Seasonal Foods

I am trying to find research based information about seasonal food benefits. I am particularly looking for information about how foods grown locally but out-of-season can be more energy intensive and cost more than foods grown in-season but brought in regionally. Does anyone have any resources for this?


  • most of the info i have come across is about how to extend the season, grow locally out of season and do so in a way that does not "cost" more. i think the first thing that should be addressed is what does "cost" mean for your purposes. of course if all we compare is the wholesale price paid to the grower, then most anything grown out of season is going to cost more. but when we start to include local job creation and keeping local $ local and the environmental cost of transportation then things can swing the other way. while simple season extension for things like greens can be done at minimal cost and can be very competitive with greens trucked in from 3000miles away. yet if you wanted to grow winter tomatoes in maine, the cost of heating and supplemental lighting required would be very cost prohibitive and a huge drain on the environment, in many ways.

    i dont see any industry benefit in research showing it to cost more to grow out of season. so i doubt anyone is going to fund that kind of research. i anticipate most information along those lines will come anecdotally and superfluously from research projects looking to find what is worth growing out of season.

    i think the real answer is obvious, most foods can not be reasonably grown out of season. i think our job as farmers is to take advantage of efficient season extension. then educate our customers that there is no question, eating locally AND seasonally is what we all need to strive for.
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