Here at Lohbrunner Community Farm, we are big fans of local eating, and all year round if we can help it. This is why our Homesteader group of growers collectively focus on producing large amounts of winter storage crops to be shared amongst themselves and our market farmers always stockpile a number of veggies for their own winter stores in the fall.
While local eating got a big boost in 2020 due to the global pandemic which highlighted weaknesses in our globalized food system and making a short, direct-from-farmer supply chain seem extra desirable, a lot of the hype around eating local focuses, understandably, on summer and early fall. This is understandable because there is simply so much abundance at that time of year, including a lot of high-profile, well-known, and sought-after crops. This includes local food movement poster children such as luscious tomatoes, crispy cucumbers, sweet corn, aromatic basil, crunchy carrots, sweet strawberries, fresh greens, and even some fall favourites like hearty beets, pungent leeks, and rich winter squash.
As some of these more standard favourites fade away, so too, does some of the support for local vegetables. However, even this time of year – December, January, and February – can be surprisingly abundant and flavourful if you know where to look or have the ability to stock up ahead of time.