ONE of the big differences between buying food that’s been flown in from across the globe and eating locally is seasons.

Some people might see it as a downside, not being able to eat any fruit or vegetable they like at any time of the year but for many, once you have the taste for local, freshly picked seasonal food, eating strawberries at Christmas loses its appeal.

Fans of seasonal food say it tastes much better, plus it has the advantage of having a much smaller carbon footprint than food from the other side of the planet.

And anyone who likes their food seasonal and local will be delighted to hear that the asparagus season has arrived.

“We run a sweepstake in the farm shop for when the first asparagus crop will be ready,” says Alison Grange from Durleighmarsh Farm in Petersfield.

“It’s a sign of spring and it heralds the arrival of all the other summer crops. It’s got a delicious flavour and it goes with everything.”

During the asparagus season, which runs through May and June, Alison and her family eat asparagus from their farm every day.

Asparagus from overseas is often air freighted from Chile – that’s around 7,250 miles to reach your plate as opposed to just a few miles if you buy from a Hampshire farmer.

“We only eat our own asparagus,” says Alison. “We never eat it out of season. The environmental aspect of local food is really important to us. We mark the miles food has travelled to our shop on the produce. The fruit and vegetables from our farm are marked with a wheelbarrow and the food from local producers – things like bread, honey and chutney – we mark with a car showing the food miles.”

Alison and her husband Roger sell their asparagus – and other crops including strawberries, blueberries, sweetcorn, runner beans and squash and pumpkins.

The asparagus can be bought picked that day from their farm shop or picked the previous day from their stall at the farmers’ markets.

Their other produce can be bought on the stall, in the shop or you can pick it yourself at their farm.

The pick your own market has been growing recently, says Alison, partly because you save as much as half the cost of produce compared to shops and also because it’s a nice family day out and the food is as fresh as it gets!