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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Last week winter farmers markets were closed due to the snow. Lamenting the lack of markets last week, too? Here’s some of what you can expect for this week, as well as some ideas about what you can do if this happens again this winter.

The weather won’t affect the bounty available at the market this weekend. Much of the produce for sale at markets are either storage crops, which are not usually influenced by winter temperatures , or grown in tunnels and greenhouses, and, generally speaking, these will survive through colder temperatures. Both Meadow Cove Farm and Second Spring Market Garden posted photos to social media of their winter lettuce crops, cozy and content in their tunnels during the snow.

Not only did market-goers miss out on the opportunity to buy local food, they also missed the opportunity to connect with farmers, neighbors, and fellow community members. Winter markets are especially social events; conversation and laughter ringing up to the ceiling; smiles and hugs happening all around; and a general sense of cheer and appreciation for all the delicious fare before us.

If markets close again due to weather this winter, you can visit appalachiangrown.org to find grocers and restaurants who source local food near you. This way, once you dig your car out, you can still eat local until the market the following week.

Another idea: buy a little bit extra every week, and freeze or store it at home. This way, it’ll be there if you need it. Cabbage, sweet potatoes, carrots, and apples can last many weeks in the fridge. Dark leafy greens such as collards and kale can usually last about two weeks — it’s best to store them with paper towels in their bags (to absorb moisture), and keep them either on shelves or in drawers in the fridge that aren’t packed too tightly.

Vendors at the markets are excited for this Saturday, and we are too! Looking forward to all of the meats, cheeses, eggs, breads, treats, and veggies! See you there!

Winter markets take place throughout the region. Check out the “2016 Winter Farmers Markets” page on ASAP’s website on asapconnections.org. As always, you can find information about which farm stands are open and other farms to visit in the winter months by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.

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