Apples in July, A Story of Seasonal Eating

Jul 29, 2023

It’s not even the last day of July and I am sitting here with 2 apples on my desk straight out of the orchard. One perfectly ripe and one is over ripe.    Yes, over ripe apples.    In July.

Our society has been programmed to believe apples are ripe in September. It fits a lovely narrative. And yes, many varieties are. But if we lean into the narrative we’ve been led to believe without an eye on nature, we will miss the true seasonality of eating.

This isn’t a strict adherence to only eating straight from the garden. That would be hyper-seasonality, and an unrealistic expectation in today’s busy lives. The practice of eating in season is a gentle hum of seeing what your farmers have and when. And when seasons aren’t as plentiful due to cold and short days or due to long hot droughts, it is a practice of connecting to what was preserved in the season before.

There also has to be an appreciation for those that grow in “off” seasons. Here at Colonial Gardens we employ season extension of certain crops by utilizing row cover on root crops and hardy greens in the winter, by utilizing a greenhouse in all seasons to control temperature, and by having raspberries under the cover of poly houses in the late fall to get fresh berries even after the frosts begin.

Why switch to a more seasonal way of eating? It’s multifaceted. For one, to eat in season means you are eating locally or at least regionally to some degree. This means the impact of transporting your meals drops significantly. If you eat regionally, you are keeping the dollars you spend in your economy. And maybe most immediately important, you are ensuring you are feeding yourself and your family food that was picked at peak ripeness, meaning it has the highest nutrient density and flavor profile. As long as you aren’t like me, leaving the apple on the tree too long.

Seasonal eating is truly a practice of switching your shopping habits to incorporate something local or regional. To honor that you won’t always have fresh berries in the coldest of cold months. To keep an eye out for an early ripe apple in the hottest part of a July drought.


Written By "GracieBee Growin", Grace Ames