Welcome to January; one minute it's freezing, then next the sun is splitting the stones.
Now that Christmas is over and the new year has begun, you might find yourself wanting to introduce some more vegetables to your diet. They're always at their best when in season and, luckily for us, there is plenty of delicious produce available at this time of year.
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:
- Brussels sprouts
- Jerusalem artichoke
- Purple sprouting broccoli
READ MORE: Celeriac soup with apple and stilton scones
What's going out of season:
What to forage:
- Beech nuts
- Crab apples
- Hawthorn berries
- Sea beet
- Sea buckthorn
What to plant:
- Salad leaves
While many associate rhubarb with summer, we start to see forced rhubarb in January.
Forced rhubarb is grown in the dark in order for it to keep its pink colour, while regular rhubarb is grown in natural light and is said to contain more flavour. About eight weeks after sprouting, forced rhubarb is at its best.
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