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How to Eat Locally & Seasonally – During the Off-Season!


In late summer, I unpack my warm wardrobe in preparation for cold weather. I unroll wool socks, rummage for scarves and start stocking caps while I wax poetic on summer, and reluctantly accept farmers market season is almost over.

While you peruse the pumpkin and squash laden hay bails during your local farmers markets’ last hurrahs, start to mull over how you’ll get fresh, organic produce in the fall and early winter months. Truth be told, finding -- and growing -- seasonal produce during fall is not as difficult as you think.

Indoor Gardening

Fresh herbs and sprouts liven any hearty, winter stew or roasted vegetable medley. It’s a snap to cultivate fresh herbs, such as parsley, dill, mint,sage and thyme, in your kitchen near a well-insulated windowsill.

Some lettuce types, sprouts and edible flowers fair well indoors, too. Check out Organic Authority’s guide to indoor winter gardening for more advice.

Plant in Early Fall, Eat in Early Winter

Plant the following vegetables in your garden in late summer or early fall and harvest during the first frigid weeks of winter. Just remember to protect and cover your delicate produce as the weather starts to change.

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From the Organic Authority Files

The following are examples of late harvest produce varieties:

Locate a Farm Shop

Internet services, such as Local Harvest, help fresh produce lovers find farms that carry organic produce, meat and eggs year-round. Here’s what Local Harvest is all about:

The best organic food is what's grown closest to you. Use our website to find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainable grown food in your area, where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies. Want to support this great web site? Shop in our catalog for things you can't find locally!

Special Delivery

Organic produce delivery services bring fresh produce and organic food to your door throughout the year. Companies, such as Door-to-Door Organics and Organics to You, sell boxes of fruits and vegetables from diverse, organic farms. Order varied sizes of boxes weekly, bi-weekly or once a month.

Shop on the Outside

Grocery stores tend to keep fresh produce, whole grains and organic food on the perimeters of the building. You may not be able to find everything you want at the store, but it's a good start! Also, contact your local grocery store and ask the produce manager to consider ordering more organic and local produce. Ask now and your produce shopping experience may be more enjoyable when fall takes hold.

image: 3liz4

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