White painted wagon wheel leaning against red outer wall of The 228 behind pink flowers covered in snow

It may be tempting to have a favorite food or flower included in your event even if it isn’t in season. However, there are several reasons why it can be better to select seasonal produce and flowers.

It Saves Money

For most people, one of the more convincing arguments for using in-season produce and plants at an event is that it costs less. Using in-season produce allows those on a tight budget to get the most for their money. Out-of-season produce and plants require transporting from long distances. This makes them a lot more expensive, especially if they’re short-lived and vendors need to fly them in from their source.

Seasonal Produce Looks and Tastes Better

Farmers often pick out-of-season produce before it ripens and then transport it a long distance. Since this produce doesn’t ripen fully on the plant, it rarely develops the full flavor it could have. The longer produce waits before being eaten, the less flavor and the less moisture it has.

In-Season Produce Is More Nutritious

Longer storage times for produce cause losses in nutrients. Some nutrients are more prone to loss than others, such as vitamin C. For example, spinach loses up to 90 percent of its vitamin C content within just one day of being picked. On average, about 30 percent of produce nutrient losses occur within three days of harvesting. If you want out-of-season produce, canned and frozen versions often provide more nutrients. Processing of this produce typically occurs within days of picking, while farmers sometimes harvest “fresh” out-of-season produce weeks before it lands on the supermarket shelves.

Eating Seasonally Can Increase Variety

Eating a varied diet means getting a better mix of essential nutrients. Switching the produce you eat as the seasons change helps people increase the variety in their diets. Studies have shown that eating a wider variety of fruits and vegetables helps limit damage to your cells so you stay healthier. Consider eating berries in the spring, watermelon in the summer, pears in the fall, and kiwi in the winter rather than eating the same fruit every day.

It’s Better for the Environment

Using locally grown in-season produce and flowers helps the environment. It requires less fuel to transport the items to their final destination and involves fewer carbon emissions. Choosing locally grown out-of-season produce or flowers can sometimes be even worse for the environment. Growing these flowers often requires more energy if the greenhouses need to use artificial heating and lighting. Producers grow flowers certified with the Florverde, VeriFlora, or FlorEcuador labels using methods that are less harmful to the environment.

In-Season Flowers Look More Appropriate

People associate some flowers with certain seasons. Using them in the wrong season for an event can just look odd. For example, you wouldn’t expect to see blooming poinsettias in the middle of summer. Also, keep in mind that companies transport out-of-season flowers long distances, and these flowers sometimes wind up looking beat up or worse for wear by the time they arrive.

Seasonal Flowers Last Longer

Because growers can pick in-season locally grown flowers closer to the event, they look the best and last the longest. Winter flowers don’t tolerate heat well and summer flowers don’t tolerate cold well. This means the blooms often fade much more quickly. A good florist should have the knowledge to recommend locally grown flowers or at least flowers in-season and grown not too far away that work for your color scheme.

In-Season Flowers and Produce Is Easier to Find

Large events sometimes require a lot of a particular flower, fruit, or vegetable. The difficulty of finding enough of an out-of-season item increases the cost and the time involved in buying it.

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