Seasonal Vegetables:From Garden to Plate
By: Eric Maczko
Chef Eric takes us out to the Round Pond gardens to see what’s fresh, then back to the kitchen to translate it to a meal. Plus … Eric’s three top reasons to love seasonal vegetables.
At Round Pond, Chef Eric has access to the winery garden at all times; all of the food prepared for events, garden tastings, and estate tastings are solely based upon what is in season and oftentimes, much planning is underway with the gardeners to figure out what he would like to make in the coming months – have to make sure that the seedlings have started!
Three Reasons to Love Seasonal Vegetables
1) Seasonal Vegetables are Less Expensive – If you compare the price of cucumbers grown in the height of summer with cukes imported during the winter, you’ll notice a world of difference. Seasonal savings increase even more if you’ve got your own garden. For the price of seeds, soil and some tending time, you’ll have fresh vegetables—for free—all season just outside your door.
2) Seasonal Vegetables Have Less Environmental Impact – The amount of gasoline used to truck and ship vegetables from farms all over the country—and the world—to supermarkets really adds up. When vegetables are in season, that distance shrinks enormously. Your veggies are either coming from your garden or, if you’re shopping at a farmers market, traveling a short distance from local farms.
3) We Tend to Crave Vegetables in Their Seasons – Think about it. I know I tend to crave vegetables like winter squash and hearty greens during the colder months and things like tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers during hot summer months. Do you? It isn’t just psychological; it makes sense from a practical perspective too. Winter foods are denser and richer, making them natural “comfort foods,” while summer foods are juicier with a higher water content, making them refreshing in the heat.