A visit to the produce isle in any supermarket this time of year is, in effect, a trip around the world. While we are freezing up here in the great white north, folks down in Argentina, Chile and Brazil are growing the produce for our winter salad bowls. To remain healthy throughout the winter months, we need to eat veggies daily. But must we support the intercontinental food transport system, just to get our RDA of vitamins and minerals? You’d prefer to buy local, but with snow everywhere, that’s not possible, right?
Wrong! Just head down to the Saratoga Farmer’s Market, Saturdays from 9AM-1PM at the Division Street Elementary School, and be prepared to be amazed!
There are veggies of all kinds, even greens! How can this be? Well, through the marvels of technology and tenacity, farmers like Mike Kilpatrick of the Kilpatrick Family Farm are growing vegetables in the winter. “We use hoop houses for winter growing,” said Michael Kilpatrick. ” All we need is the sun to shine and it gets amazingly warm inside,” he explained. Fortunately, the lack of snowfall this year has the benefit of more solar gain for the winter farmer.
As proof, the Kilpatrick family farm’s stand has an array of hearty greens available, from Arugula to Spinach, and Brussel Sprouts to Cabbages. “We were able to harvest a late crop of cabbage that was buried in the snow!” said Michael. “We planted late, and the plants got snowed on in December. The thaw we just had exposed the crop and we found it to be in great shape. We are selling it as braising greens.”
In addition to the great greens, there are the usual winter root veggies such as carrots, potatoes, kolrabi and turnips.
With all these great options, there’s plenty of opportunity for creativity in the winter kitchen. Not only will your meal be great tasting, but because it was locally sourced, the nutritional value will be superior to anything from South America that has sat in the belly of a boat for a week. Not only that, but chances are, like me, you will have developed a relationship with your farmer, and your support helps him continue to bring the best food to you week in and week out!
So, next time you’re at the grocery store, bypass the produce isle, and instead, make Saturday your “veggie day” at the Saratoga Farmer’s Market!
BTW – the Saratoga Farmers Market is not just about produce – you can find home spun local made woolens, artisan goat milk soap. Save your appetite and indulge in some delicious Mrs. London’s pastries or the best breakfast burrito on the planet, made with local eggs and sausage by Funky Fresh Foods