As we pass Midsummer’s Day, the growing season in Lancashire comes into full swing with a variety of crops becoming available. For the next couple of months it becomes super easy to ‘taste the season’ and eat a variety of local and seasonal food – food grown, made and sold in Lancashire.
What’s in season?
According to my seasonal local food calendar the vegetables of the moment are: new potatoes, broad beans, cabbage, carrots, beetroot, chard, courgettes, summer onions, salad leaves and early peas. (You can download your own seasonal food calendar for Lancaster from FoodFuturesblog).
Herbs that are in season and can be grown in your own backyard include basil, bay, chives, parsley, fennel, lemon balm, mint, rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano just to name a few.
And as keen foragers will no doubt be aware, elderflowers and wild roses are in full bloom, offering opportunities to make and try elderflower fritters, cordial and champagne whilst trying out rose petal tea.
Strawberries, one of the first fruits to ripen after the winter, are now available. In terms of other seasonal fruit, cherries, gooseberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants and jostaberries are starting to ripen and will mark the start of a hopefully fruit-full summer.
We know there is an abundance of local and seasonal produce, but where can we access it?
Well there are a variety of answers to this question: from browsing the hedgerows with an experienced forager, to helping out at Claver Hill community food project or buying from a local food business that sources from local food producers- such as Single Step in Lancaster.
This past weekend North Lancashire’s FoodFutures trialled an online Midsummer’s market on Facebook which showcased a number of local food producers. You can still view these – giving you the perfect opportunity to directly support local food businesses and projects.
In the next couple of weeks FoodFutures will also be publishing an updated online local food directory – helping you to find information about food, drink and seeds produced in and around Lancaster. It will also highlight local community food projects and restaurants that actively try and source some of their produce locally.
Midsummer recipe ideas
Growing and buying seasonal local food is all well and good, but you also need to know how to cook with seasonal produce.
To help inspire ideas, we have shared a few Midsummer recipes below and encourage you to share your favaourite seasonal recipes with us via Facebook and Twitter (@FoodFuturesLanc).