During the shoulder season amongst the cold, snow, extensive rain, and frosty nights you may be wondering if you have access to any fresh local produce. Passing by local farms, it may not look like much is growing or available. However, BC is uniquely situated as a climate that is still hospitable to a variety of locally grown foods. Regardless of the region of BC you live in, there are local foods in season for you all year round! Farmers use strategic season extension methods to keep food growing and stored through the winter months. This may be in the form of greenhouses, cold frames, row covers, mulches, and other innovative methods. There is also an abundance of foods that are locally grown and processed that producers have preserved and continue to market through the colder months.
If you live in Southwest BC you can still get fresh apples, cabbage, carrots, kale, kiwi, leek, onion, and parsnip. In addition to this fresh produce, you can find stored or dried beans, beets, garlic, potatoes, rutabaga, shallots, squash, and turnips.
Living in the Okanagan, you are used to a plethora of the freshest fruits during the warmer season. There are, however, still options for locally grown foods, both fresh and preserved. You can find fresh cabbage, carrots, kale, kiwi, leek, and parsnip and stored beets, cabbage, potatoes, rutabaga, shallots, squash and turnip.
The Kootenays is a region that has a wonderful variety of fresh products for consumers to enjoy. Right now, you can get fresh apples, arugula, beets, burdock root, cabbage, garlic bulbs, leek, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, pears, potatoes, rutabaga, spinach, squash, and sunchokes.
With a much colder climate than the rest of the province, Northern BC eaters have access to stored, dried, and frozen products. In the north, you can find apples, beets, cabbage, carrots, garlic, mushrooms, onions, parsnip, potatoes, pumpkin, rutabaga, and squash this time of year.
On Vancouver Island, similar to Southwest BC, you can find fresh apples, carrots, kale, leek, mushrooms, onions, parsnip, and potatoes.
In addition to all of the amazing fruits and vegetables still accessible this time of year, many local meat producers have stock frozen to provide to consumers. If you are a meat-eater, you can support your local producers all year!
No matter the season, support your local farmers when you can. On a cold and rainy winter day, a stroll through the farmers market will pick you up. Take in and appreciate all of the amazing products we can grow in BC, all year. Cook a warm, comforting meal with seasonal produce to enjoy with loved ones. Your local producers work endlessly to put food on our tables. Continue to support them in the shoulder season and fill your belly with nutritious food!