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Where are good places to get local produce, etc. during the winter, since there is no farmer’s market?
~ Maggie A.
Excellent question! Up here in the north it’s hard to find fresh local produce in the winter, if not impossible. We have a farmer’s market during the summer and fall but then after that we are stuck with whatever we find in the produce section at the grocery store. I have a few suggestions that might help, and not only will you get fresh local produce throughout the winter, it will be very inexpensive!
- Start a winter garden. I did one of these last year and I grew lettuce. This year I’ll be growing peppers, lettuce, and any other seeds I can find around the house. You don’t need much space for an indoor garden at all, in fact last year I grew the lettuce in a plastic shoebox size tote. This year I’ll be doing the lettuce the same way and I’m also going to do a few plants(like the peppers) in flower pots. Not only does this give you fresh, right-on-hand produce, you can also control what goes onto the plants and what goes into the soil. That way you don’t have to worry about pesticides(You won’t have to use any, because hopefully you don’t have grasshoppers and potato bugs in the house!)
- Start some sprouts in a jar. First you need to find some sprouting seeds. You can get them at health foods stores or you can order them from winter seeds catalogs. Then get your hands on a canning jar, any size will work, and some kind of mesh covering like cheesecloth to put over the top of the jar. Follow the directions that come with the sprouts (soaking, rinsing, harvesting, ect.) And in only a few days you will have fresh healthy sprouts!
- Check your local health foods store. I know of one local store that sells local produce, I’m not sure how much of it they sell in the winter but I’m guessing that they still have some available that’s been grown in greenhouses.
- Find out where your co-op’s fruit and veggies come from. If you are part of a local co-op, find out where the fresh produce comes from. It may not always be local but it might be fresher and healthier than grocery store produce. For example, my co-op is based in Oregon and the produce is grow right there on a farm where the co-op is located. So even though it’s not local it’s still quite fresh since they normally pick it right before delivery.
- See if you have a local CSA. You can look it up HERE. Usually each farm has what fruits and veggies they have in the different seasons listed on the website. Pick which one would be the best fit for you(some only have canned foods and jams and jellies in the winter) and see if you can join.