As the temperatures drop and the winter season approaches, you may find yourself eating less and less locally produced foods. It may seem difficult to find foods that are in season and grown close to home. As the trees lose their leaves, seasonal Farmer’s Markets are coming to a close and the selection of fruits and vegetables at your local grocery store may begin to change. So how do we continue to support our local farmers and producers after the summer harvest has come to an end?
1. Visit a greenhouse.
Although most produce growers are starting to wind down for the season, there are still some amazing choices for year-round produce. Our friends at Cookstown Greens grow an incredible variety of Organic and Non-GMO vegetables year-round in their 5 heated greenhouses. They keep their FreshSpoke Shop up to date with seasonal availability. If you’re closer to South-Central Ontario and looking for fresh greens in the off season, be sure to check out Slegers Organic Living Greens. Jo and Pauline Slegers grow over 30 varieties of living greens, lettuces, herbs and micros in their certified organic & innovative greenhouses.
Slegers Living Greens- Mixed Lettuce
Not quite ready to say goodbye to the delicious Ontario produce? Stock up on your favorites before they’re gone and preserve them to last throughout the winter. Or even better, have someone do it for you! Christine Manning at Manning Canning Kitchens Inc in Toronto has been using the craft she learned as a child from her Nonna to make delicious fruit and vegetable preserves using local ingredients. If you’re looking for preserves along Georgian Bay, look no further than Round The Bend Preserves. Their wide selection of both globally and locally inspired jams, jellies and chutneys are sure to accent any dish you make this season.
3. Think outside of the box.
Usually when we think local food, we think fresh fruits and veggies, but if you scroll through the FreshSpoke Marketplace you are sure to discover that local comes in a wide array of options. Whether it’s chickpea & lentil pasta from Chickapea, smooth Gouda from Mountainoak Cheese, or tender highland beef from Comolea Farms. You can enjoy delicious food and keep your dollar within the community all year round.
The next time you find yourself sad to say goodbye to fresh Niagara Peaches or locally grown sweet corn, just remember that there is more to local food than just the summer harvest. There are plenty of farmers, producers, retailers and restaurants that are dedicated to providing their communities with delicious, high quality food options all year round, right here at home.
Lana Ogston is a Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant and is a Customer Activation Specialist with FreshSpoke. You can connect with Lana on Linkedin, and keep up with FreshSpoke on Facebook and Twitter.