For the month of February at FOOD&WINE we're celebrating seasonality. Throughout the month, you'll read lots of features on seasonal produce, who are growing and producing it, where and when to buy it, how to store it, prepare and cook it, and of course, delicious recipes so you can eat it!

Let's start with what's in season in February. This month we'll start to see a new season beginning in terms of growing and harvesting. The winter months are mainly root vegetables and these are at their peak this month. Check out our list below to see exactly what to look out for in shops.

 What’s in season?

  • Leek
  • Celeriac
  • Parsnip
  • Kale
  • Swede
  • Purple sprouting broccoli
  • Beetroot
  • Winter cabbage
  • Mushrooms

What's on its way out?

This produce is going out of season this month, so freeze or preserve while you can so you can enjoy for longer. 

  • Turnip

Try chef Martin Kaujiter's seasonal Cod, Three Cornered Leeks and Beefsteak Mushrooms

Why buy seasonally? 

Here at F&W, we believe in using Irish produce, where possible, and supporting the farmers and growers who produce it. Plus the numerous chefs and restaurants who champion these on their menus and on the plate. Buying seasonally Irish products means you are also supporting this ethos. Not to mention the fact that buying vegetables and fruit when they are in season means that you are guaranteed to get produce that is more vibrate and packed with flavour, therefore more nutritionally dense, and you can even save money from buying seasonally too. 

Vegetables are such versatile products that have a beautiful flavour even when cooked in the simplest form. We recommend trying to go to your local farmers market to see what's available. We've listed some farmers markets below, so you can check if there's one in your area. 

Local Famers Market

Sunday: Dun Laoghaire, Peoples Park 10.00-16.00

Cork- Clonakilty Market Friday 9am-2pm

Galway- The Village Market Tuesdays 10 am- 6 pm

Kerry- Dingle Farmers Market- Fridays 9am- 3pm

Laois- Market Square, Portlaoise Fridays 10am-3pm

Limerick, Red Door Market Saturdays 10 am – 3 pm

Mayo Castlebar Farmers Market Fridays 9 am- 6 pm

Meath, Local Food Market Saturday 10 am – 2 pm

For a seasonal recipe from chef Stephen Gibson Pork and Ham Pithivier with Root Vegetables 

"The season starts for me now actually. This has been a good season because winter was particularly mild," explained Dermot Carey, freelance consultant to chefs and growers nationwide. Dermot works with Avoca, Wicklow, Dela café, restaurant and organic farm, Galway, The Green Barn at Burton House and Gardens, Athy, and The Farmhouse Café and Bakery, Long Mile Road, Dublin.

Commenting on what is happening on his vegetable patches this season, Dermot said, "It is easier growing winter vegetables, they are more robust. At the moment I am growing celeriac, parsnips, kale and swede. Currently, leeks are bang on at this time of the season. I was harvesting beets from the field this week, usually, they can get frost damage, but this year there has been no issues. Whereas vegetables like parsnips and kale actually benefit from the winter frost as it gives them sweetness. This week I will be sowing lettuce, leeks and tomatoes. This season is transitioning into spring vegetables."

"Certain types of cabbages and parsnips can survive the whole year. If you let your vegetables grow to their full size before winter, you are able to leave them dormant for three months in the soil... a chef once described it aptly to me as – your garden is like a large cold room in a kitchen."

"Unfortunately, there is a lack of pride in our national produce. The sale of the likes of butternut squash and sweet potatoes has gone through the roof in recent years, but these are not Irish, and I think it's because we don’t have a vegetable we are proud of. Marketing companies tend to use buzzwords like 'local' on packaging to trick the buyer, but when you look at the label it clearly says it's not produced in Ireland. Look at the recent chicken scandal, the product had 'Made in Ireland' on the packaging, but it was actually coming from Brazil. My advice is to look for products that have the farm on it, like Wexford Queens Potatoes, or make sure it has the 'Guaranteed Irish' logo. Try to buy directly from growers and farmers, where possible, and always support Irish products."

Keep an eye on our website in the first week of March for the list of produce in season next month. In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions or if you know of any farmers markets we should have mentioned, please comment below.