Tuesday, October 15, 2013

{31 Days} Back to Basics Day 15

This month I am participating in the nester's {31 Days} challenge.  My topic for the month is Back to Basics.  If you would like to follow along you can find all of my posts here.

If you are interested in eating locally, you will have to think about winter at some point.  Unless of course you live in a tropical area, in which case I am totally jealous!  There is a lot of planning that goes into eating locally during the winter here in the north east.  We have to preserve food in the spring/summer/fall growing seasons in order to have that available in the winter.   There are some vegetables that do not need to be preserved, like the root vegetables, but then you still need a place to store those. 

There are a couple of ways that we plan for the winter and still continuing to eat locally.  The first was to find a farmers’ market in our area that runs all year long.  When we first started on the local food path, we did not have a farmers’ market in our town.  Now we do, so we are very lucky, and in the minority.  What we were able to find in the beginning, was a winter CSA (community supported agriculture) share. 

There are some things that I know we eat a lot of throughout the winter, and I try and preserve those when I can.  The first is tomatoes.  We use crushed tomatoes in chili and soups and tomato sauce for pasta and pizza, so I spend a lot of time canning tomatoes in the late summer.  We also will always want to have jams and jellies, so I try to plan ahead and can what I am able to.

If you are a meat eater, the fall is the best time of year to get and freeze local meat for the winter.  If you have access to a cow share, or a pig share in the summer, you can get all of your meat for the year in the fall and stick it in the deep freezer.  If you are not a meat eater, I would recommend looking for local beans and grains.  Buying in bulk is always the way to go because it is cheaper in the long run.

Obviously, the easiest way to eat local in the winter is to find a place that sells all local food, and shop there.  But, since not everyone has that opportunity, storing what you can so you can at least make one meal each week using all local ingredients is a great start.

For us, in the winter, we eat a lot of soups, stews, and chili.  Easy meals for local eating, and also extremely warm and comforting when it is cold outside!

Do you eat local in the winter?  Do you have any tips of how to continue eating local in the winter?

1 comment:

  1. I don't preserve enough! I do freeze berries and herbs, and zucchini this year. I need to get better though! Totally jealous of those year round growers as well!


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