Eating locally in winter
Tired of root veggies? You can expand your January diet without hurting the Earth.
You knew it would be difficult, but you made the commitment. You told yourself it would be better for the environment, your health and the local economy.And so when spring melted the snow, you bought provincially grown asparagus and maybe tried baking a rhubarb pie.
Then summer arrived and all the benefits of your new diet were on display at your farmers market. Buckets of strawberries, sweet summer peas. Peaches and pears that yielded juicily against your tongue when you bit into them. “Eating local never tasted so good,” you thought to yourself as you polished off the last of late fall’s apple harvest. But winter’s since rolled in, the farmers market has closed shop and pickings at the supermarket are slim. The thought of rutabagas, potatoes or parsnips again at dinner sets your teeth on edge. Being a locavore in winter can seem daunting, but with a few tricks, it doesn’t have to be impossible. Here are four ways to get started.
Last September, Randy Shore made something of an extreme promise to himself. In his quest to eat locally, he would consume something home-grown every day for the next 365 days. Having started the challenge so late in the growing season, you’d think the Vancouver Sun reporter and editor was on a fool’s errand.
“It turns out you can grow a lot of things pretty successfully in the winter,” especially in the warmer climate of Gibsons Landing in southwestern British Columbia, says Shore, 47. Having retired most of his large garden space for the winter, he’s been using a greenhouse built from a kit.
“One of the things you can’t do is grow everything you can get at the grocery store. You either have to change what you eat or change your recipes to things you can grow successfully. I can grow chard, kale, spinach and turnips really well. For some reason, carrots not so well. Radishes are a mystery to me.”