Thursday, March 18, 2010

Turn, turn, turn

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap

This is the first of a monthly series about what's in season now.

When we think about eating locally and seasonally, we usually imagine produce. But in reality, nearly all foods have a season: meat, seafood, even eggs. The eggs our chickens lay vary widely in color and production throughout the year.

Here's what's in season for late March in Western Washington. Please don't hesitate to add to and correct this list. I'm learning, too!


  • From the fall crop: apples, pears, winter squash, potatoes
  • Root vegetables (most from fall crops): carrots, onions, garlic
  • Hearty greens: chard, kale, collards

Dandelions are also in season. Pick the tender leaver now before the plants' flower stalks emerge. The leaves are delicious with a warm mustard and bacon dressing and a hard-boiled egg. I ate dandelion leaves often as a poor exchange student in France. Check out this link for info about nutrition and preparation.


I have friends who go mushroom hunting, something I've never done. I've never loved mushrooms but would be interested in learning more about it. Get info at the Puget Sound Mycological Society's website.

SEAFOOD (from Icicle Seafoods, Inc. and Seafood Producers' Cooperative)

Because wild fish don't hold still, I included fish caught off the coasts of Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska for the purposes of this list.

  • Razor clams - season dates and locations
  • Some Alaskan salmon, look for sustainable and wild-caught
  • Halibut, sablefish, and black cod (March to November)
  • King salmon

This time of year in the Pacific Northwest, it's all about the daffodils, baby! Yesterday I bought 60 daffodils for a mere 6 bucks. The daffs are from the Puyallup Valley, just miles from our house. The buds were tightly closed and green yesterday. Today, as you can see, they are beginning to turn yellow and open. They make my heart happy.

Tulips are also in stores but they're still a bit early. Grab handfuls of daffodils now and wait for the tulips.

MEAT (from Eat the Seasons, a British website but included because of similarity of climate)

  • Lamb
  • Rabbit

Personally, I love rabbit and lamb. Get over the Disney-fication of these animals. They're delicious and they're in season now.


  1. Mmmmm, rabbit! That's come up several times in the last couple of weeks -- I haven't eaten rabbit in ages, and would love to have some.

    I have one thing to add to your seafood list: other clams besides Razors! We raked steamers Saturday, out on the Key Peninsula. It took maybe 30 minutes to get our limit of 80 (between the two of us) including time to comfort the over-tired baby who was missing his nap and didn't understand the value of these dirty little things yet. It was a great way to spend part of the afternoon, and it will be a tasty dinner tonight! (And then, while you and I are at the "meet the baby" brunch next weekend, J and his friends will be digging razors. Yum!)

  2. You were definitely on my mind as I posted about the clams. Didn't know you were out there digging them last weekend but loved the pics on FB.

    I have fond memories - and probably pre-cancerous moles on my back - from summer clam-digging excursions when I was a kid. We used to get the most awful sunburns.