Fruit and vegetable plants each have preferred places where they like to grow (some like it hot, some like it cool, some like it wet, some like it dry) and each has its very own schedule that it follows (some grow quickly in the summer, some grow throughout the winter and some take a year or more to produce food.) This section will help you to sort it all out.
Is it Locally Grown?
We are all spoiled by the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables available at the supermarkets these days. Fruits and vegetables are all parts of plants, plants that have preferred climates and seasons where they like to grow…
- some like okra like it hot,
- some like peas and cabbage like it cool,
- some like sweet potatoes like it a bit wet (rice likes it REALLY wet!)
- and some like nopales (prickly pear cactus) like it dry
and each has its very own schedule that it follows
- some, like cucumbers, grow quickly in the summer,
- some, like potatoes and kale, grow throughout the winter if kept from freezing
- and some, like asparagus and artichokes, take a year or more to produce food.
Because our seasons (our weather and temperature) vary throughout the year (spring, summer, sinter and fall) we cannot grow all fruits and vegetables in all places all year long. Fruits and vegetables that are grown locally can only be grown in the then the season is right for that crop. But there is always somewhere in the world where the temperature or season is right. So, the food we find in our supermarkets comes from all over the world no matter what the season….some of it grown under less-than-optimum conditions and very far away often requiring that it be transported over long distances to get to your kitchen.
Locally grown food is fresher, healthier and tastes better, because it spends less time in transit from farm to plate, and therefore, loses fewer calories and less spoilage. Eating what is grown close to home, and under healthy conditions, is the best choice. To know what is locally grown, you need to know a bit about the proper growing conditions for different fruits and vegetables and how their requirements relate to your local conditions. Learning how to grow your own is the very best way to learn the information you need to know to eat the freshest and healthiest fruits and veggies all year long.
What’s the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?
If you have asked yourself this question, you are not alone!
A plant scientist will most likely explain that a “FRUIT” is the part of the plant that develops after an egg is fertilized and then grows into a fleshy conatiner for seeds.
To answer the question “IS IT A FRUIT OR VEGETABLE,” you need to ask is, “DOES IT HAVE SEEDS?”
If the answer is yes, then technically, you have a FRUIT. Apples. oranges and watermelon are fruits because they hold the seeds which the plant makes to grow into new plants someday. The little black dots on strawberries are also seeds which makes strawberries a fruit. Things like radishes, celery, carrots, and lettuce do NOT have seeds so they are called vegetables. Vegetables are any part of the plant that doesn’t have a part in making the seeds that make new plants. If you are paying attention, you will realize that because of its seeds, a tomato is a fruit, too. Cucumbers, squash, green beans and walnuts all have seeds so they are also fruits.
So what is the answer?
Well, vegetable has come to mean most anything that you find in the ‘produce’ section of the supermarket that is not animal or mineral.