‘Tis the Season

Gill Kelsall, EYN Partnership Registered Nutritionist

There are three main reasons to eat UK grown seasonal fruit and vegetables.  Firstly, they taste better.  There is no doubt that strawberries eaten in July taste miles better than those eaten in December.  Secondly, it is considered much better for the environment to eat fruit and vegetables in season as growing them at the right time of the year requires lower levels of artificial input like heating, lighting, pesticides, fertilisers and transportation.  Thirdly, they can be cheaper, so that means more money in your pocket! 

Have a look at my list of seasonal fruit and veg for some inspiration for your next shopping trip or even for your garden or allotment if you are green-fingered!

January
Beetroot, brussels sprouts, carrots, cabbage (savoy and green), celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, parsnip, potatoes, radish, rhubarb (forced), round lettuce.

carrots

February
Brussels sprouts, cabbage (savoy and green), cauliflower, celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, parsnips, purple sprouting broccoli, round lettuce.

March
Brussels sprouts, cabbage (savoy and green),  cauliflower,  celeriac, celery, kale, leeks,  pak choi, parsnips,  purple sprouting broccoli, radish, rhubarb (forced),  round lettuce, spring onion,  swedes, turnips, winter spinach.

April
Asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, celeriac,  celery (trench), chard, chicory, cucumber, new potatoes, kale, leeks, pak choi, purple sprouting broccoli, rhubarb, round lettuce, spring onions, swedes, turnips, winter spinach.

May
Asparagus, broad beans, brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflowers, chard, cucumber, curly lettuce, globe artichoke, iceberg lettuce, new potatoes, kale,  little gem lettuce, pak choi, parsley, perpetual spinach, radishes, rhubarb, rocket, spinach,  spring onion, turnips, turnip tops.

rhubarb stalks

June
Asparagus,  beetroot, broad beans, broccoli, cabbage (spring and summer), carrots, cauliflower,  chard, cherries, chicory, courgette, cos lettuce, cucumber, curly lettuce, endive, fennel, French beans,   garlic, globe artichoke, gooseberries, iceberg lettuce,  new potatoes, mangetout,  pak choi, peas, perpetual spinach, potatoes, purple sprouting broccoli, radishes, raspberries, redcurrants, rhubarb, rocket, runner beans,  samphire, spinach, spring  onions,  strawberries, turnips, watercress.

July
Asparagus, beetroots, blueberries, bramley apples, broad beans, broccoli, cabbage (spring and summer), carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, cherries, chicory, cos lettuce, courgette, cucumber, curly lettuce, endive, fennel, French beans, garlic, gooseberries, iceberg lettuce,  jersey royal new potatoes, leeks, mangetout, onion, pak choi, peas, perpetual spinach, purple sprouting broccoli, redcurrants, strawberries, sweetcorn, peppers, potatoes, radish,  raspberries, rhubarb, rocket, runner beans,  samphire, spinach, spring onions, tomatoes, turnips, watercress.

apple tree

August
Apples, beetroot, blueberries, broccoli, broad beans, carrots, cauliflowers, celery, chard, cherries, chicory, courgettes, cucumbers, curly lettuce, currants, endive, fennel, French beans, garlic, globe artichokes, gooseberries, leeks, lettuce,  mangetout, marrow, onions, pak choi, parsnips, peas, peppers, perpetual spinach, plums, potatoes, purple sprouting broccoli, radishes, raspberries, red cabbage, redcurrants,  rocket, runner beans, samphire, shallots, spinach, spring onions, squash, strawberries, summer cabbage, sweetcorn, tomatoes, turnips, watercress.

September
Apples, beetroot, blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, broad beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflowers, celeriac, celery, chard, chicory, cherries, courgette, cucumbers, endive, fennel, French beans, garlic, globe artichokes, gooseberries, kale, leeks, lettuce, mangetout, marrow, onions, peas, pak choi, parsnips, peppers, perpetual spinach, plums, potatoes, purple sprouting broccoli, radishes, raspberries, red cabbage, redcurrants, rocket, round lettuce, runner beans,  samphire, shallots, spinach, spring onions, squash, strawberries, summer cabbage, swede, sweetcorn, tomatoes, turnips, watercress.

October
Apples, beetroots, blackcurrants, broccoli, cabbage (red, Savoy, spring green),  cauliflower, celeriac,  celery,  chicory, cos lettuce, French beans,  iceberg lettuce, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, kohlrabi,  leeks, lettuce, marrow, pak choi, parsnips, pears, peas, perpetual spinach, pumpkin, purple sprouting broccoli, radishes, round lettuce, runner beans,  spinach, squash, swede, sweetcorn, tomatoes, turnips.

November
Brussels sprouts, cabbage (red, white, savoy),  carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery,  cos lettuce, endive, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, little gem lettuce,  pak choi, parsnips, perpetual spinach, potatoes,  pumpkin, purple sprouting broccoli, round lettuce, swede, turnip, winter radish.

December
Brussels sprouts, cabbage (spring green, savoy), carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks, parsnips, potatoes (maincrop), purple sprouting broccoli, radish, round lettuce, swede, turnip.

savoy leaves

You should also look out for UK grown melons as these are starting to arrive in supermarkets.  You could try to grow melons in your garden but you may find they grow best in a greenhouse or under a cold frame. You could also try growing kohl rabi, grapes, ginger, okra or aubergines which can all be grown in this country but do not tend to be grown in large quantities here.  There may be some other fruit and vegetables that you have grown here in the UK.  Please let us know of any unusual ones that you have succeeded in growing in this country!

This is my list and I am sure there are some things that are missed off this list but I have included as many as I can think of.  There are many benefits to eating seasonal food, so let's help the environment, eat tastier food alongside saving the pennies, and eat as seasonably as we can. 

I have used several resources to help me compile this list.  I have used my own knowledge from growing my own fruit and vegetables at home and in my allotment.  I have used a couple of resources, The Eat Seasonably Calendar, that you can find here, and The School Food Trust, Eat Better, Do Better, that you can find here. I also used some of my trusty vegetable growing books, Grow Your Own Veg by Carol Klein and The Allotment Book by Andi Clevely.

 

Following her Nursing degree and 7 years working as a nurse in the UK & Australia, Gill decided to focus on nutritional health. In 2000, she qualified with a distinction in a Masters in Human Nutrition from Sheffield University, and quickly moved into the community public health sector, working closely with nurseries, schools, health visitors, social workers, nursery nurses and families in Coventry to improve nutrition knowledge and skills. Gill then developed a community healthy eating cook-book and worked for two healthy living organisations in Coventry as a community nutritionist.  
The EYN Partnership would like to thank Gill for contributing her expert thoughts and personal views on this issue. Please note, that if you have any questions regarding the above as it relates to children in your care, please contact your healthcare professional for guidance.