EATING LOCAL DURING THE WINTER

It’s easy to “eat local” in the summertime. Our farmers markets are stocked with salads, tomatoes, fresh fruit, greens, and just about every kind of delicacy you can imagine. But farming is a seasonal endeavor (duh!), and as the winter kicks in, the choice of crops available locally dwindles. Even items like eggs can become in short supply, as chickens lay fewer eggs in the winter.
But never fear. It’s still perfectly possible to eat a solid portion of your diet from local sources.
Eat your greens
From cabbage to collards to mustards, many greens are some of the frost-hardiest of vegetables — and they are very nutritious as well. Look for what’s available at your market. If you’re unfamiliar with some of the more sturdy winter greens, however, you might want to ask for recipes. Collards can take a whole lot more cooking than a bunch of spinach!
Go back to your roots
Root vegetables like parsnips, turnips, carrots and rutabagas are also good throwback options in the winter. It’s not just that they stand the cold better than some crops — they also store for a long time. Check out our menu at Agricola for all these under appreciated vegetables. 
Preservation kitchen
Canning, pickling, fermenting is a great way to extend the season — either with your own garden produce, or by buying a ton from the farmers market. Of course, given it’s already December, you may not be able to stock your way to a full pantry this year — but many stalls at farmers markets also sell preserved goods for sale. 
Cut yourself some slack
Eating local should be applauded, but very few of us manage anywhere close to a 100-percent local diet. That’s particularly true in the winter. So I recommend cutting yourself some slack, doing what you can, and remembering to enjoy and respect your food — wherever it comes from. Whether it’s local or not, it’s a gift from the Earth.
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