The holidays are drawing near, and many gardeners have given up their gardens for the winter, finishing up the cleaning, composting, and mulching, and resigning themselves to a winter of bland, lackluster supermarket produce, with dreams of next year’s gardens dancing in their heads.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! Even if you may not be able to garden throughout the winter in your area, you may still be able to find fresh, locally grown foods as close as your nearest farm stand or community market. Many areas now support multiple CSA (community supported agriculture) programs, some of which offer winter shares as well!
In my Central Ohio area, I suffered through the past few winters of bland, tasteless tomatoes and wilted lettuce shipped from thousands of miles away, oblivious to the bounty growing nearly in my own backyard! Though an avid summer CSA member, I was unaware that it was possible to get locally grown veggies here in the winter, until a mutual local food enthusiast turned me on to a winter CSA, producing certified organic veggies year round, in a series of large greenhouses less than 2 hours from my home. (They deliver weekly to our community.)
This will be the first year I will be able to subsist on largely local food year-round, and I am so excited for my first winter share – coming next week! (I also am a member of a meat CSA, offering naturally-raised local meats.) Milk, bread, apples, and sometimes cheese are also available through the CSA.
With a bit of luck, the right connections, and the fortitude to seek out area farmers near you, you may be surprised at just how well (and how local) you can eat, even during the winter!
For more info on CSAs, and how to find one in your area, visit our website at: http://www.newholisticliving.com/csa.html
Related articles on Winter CSAs:
- CSA Offers Winter Fruit and Juice Shares (fort-greene.thelocal.nytimes.com)
- What if Your CSA Veg Box Came with Instructions? (thekitchn.com)
- What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)? (blogher.com)
- Wintertime, Local Foods, and Pickling (tinychoices.com)