<a href="https://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/julie#">Green challenges</a>

Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Eating local means eating seasonal

Beetroot salad

Another of my winter salads: beetroot with orange and goat's cheese.

Credit: Julie G

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Remember our eat local challenge earlier this year? I’ve been keeping it up but with slightly relaxed rules, but it gets a lot harder in winter.

I was going through the Swan Valley (a wine and food region just outside of Perth) recently and could see that the fields were mostly dormant. Plants are sitting quietly, soaking up the rain, waiting for the spring sunshine before they burst into plenty again.

My winter vegetable salad (recipe from one of the very early issues of G Magazine) is pretty awesome: parsnips, beetroot, onion and carrot all roasted and served with any leafy greens I can find. Eating locally seems to automatically mean eating seasonally too, because you're not importing from sunnier places.

But although you can survive on root vegetables all winter long, it does get a little dull. I’m missing the juicy tomatoes I took for granted all summer long.

Barbara Kingsolver, the author of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, seems to have the right idea. She did a year-long extreme locavore experiment, and in the summer she was very busy preserving their home-grown vegetables. She canned a lot of tomatoes and summer squash, and made pasta sauce, and pretty much lived off of that for the winter season. Everyone thought her family would starve, but being prepared meant it was one of the most relaxing times of the year.

And as she points out in the book, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Spring asparagus and strawberries and rhubarb are so much more exciting when you’ve been eating the same thing for months at a time. I need to take a leaf out of her book next summer, and prepare for the lean winter months better.