A big question comes to my mind when I am thinking about eating seasonally – where to get the information about seasonal produce? These days there is lot more information on internet by the farming associations and organisations working in agriculture and food but sometimes it’s not that straightforward to ascertain the information you need. In the UK, I found quite a lot of useful information around that, had to work a little harder to gather that kind of information in the Netherlands but I managed to find a few resources that are definitely coming in handy.
A visit to good old farmer’s market certainly helps! Now, it’s an interesting scene here in Rotterdam. So, there is a biweekly street market, Markt Binnenrotte Centrummarkt that happens in Blaak close to Markthal which is like a big open-air supermarket. You can find food, clothes, accessories and pretty much everything sourced locally and from everywhere else. This was the first market I visited when I moved here and certainly my first impression was – this is not the farmer’s market! Although, its super handy to have this kind of market but it’s not a dedicated farmer’s market.
There are quite a few markets that are organised all across the city, you can find more information on Gementee Rotterdam.
Then one day I stumbled upon Rotterdam Oogst market’s page on Facebook, it did look like a farmer’s market but wanted to make sure that it’s the right one. It reminds me of my Harrogate Farmer’s market, I thought to myself! I have been doing shopping in this farmer’s market since then and every visit makes me happy, I come back with bags full of fresh and seasonal produce! After a while, people start recognising you and that connection is another important reason why I love shopping in the farmer’s markets.
If you are new to seasonal eating then to start with, just pick 5 fruits and veggies for the month to cook and bake with. Find recipes where these are the main ingredient and you will not only enjoy the best of season but will also also help your environment and local producers significantly.
So, to give you all a head start I will pick 5 fruits and veggies myself for the month of August –
3. Blackberries (good for UK but not so for Netherlands)/Plums
Below are some of the resources that I use to get information on seasonal produce. Some of them are for the UK but as the produce is not very different here, I also refer to these at times.
1. https://groentefruit.milieucentraal.nl/ (Netherlands)
I found this website quite helpful and came across it when I was looking for information on seasonal produce in the Netherlands. Although Netherlands grows quite a lot of stuff, there is still a large proportion of food that’s imported. This website categorises food from A to E where A being best and E worst depending on the environmental impact and factors like agricultural practices, transport methods and packaging. If you go onto their main website, they also have lot of information about sustainability and climate change.
As you step outside of the cities here in the Netherlands, you will see lot of greenhouses dotted all around the country. I was surprised to read that heated greenhouses costs more energy than growing outside and this is where I like this website as they have scored the produce impartially and independently.
I still try not to pick often something that’s been coming from far across no matter if the website has scored it highly.
2. https://www.aardappelshop.nl/ (Netherlands)
6. http://eatseasonably.co.uk/ (UK)
I am still learning about the new resources and as and when I come across any new information about the seasonality in food, I will share with you all. But in the meantime, if you have any resources that can be useful, please share. I also run a social media series #letseatseasonalandlocal to encourage seasonal eating and buying local produce, do follow it and share your best seasonal and local produce with everyone using this hashtag.