Kathy shares her food journey and how she ended up eating with the seasons.

“My childhood dream was to have a small-holding and be as self-sufficient as possible. But life got in the way.”

“When I was working, I used to take a big salad and lots of fruit to work to get me through the 12-hour shifts. When I came home, I had to feed the kids who wanted the same vegetables all year round. I wasn’t eating very seasonally back then. It wasn’t until retirement that I had time to think about doing things differently.”

“As I approached retirement, the advice was to do something unrelated to work. For a year I joined friends volunteering once a week at Growing with Nature, a local organic veg box scheme. We learnt so much from Alan, the owner. We also came home ladened with unsellable seasonal veg. It was free food that was perfectly edible.”

“I learnt to use this seasonal veg in recipes. Fortunately, my husband just likes to eat anything and was supportive of the change”.

“I started to keep a file of recipes. I would pull out a selection that used whatever veg I brought back from the farm. I then started to experiment with substituting ingredients if I didn’t have what the recipes called for.  Some things like vegetarian lasagne, spaghetti, curry, chilli, pasties, crumble, or stir fry can use any veg, whatever the season”.

“Then two friends bought land where people could grow food as a community, learning from one another. I joined immediately. After six years, I stopped buying most veg.”

“I still need tin tomatoes, sweet corn, olives, and fresh peppers. I buy apples and oranges as long as the season lasts. I look at plums, peaches, grapes in plastic boxes and walk on by.

Through this, I have started to think about how to store seasonal surpluses.”

“Drying herbs is easy. Pickling beets and onions are okay. I like sauerkraut, chutney, and jam. I have learnt that storing only lasts so long. I have kept a marrow until January, a squash until April and spuds until May but the potatoes are getting pretty sad by then.”

“Eating with the seasons now comes easy to me, and my husband says we eat better food than many restaurants serve!”

We at FoodFutures are keen to hear, learn from and share more food journeys and stories of change.

For example: Have you started eating more local and seasonal food?  Have you started cooking from scratch? Have you reduced the amount of meat and dairy you eat? Have you started to grow some of your own fruit and veg? Do you try to eat more organic produce? Or have you joined or set up a community food project?

We are interested to hear what led to the above, and what supported (and challenged you!) along the way. If you are interested in sharing your food journey, please contact anna@lessuk.org

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