My grandmother used to tell me the story about one of her most cherished Christmas memories: Receiving an orange.

What was so special about a fresh orange at Christmas? My grandma Jennie was born in the early 1900s when citrus fruit was not available in the winter. Fresh fruit harvested in the South and West at Christmas was really special. The bright color! And that fragrance!

Each season has its own challenges and its own joys. The intense heat of July also comes with juicy berries and vegetables from the garden. The winter is cold, but also beautiful and we warm up with rich, nourishing soups. Fall brings mom’s sherry-scented turkey and fried pumpkin, and in the rainy spring, we can look for the first greens to cook up into stews and bean dishes. An orange adds zest to the coldest of winters, a surprise for the taste buds that emphasizes the vitality of life.

Eating with the seasons restores our relationship with Earth. Take your time with them and savor all that each one has to offer. It’s so good for us, and so good for the planet. The wheel of the year turns.

By Joanna Lacey

Joanna Lacey lives in New York and has collected thousands of ideas from the frugal habits of her mother and grandmother. You can find her on Facebook at Joanna the Green Maven.