking outside the box when it comes to cooking and start eating seasonally! It's not hard just a different way of thinking about the food you prepare!

Like everything else on the farm, it was a learning curve for us. One well worth the time and trouble!
When things don't come in a package or on demand you have to cook by the seat of your pants and use what's on hand.
The things I grow aren't always in my recipe books ( ground cherries!) 
Then there are things I get in great abundance that I must use or preserve if possible! ( mustard greens)

Learning to love tomato or green bean salads in the summer instead of lettuce salads (lettuce dies in our heat here) Substituting an in-season ingredient for an out of season ingredient in a recipe...
Some people have a problem doing this but once you get used to it I promise you will not want to eat any other way!
It's fresh, healthy... and tastes better than anything you can buy out of season or in a package!

Different Season New Cuisine!

Winter Eats

Here in zone 7 TN, we have 4 lovely seasons. I like to think each season has its own cuisine :-)
In the winter I did a recipe challenge on the 5 days of cushaw and it was fantastic! 
Winter squash is a major food for us in the winter... summer squash, except what I dehydrated or froze for baking is long gone. 
Winter cuisine is a mix of home preserved foods from summer and foods that store well. Fresh vegetables are cold hardy plants I grow in my winter gardens under low tunnels.

I get asked all the time... doesn't canning destroy the nutrition in the foods?
Well, certainly not all the nutrients are destroyed! It's not as nutritious as fresh, but my naturally grown, no preservative canned foods I say are a lot more safe than fresh out of season veggies from another country!
Preserving foods for times when not much grows is a way to survive and has been for centuries!
Having preserved homegrown food is a blessing and a treasure in the winter. I also dehydrate and freeze, although I prefer not to have too much of my vegetable and fruit supply for winter dependant on the freezer.
The four-season garden can only do so much. Preserving the bounty from your farm needs to happen unless you live somewhere with no winter.
Spring, summer and fall cuisine, except for relishes, our grain corn, and pickles, can pretty much all be fresh foods for our climate here.
Eating seasonally on the homestead for improved health and cutting ties to the grocery store! #homesteader #gardener

Spring Eats

Spring brings greens and snow peas! Breakfast for me is often a green smoothie of some kind this time of year using frozen fruits from previous harvests and whatever is ready in the garden! Spinach, kale sometimes young mustard greens do the trick.

Lunch is salads with raw snow peas and fresh lettuces! 
Dinner can be snow peas (again!) but cooked in bacon grease along with sauteed greens or maybe a quiche with lots of chopped greens and fresh herbs from the garden that are starting to pop up!
Spring is a lot of fun for seasonal eaters!
Eating seasonally on the homestead for improved health and cutting ties to the grocery store! #homesteader #gardener

Summer Eats

Right now we have a few new potatoes, beans, leeks, garlic, basil, an abundance of summer squash and cucumbers... starting to get into tomato season and okra is coming...
we have plenty of eggs, have slaughtered 10 ducks and a hog so we also have a good bit of lard and duck fat.

Average summer dinner....summer herbed sausage pattie with pepper relish (canned from last years garden).. sauteed green beans and asparagus beans with fresh garlic in lard,,,,
duck hearts and livers sauteed with leeks in lard...  roast new potatoes in duck fat,, fresh slices of yellow pear tomato.
We even serve seasonal foods to guests ..why go to the store for products not as good as what you've got...entertaining with a fresh from the garden menu is so nice! And actually pretty easy... 
.. for summer entertaining we may have green bean salad, a flatbread made from my homemade cornmeal, zucchini and duck eggs... topped with heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil,,,
grilled pork chops, a dessert made with fresh berries wildcrafted or cultivated.

Breakfast .... never has it been the most important meal of the day for me... until I farmed!

Average summer breakfast.... duck eggs, summer squash rolled in cornmeal and fried in lard, slices of fresh tomato .. maybe an herbed sausage pattie. In the winter we still get eggs but the veggies would change from squash to fresh greens, sauerkraut and maybe a piece of bacon.
I believe in veggies for breakfast... and every meal really!!!!

Fall Eats

We tend to have a long fall here. Peppers are still plentiful but grain corn and winter squash are coming in! 
Homemade pumpkin spice everything! Pumpkin breakfast smoothies! 
Fresh ground cornbread and country ham for lunch! Maybe winter squash and bean tacos for dinner! Topped with fresh sauteed peppers of course!

We did not eat anything like this before we grew our own food but now we wouldn't want it any other way!

Grow Variety for Food Security

We were having a hot June and going into July it's wet... rabbits have had a field day with some of the things in my garden which make me rely on the things that they didn't want to eat! This is all an adjustment when you're growing your own food..... I was counting on provider beans... the rabbits ate them all,, thankfully my dragon tongue beans did well in a more protected area so they have been my go-to bean for eating and canning this summer.

I do get discouraged by the failures, like this season...the rabbits eating all my provider beans... the excess rain washing away my mulch making way for weeds! Things like my peppers are not doing as well this year as last..... cracked tomatoes from to much rain....artichokes looking like they are not going to work out again! I could go on.....

 I have to adjust the menus and focus on the fact that even though all is not perfect in the garden or barnyard... I still gathered a whole bushel of vegetables today!

Eating seasonally on the homestead for improved health and cutting ties to the grocery store! #homesteader #gardener

Roll with the Punches!

Being flexible in what you 'think' breakfast, lunch or dinner should be is a must here...
Some things I used to love just can't be grown in TN... so I have had to learn to love the things that can be grown here even more... and I do!
 Different ways of preparing and substituting what's available have been a key in our success in cutting our ties with the grocery store.

Sorta like learning to love the livestock that's productive here... not hold onto the livestock that couldn't cut it in this climate or can't be grown organically here! 

I canned 6 pints and 4 half pints of wild blackberries and have a dehydrator full of tomatoes and ground cherries...
I ate breakfast, lunch, and snacks today, ALL things grown on my farm... and my husband and I will sit down to a dinner all grown right here.... in-season vegetables and recently slaughtered meats from livestock we grew..maybe from an animal I had never planned to grow in the first place.... but if it's what works....

Accept it, learn to cook it and love it..... keys to homestead success
and abundant blessings... never forget to Praise the Lord for the things that work out!

1 comment:

  1. Yes. Praise the Lord for his abundant blessings. Your meals look delicious.