Winter is here and it seems like the Saturday mornings of shopping at the farmers market were a long, long time ago. It makes me kind of sad. There is no fresh, local produce to be gotten easily around here. I'm sure it's the same in most parts of the country. So what's a part-time locavore like me to do? I can't stop feeding my family.
In the winter, if my family is going to eat fruits and vegetables, we have to buy ones that were grown outside our local region. I hope that someday, I'll preserve some of the in season local foods to eat throughout the winter, but that day has not come yet. However, I don't need to stop supporting the local agriculture altogether just because it's winter.
There are some things I can continue to get locally if I set my mind to it.
Honey - I just started buying local honey last summer. My boys and I did a taste test between the store bought honey we had in the cupboard and the stuff I brought home from the farmers market. The store bought stuff imported from Canada couldn't begin to match the flavor of the local honey. Since honey keeps for so long, I bought several bottles at the end of the season, and I can order from a local website if I run out.
Meats - The farm that I bought all my meats at from the farmers market will be delivering to the farmers market location once a month. If I pre-order, I can get beef, chicken, pork and even eggs from truly pasture raised, free range, naturally fed animals.
Breads - If I had to rely on local wheat and flour for bread, I'd be in some serious carb deprivation right now. Wheat isn't grown in my region. But, there are local, independently own bakeries that I can buy from. Buying from them keeps me supporting local businesses with my food dollars.
Wine - I may not live in the Chianti region of Italy, but there are some wineries in my region that have some reds that are fine for my Friday night pizza.
Those are some of the things that I can do to continue to support local agriculture and foods during the winter months. Is there anything you can do where you live?