Making an effort to eat locally grown during the dark, cold days of winter
Thursday, January 13, 2011 11:18 PM EST
By DIANE WRIGHT HIRSCH
MPH, RD, Extension Educator, Food Safety
After a food-filled holiday season (including, I must confess, raspberries grown somewhere in South America, in a fruit salad), it is time that many of us resolve to eat healthier and, perhaps, to attempt to eat more locally grown foods. It sure can be difficult to live with THAT resolution in January in Connecticut.
Eating seasonally can get a bit tedious over the long hard winter if your supply is limited by either amount or variety. The Connecticut Northeast Organic Farmers Association recently received some funding to focus on increasing the availability, sales and consumption of locally grown, organic and sustainable fruits, vegetables and herbs in the winter and on educating farmers in the best practices for growing, storing and marketing winter crops (www.ctnofa.org).
Increasing the availability of Connecticut-grown foods in the winter will certainly help those of us who want to eat locally grown foods to make it through these dark days!
Many farmers are already extending their growing seasons with greenhouses, high tunnels and other production methods. You may find the fruits of their winter labor at a winter farmers market near you. Actually, there are 8 of these markets in the state — one is likely not far from you. Included are the Westport Farmers’ Market in Fairfield County; the Harford Market at Billings Forge in Hartford County the Litchfield Hills Farm-Fresh Market in Litchfield County; two markets in New Haven at Edgewood Park and Wooster Street in New Haven County; Stonington Winter Farmers’ Market in New London County; Storrs Winter Farmers’ Market in Tolland County; and Ashford Winter Farmers’ Market in Windham County. Check with the local market near you for hours, days and times. Some meet only once or twice a month, others continue to be open weekly.