There’s been a push for heatlhy eating trends in recent years, including more vegetarian and vegan fare. We’ve learned about “The Slow Food Movement” which is defined as eating food that is prepared at home, cooked in the oven, and prepared mindfully. This as opposed to “Fast Foods” which are eaten on the run and we are all guilty of indulging in fast foods from time to time.
The Local foods we eat are usually found when we go to Farmers Markets, or if we happen to pass by a small food stand where someone is selling their wares by the road. We should all be aware of the types of food that are grown locally and regionally. Some local foods found in this area (the Tampa Bay area) include strawberries, tomatoes, oranges and other citrus fruits.
We also need to be more aware of organic farming, and what types of pesticides are used in fields where are foods are grown. When we know more about the process of what goes into the making of the food we eat, we can become more mindful when eating and making choices about the types of foods we consume on a daily basis.
We all have favorite foods. Some of my favorite foods growing up included lots of beef and hamburgers. Now that I know how much land it takes to raise beef, the differences between grass-fed and other beef, and the health consequences of eating too much red meat, I have made different choices about the foods I eat on a weekly basis… The foods that we can eat which are grown locally are much better choices as a rule for our weekly meal planning. However, I do confess that occasionally, I still like to indulge in hamburgers for a special treat!
Here’s a handy list compiled of foods that are locally grown in Florida. The list is from a complete list of all states and growing seasons for produce found at this link: Seasonal Food Guide in Florida.
In Florida, these are some of the native vegetables and fruits we may look for at Farmers Markets and in stores:
· Asparagus: February March & early April
· Bananas: Grown all year in Florida
· Blueberries: April & May
· Bok Choy: January, February, March, April, May, November & December
· Cabbage: January, February, March, April, May & December
· Cantaloupe: Available April, May & June
· Carrots: April & May
· Celery: January, February, March, April & December
· Chili Peppers: Available all months in Florida except July
· Chives: Available all year in Florida
· Citrus Fruits: Available all year in Florida except July & August
· Clementines: January thru April then November & December
· Collard Greens: January thru May then November & December
· Corn: January thru June then October thru December
· Grapefruit: January thru May then September thru December
· Green Beans: January thru May then November & December
· Green Onions: Grown All Year in Florida!
· Kale: Grown January thru May then November & December
· Lemongrass is grown all year in Florida
· Lemons are available all year except the months of July & August
· Lettuce: Available January thru April and in December
· Melons: Available January thru May then November & December
· Mint: Can be grown year round in Florida
· Mushrooms: Can be grown year round in Florida
· Onions: Can be grown year round in Florida
· Oranges: Grown all months except July & August in Florida
· Oregano: Can be grown year round in Florida
· Parsley: Can be grown year round in Florida
· Peaches: Grown April, May & June
· Peas: Grown January thru May and in October
· Peppers: Grown January thru May then October thru December
· Potatoes: Grown January thru May then October thru December
· Parsley: Grown January thru May then November & December
· Radishes: Grown January thru May then November & December
· Rosemary: Can be grown year round in Florida
· Snow Peas: May be grown January thru May
· Spinach: Grown March & April in Florida
· Strawberries: Grown January thru April then November & December
· Summer Squash: Grown every month excerpt July & August in Florida
· Tomatoes: Grown all year except months July thru September
· Zuccchini: Grown all year except summer months of July & August