Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean you can’t buy local vegetables!
Johanna Setta, Food Access Coordinator Healthy Roots Collaborative
While some farmers may be growing year round here in Vermont, utilizing winter greenhouses, most are providing us with nutritious vegetables by growing crops that store well. This takes a lot of planning on the farmers part and we are lucky to live in a state where planning ahead for the seasons is a priority! The process of growing and then storing winter crops starts in the field, growing varieties that are known to handle cold storage well, then carefully harvesting the highest quality vegetables. Next the farmer has to think about handling the crop with care. This means making sure there are no cuts or bruises that would speed up the decomposition of the vegetable, keeping it out of contact with direct sunlight. Some crops like onions and garlic need a second stage of handling before being stored, called curing. This helps dry the outside of the crop to keep moisture inside! Lastly, the farmer has to have a cold storage space to store the crops over the winter months that meets the needs of the different vegetables. A lot of hard work goes into making sure that local vegetables are available over the winter months here in Vermont. During this time of year, you could look for local beets, cabbage, carrots, leeks, rutabagas, turnips, winter squash, potatoes, garlic, and onions!
Interested in purchasing local potatoes from Franklin County? Visit our Healthy Roots Online Farmers Market by going to www.healthyrootsvt.org. Place your order and pick them up on Thursday!