July is here, bringing higher temperatures and hopefully less rain with it. Here, we look at what's in season over the coming month to help you make the most of our gorgeous Irish produce.
While a lot of people associate July with summer holidays to warmer climes, we get very excited about new produce during this month. Peas, raspberries and blackcurrants all start to appear during July, while strawberries and radishes are still full of flavour and widely available.
Due to the warm weather we've been experiencing this year, seasonality has gone a bit awry, with a lot of fruit and vegetables coming into season a lot earlier than usual. This may mean that they will go out of season earlier too, so make sure to use what you can while it's still available.
What's in season:
- Broad beans
- French beans
- New season potatoes
- Pak choi
- Runner beans
- Spring onions
What's going out of season:
What's coming into season soon:
What to forage:
- Crab apple
What to plant in July:
Above, we have mentioned a few seasonal ingredients that are perfect for foraging at this time of year. Foraging means to collect food from public spaces, like forests or hills, which is perfectly legal. However, it is illegal to forage on private land without the owner's permission, so make sure to be careful about where you decide to go.
Another thing to be careful of is what you're actually foraging for. You need to always be 100 percent sure that what you forage is actually what you think it is; you don't want to poison yourself!
When foraging, it's important to take your impact on the environment into consideration. If you find a fantastic patch of berries, don't take everything as it's not just food for you to eat, it's a crucial part of a natural ecosystem that wild animals use to survive. Make sure you leave enough for them to enjoy too.
Why buy in season
Seasonality is so important because it helps you make sure you're getting the best out of the produce that's available to you. Our farmers and growers around the country strive year round to make sure that the food that reaches us is of the best quality possible, so it makes sense to ensure you buy at the right time. Food markets and farmers' markets are great resources to help make sure you buy in season as the stallholders usually stock the best of the best. Some of our favourite markets are on in the following places:
- People's Park Market, Dún Laoghaire, Sundays 10.00-16.00
- Clonakilty Market, Cork, Fridays 9.00-14.00
- The Village Market, Galway, Tuesdays 10.00-18.00
- Dingle Farmers' Market, Kerry, Fridays 9.00-15.00
- Market Square, Portlaoise, Fridays 10.00-15.00
- Red Door Market, Limerick, Saturdays 10.00-15.00
- Mayo Castlebar Farmers Market Fridays 9.00-18.00
- Local Food Market, Meath, Saturdays 10.00-14.00