One thing we hear from people time and again is that they wished local items were available during the winter. To all of us at the farm, it just sounds so silly.
While I fully admit that we obviously aren’t picking anything from the fields, so the choices aren’t as abundant and the fruit isn’t the same as the mid-summer highs. That said, the winter vegetables shouldn’t be ignored. They are hardy, full of flavour, and provide some much-needed vitamins during the winter blah months.
Here’s a list of just a few local items available now:
- sweet potatoes
And for those of you who feel you need to do away with colour, check out that amazing beet and heirloom carrot medley up top. You’d have a hard time matching that goodness in the height of summer.
While the snowflakes fly and you sip your steaming glass of hot chocolate, remember you don’t need to settle for drab foreign grown crops that have traveled farther than you have this winter. Your food shouldn’t have a better travel life than you do.
From “The Ontario Table”
Buying local couldn’t be easier and it’s what The Ontario Table $10 Challenge is all about.
STEP 1: First, take an inventory of the foods you already have in your kitchen that are local. Read labels on packages, jars, bags and boxes – butter, eggs, chicken, jam, condiments, etc. You’d be surprised at how much local food you’re already buying.
STEP 2: Know that local food is unlimited. It is much more than fresh fruit and vegetables in the summer months. Think of local food this way – almost ANY food you buy, you can buy local (with the exception of tropical fruit, spices and seafood of course). Use The Ontario Table cookbook as a reference guide. There is a chapter called The Ontario Pantry and it lists local foods that come in bags, boxes, bottles and tins.
STEP 3: Now with your inventory and new understanding of local food, grow that inventory by $10. Check the isles of your grocery store for more local food. Once you’re comfortable with your new purchases, try to grow your inventory of local food by another $10 a week. Keep going until you’re happy with your local food purchases and grow again.