Image of wheat

Activity #2: Cycle of Seasons — Impact of Technology on Seasonal Foods
Traditionally, farm families lived seasonally with their lives and chores being dictated by the cycle of seasons. The food they ate was also greatly affected by seasonal availability. Fresh food was not available during the winter, so to avoid starvation farmers would preserve food when it was in abundance. Before refrigeration, families used a variety of different means to preserve food. These methods included canning, cheese-making, churning, drying, preserving, pickling, smoke curing, and salt curing.

  • Food calendar activity — using the charts Seasonality of Fruits and Seasonality of Vegetables in New York compare and contrast the items available at various times of the year.
    Have students bring in the flyers from your local grocery stores - or search for them on the store's website. Answer the questions on the Food Calendar worksheet.
    Questions for discussion: Why is it that we can get apples (harvested in fall) and oranges (harvested in another region of the country) all year round, but we can't usually get watermelon and raspberries as dependably?
  • Preserving the Harvest: Dry it Out!
    Try your had at preserving the harvest, students will investigate how seasonally grown items were preserved through the winter.
    Question for discussion: What developments gave rise to the more universal availability of produce year round? (Discuss improvements in refrigeration)