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How to Eat Locally in Winter

Depending on where you live, the local produce offerings during the winter months can be quite limited. Root vegetables, anyone? But there are ways to support local food suppliers and promote local agriculture. Here are five tips:

1. Think beyond produce

Many towns and cities have food items made from local foods available year-round. Keep your eye out at your local stores and winter farmers’ markets for

    • spreads

    • pickles

    • pastas

    • cheese

    • poultry

    • meat

    • eggs

    • bread

2. Join a CSA

Community Supported Agriculture organizations, essentially clubs that provide members with monthly produce from area farms, are figuring out ways to make winter memberships more enticing than endless root vegetables. Many now partner with other local food suppliers to offer items like honey, eggs, and even breads and pastries.

3. Plant an indoor herb garden

Whether you have a green thumb or not, just about anybody can successfully grow herbs on their windowsill. Simply buy small pots, potting soil and your choice of herb seeds and you’re ready to go—fresh herbs all year. You can also replant your herbs in the garden in late spring. Tasteful Garden offers a wide variety of indoor herb kits that use organic herbs.

4. Grow microgreens

The tiny baby leaves of plants like radishes, basil, beets and chard are packed with nutrients and are ready for harvest in about ten days. Learn more about growing microgreens in your kitchen here. Hint: Kids love to take charge of these tiny crops—from planting to harvest.

5. Scout for new recipes

If weather limits the produce available to you during the winter, take stock of what is locally grown and look for new recipes for these foods. There are endless ways to cook up carrots, potatoes and other root vegetables. Have fun discovering how creative you can be using locally grown winter produce.

Photo: Tupungato /