News from GIY Ireland

By: Shona DuboisWeekly Column- June 27

A supermarket is a place where there are no seasons. You can buy any vegetable you want at any time of the year. Want a butternut squash in May? Your local supermarket probably has one for sale, though it was most probably grown in Ghana and spent weeks in the back of a container lorry.  For all its technological wizardry, there is a terrifying blandness about the modern food chain, with its continuous, year-round supply of mediocre, uniform produce.

The veggie patch on the other hand, is a place where thankfully, the seasons still hold sway in all their riotous glory.  Seasonality is not without its frustrations of course (it involves a lot of waiting for one thing – particularly this year), but at least it brings diversity and variety in its wake.  Vegetables were never designed to be available all year round - the wax and wane of the seasons is part of their nature.  And of course, nature knows best when it comes to deciding which foods we should eat at particular times of the year – the starchy root crops to warm the soul in winter, and the water-filled luscious fruit to quench and nourish us in the summer.  Eating seasonally means eating nutritious, healthy food right when our bodies need it.

Summer is truly a time of plenty for GIYers - a time when we perhaps start to struggle to keep up with the output of the veggie patch. Though the work is hard, we can also take time to enjoy the fruits of our labour.  Savour the taste of produce that is organic, local and seasonal.  Celebrate its diversity. If you grew a crazy-shaped carrot or a metre-long courgette, congratulate yourself on having produced something utterly unique, which your supermarket wouldn't even let inside the door!

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