A seasonal calendar shows you when native veggies and fruit are in season. Additionally, it tells you whether the produce is available fresh or stored. Curious how to use a seasonal calendar? Read on!

Box with seasonal veggies

How to combine good and healthy eating with climate protection?

Healthy nutrition, good for the environment, climate protection and delicious. Four wishes at once. And yes, it works. Many reasons speak in favor of using seasonal and, if possible, regional fruits and veggies produced according to ecological standards. Seasonal food contains most of the nutrients and thus contribute to a healthy diet. It grows seasonally and regionally, regardless of human influence. As a result, there is no need to ship it across the globe, which protects the environment. Native produce is harvested when it’s fully ripe, which is when it’s at its most delicious.

Maintaining a seasonal overview

We live in a time when everything seems to be available at any time: cherries in March, cucumbers in December, asparagus in October, strawberries in February. However, even onions aren’t harvested all year round in this country. It doesn’t feel easy to keep track of things. However, it is precisely this overview that is of great importance for a healthy, enjoyable and at the same time environmentally and climate-friendly diet with fruit and vegetables. 

A look at the seasonal calendar

Very few products are available all year round from organic and regional cultivation. And that’s good! Every season has its own fruits and vegetable. This varieties makes it exciting.

Those of you who have ever picked a fresh apple from the tree, plucked a ripe tomato from the bush or pulled a crunchy carrot out of the ground to eat it immediately, will not forget this moment. But most people do not have the opportunity to harvest their own foods. Shopping according to the seasonal calendar is the next best alternative. Ideally from organic producers at the local farmers´ market or directly the farm.

Anyone who has already switched to seasonal and regional products knows that there is no way back. Cooking with seasonal fruit and veggies is fun, we can get creative while the food keeps us healthy in a natural way. When you buy seasonal produce , you know exactly what’s in your meals. No more unwanted and sometimes hidden additives. The chef decides her- or himself how much sugar and salt goes into the dish.

Besides, the body needs this diversity in order to stay healthy. The vitamins of the autumn apple prepare us for the cold season, while salads in spring wash toxins out of our bodies and help us lose the winter fat. Strawberries, cucumbers, and melons provide us with the liquid we need at high temperatures in summer. Seasonal fruits and veggies are the little heroes of nutrition, and other produce can’t compete with them.

Now I need a seasonal calendar, too!

Seasonal calendar "Calendarium Culinarium"
©Patricia Schichl/Calendarium Culinarium

You can find seasonal calendars online. Eufic let’s you select your country in Europe and the season or months and then shows you which fruits and veggies have season in your country. If you prefer an offline calendar, I can recommend the seasonal calendar “Calendarium Culinarium” from Slow Food Youth. It’s not only an eye-catcher for your kitchen, it as well teaches you a little bit of culinary German. With 50 hand-drawn types of seasonal fruit and vegetables, it depicts the variety of local foods and indicates exactly when they are available – be it fresh from the field or as stock goods.

So …

When we talk about consuming high-quality, clean and fair produce at a reasonable price that protects the environment, then we are by no means talking about sacrifice. Instead, we are talking about embracing the seasonal diversity, getting inspired, daring something every now and then and having a lot of fun in the kitchen. The seasonal calendar is a fine guide.