enhanced salad tunnelChristmas  is only just over and already the supermarket shelves have been stripped of tinsel and toys and refilled with chocolate eggs. No wonder our lives seem to speed by when we’re always thinking three months ahead of ourselves and never living in the moment.

It’s difficult to avoid the panic generated by these multi-million dollar organisations. In a few days there will be adverts on TV for Valentines Day, accompanied by the pink-bedecked aisles in stores, of course. Once that’s over, the chocolate eggs will come out in force, shortly followed by (or in tandem with) the frenzy of Mothers’ Day. Then it will be barbeques and camping and Father’s Day, Halloween, and… No, I won’t say it. I’m still getting over the last one.

Ironically, the very aisles these ephemeral goodies appear on are named ‘seasonal’. Seasonal food should be what it says, not aimed at a holiday which hasn’t yet arrived. Think how nice it would be to let the seasons come in their own time. Each week a new vegetable comes into season – at its best, in its proper time, and not force-grown or shipped from overseas.

For those of us living in town and following busy lives, staying in tune with the British seasons is often difficult. Yet it’s not impossible. A visit to Taunton Farmer’s Market on a Thursday will introduce you to everything  growing and living in the local fields and woodlands, right now. Make it a regular visit, and you’ll see the produce on stalls like Linscombe Farm change as the seasons pass.

With locally grown produce, you get the benefit of eating with the season, enjoying more nutritious food, and helping the environment. What better way to kick off the new year?

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