Costing the earth Winter vegetables
Our taste for fruit and veg that can't be grown locally means that eating seasonally has wider implications than the health of individuals.
The Soil Association estimates that 70 per cent of UK food is imported, some of it from countries barely able to feed their own populations.
In order to provide year-round availability, food travels thousands of miles before it reaches the consumer.
Environmentalists argue that the energy this uses and the pollution it causes make it simply economically and environmentally unsustainable. The answer, they say, is to buy locally produced, seasonal food.
What's in season?
Our allotment expert, Terry Walton, advises us on what's in season, month by month
More and more people want to educate their taste buds to locally grown produce and to what are in season.
Not all fruit and vegetables are gathered fresh to make them available locally.
Fruit for instance is usually harvested in October / November but will store very well and be released over most of the winter months. This includes apples and pears.
Some vegetables are grown in the summer season but in correct storage conditions can again be used over long periods. These are crops such as potatoes, onions , garlic and members of the cucurbit family such as marrows and squashes.
Also to top your locally grown produce you can use out of season the beans and peas you have put in your freezer.
January Brussel sprouts, swede, leeks, savoy cabbage, parsnips, onions, potatoes, kale
February Parsnips, swede, potatoes, leeks, winter cabbage, onions
March Leeks, spring cabbage, potatoes , onions, swede
April Rhubarb, potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, onions, lettuce
May Lettuce, broad beans, cabbage, rocket, radish, spring onions, rhubarb
June Asparagus, lettuce, new potatoes, winter onions, peas, cabbage, turnips, broad beans, raspberries
July Runner beans, French beans, carrots, peas, strawberries, courgettes, all salad crops, cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes
August Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, runner beans, French beans, black currants, red currants, strawberries, all salad crops, carrots, potatoes, marrows, squashes, blackberries, courgettes, onions
September Cabbage, carrots, apples, pears, salad crops, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, sweet corn, marrows, squashes, courgettes, onions
October Cabbage, swede, parsnip, carrots, turnips, broccoli, leeks, onions, potatoes, apples. pears
November Cabbages, leeks, swede, brussel sprouts, parsnips, carrots
December Brussel sprouts, parsnips, swede, leek, cabbage
So it is possible to eat your own locally-grown food twelve months of the year.