A market customer asked me yesterday if market farmers eat better
than most during the long winter months.
Unfortunately, I had to admit that we too despair in winter, particularly when our supplies run out and even we have to trudge off to the grocery store for our weekly provisions. I exaggerate, but only a bit.
Most glaringly absent from our local Métro produce section during winter are the fresh greens.
Other chains fare no better, with tired lettuces, kales and microgreens cultivated hydroponically, or imported from distant climes. Not to mention the battered and bruised zucchini, eggplant that has turned brown before it is cut open on your kitchen counter, or tomatoes that, despite considerable advances in seed engineering, remain stubbornly tasteless. In sum, you will have understood that I find my winter treks to the grocery store anything but enjoyable.
So what is one to do?
Vacuum-freeze some things (tomatoes, zucchini, leeks, etc.); preserve, cook or marinate others (ratatouille, tomato sauce and pickles and more). The internet is an infinite source of conservation methods and madness, whatever works for you is better than no conservation at all. Conservation suggestions also abound in our friend Mariève Savaria’s excellent La Saison des légumes, copies of which will once again be available at our drop-off locations and at the market as we head into Fall.
Meanwhile, your baskets are still chock-full of
winter squashes, the first potatoes of the season, carrots (never too much of a good thing), cabbage, leeks (which we have in abundance), peppers and last but not least, more tomatoes. Proof positive that Fall has arrived, though : there will be no more summer squash in your baskets, we hope you have eaten your fill. Ditto for eggplant, yields are decreasing as the days shorten.
We look forward to seeing you all again.