April 16, 2024

5 ways I embrace seasonal living

Not that many years ago, everyone’s lives were ruled by the weather and the seasons. Living by the seasons was a necessary way of life in order to survive.  Now, seasonal living has almost been forgotten by many people.  Everything is readily available on demand.  We have instant heat and light all year round at a flick of a switch, we can eat fresh strawberries in winter from the supermarket, and generally we travel in tin cans rather than walking or riding and so the weather does not impact on our travel plans.  I have found that since I retired and have sought a more simple life, that my days are more connected to the rhythms of nature, and my routines change with the seasons.  This partly intentional and has also occurred through finding ways to save money and be more frugal.

Besides saving money by eating seasonal food which is cheaper, there are other benefits to living by the seasons.  I feel a connection with nature that I have not felt since I was a child and I am a lot less stressed.  My mental health has improved  and it has made me slow down, especially in winter. I no longer burn out or feel like I am constantly running.  The following is how I embrace the seasons.

  1.  Eating by the seasons.  This is the easiest one to change even if you are short of time.  By eating what is growing at the time I save money, even if you do not have a garden and have to buy everything at the supermarket.  I menu plan around crops growing locally and not ones that have to be shipped in as they are out of season. Those that are shipped often have more preservatives on them to stop them going off in transit.  Nature knows the nutrients that we need at the different times of year and provides them.  An example of this is pumpkins that is full of essential nutrients that boost your immunity, and stores well over winter.  I always stock up at Halloween if I do not grow them myself.  Food is fresher when in season.  I also think that when you eat seasonally you appreciate the food and look forward to the next season rather than taking it for granted.  I adore the wild garlic season and we put it in most of the food that we eat when spring arrives.  I do preserve some but it is a real treat when we eat it.  If I ate the same thing all year I would get really bored, and yet many do.
  2. I enjoy the season changes and notice what is around me. When I was on the hamster wheel I didn’t notice the beauty or the free food around me.  I had passed cherry and apple trees every day but never saw the gift that was being offered to me.  Every season has something different to offer and now this guides my habits, my walks, and what I eat (though I do preserve for winter).   I get excited about how I can use things I forage, or different ways I can preserve food I have grown that season. I jump for joy when my first seedlings appear, and nurture them as I would my children.  My knowledge of the natural world improves every year and I enjoy the lessons.  I am amazed by the medicinal impact of ‘weeds’ I used to dig out and throw away. I also marvel at all the free food I find that reduces trips to the supermarket and increases my nutrition.  I wish I had slowed down and lived this way when I was working.  Lots of the things that I was doing like shopping because I was down could have been cured by living seasonally.  Instead of walking around a shopping centre I could have walked in the countryside.  I now get a thrill when I can dry a line of washing or look forward to sitting in front of my wood burning stove and baking potatoes in it.  I don’t have to pay for entertainment.
  3. The seasons give me a structure and a time table for my year, and I try to follow it.  When I first retired I lost my structure and a reason to get up in the morning.  I thought that every day would be boring and the same. changes with the seasons.  Depending on the time of year I am sowing, growing and watering, harvesting, preserving, making Christmas decorations., planning, mending structures, or sleeping and relaxing.  There is always something that you can be doing.  My walks have purpose.  I am always looking for something to forage or observe.  I found a new apple tree along the canal today that I can harvest later.  I found it by looking for blossom. I hardly look at a clock now or know the date and yet I can usually guess the time by observing nature.  My body clock is tuned into nature and wakes me up at the time I want.  It almost feels like magic.
  4. I use nature to add Hygge to my home. In spring I bring flowering bulbs in to the house to brighten a miserable day.  Often you will find season flowers and twigs from the garden on display in a vase.  I have shells and driftwood in my bathroom from summer trips to the beach.  As I preserve, my kitchen is  full of jars of dried beans, fermenting foods, flavoured salts and bunches of herbs drying.  In winter there is a metal bucket of foraged pine cones by the fire to use as fire starters and foraged wood by the woodstove.  They all make the house feel cosy and lived in.  Often there will be season fruit and spices boiling away on the stove top adding a wonderful aroma to the house.  I also change the cushions and accessories in my home to suit the seasons.  The colours and textures change (I have knitter Arran cushions in winter) and I have Christmas decorations and wreaths that are made from natural materials. 
  5. I take part in seasonal activities. The activities that we like to participate in together or with the grandchildren change with the seasons. Walking, gardening, splashing in puddles, sledging, picnics, swimming, foraging, preserving, beach combing, nature hunts, visiting farms, eating and entertaining in the garden, reading in the conservatory, all take part in different seasons.  I utilise different rooms depending on the season.  The lounge is cool and so we sit in there in summer.  The conservatory and kitchen are warmer due to the woodburning stove and so we sit in there in winter.  Most days we try to get outside for a walk, no matter the weather, though I admit that I am a fair weather gardener. I like to observe the seasonal changes, and relish them all. It makes me feel more present and mindful.  I often use my camera to make me more mindful and capture the beauty surrounding me. There is nothing more invigorating than sitting next to a waterfall, or walking by the sea and listening to the crashing waves, or the calmness you feel when you listen to  a babbling brook, or a gentle breeze shuffling through the leaves. We enjoy seasonal traditions and celebrations that have become part of our lives now, that were not there before.  I hope to add more as I learn about them.  I am learning about growing food according to the cycles of the moon at the moment.

Are you living a seasonal life?  How can you live more by the seasons, and which small steps can you take to connect closer to nature?  You will find another article that I wrote last year that has more detail  about how we live seasonally. (click here)




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  1. Karan Fowler April 17, 2024 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    We also only eat veg & fruit that is in season, I can’t bear to think about all those food miles x

    • ToniG April 18, 2024 at 6:18 am - Reply

      I can’t either. It is so much cheaper to eat in season and it tastes better. I don’t know why anyone would buy the tasteless strawberries found in the supermarket in winter

  2. Angela Carmody April 17, 2024 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    We tend to mostly eat seasonably and I can’t believe how many home grown preserved fruit and vegetables we have still got. We are trying to use them up as there won’t be room for any of this years produce.
    I also have hobbies that I do in winter because I don’t want to waste any of the nice weather stuck indoors if I can be in the garden. I have also found that by cooking extra and saving a container of a dinner we buy less meals in the supermarkets. I love when we can start making drinks from lemon verbena and lemon balm and keep forgetting that I dried some so can have it during winter if I like.
    I love being able to go out and about when it is nice weather and I am always taking pictures as I just can’t believe how lovely the scenery is and how well my flowers have grown, even though several come back each year it still amazes me.

    • ToniG April 18, 2024 at 6:15 am - Reply

      Yes my freezer is still full of fruit and vegetables grown last year. I think that we will be waiting longer for a harvest this year, though, and so I am glad in a way. Thanks for reminding me about my lemon balm. It prompted me to have a hot drink today. Thanks for sharing also

  3. Sharon April 17, 2024 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    A lovely, inspirational post. It’s given me some food for thought.
    Thank you

    • ToniG April 18, 2024 at 6:10 am - Reply

      Thanks. I am glad. That is the reason I started my website. Thanks for your kind feedback

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