LocalHarvest Newsletter, November 16, 2009

Welcome back to the LocalHarvest newsletter.

This time of year, people from the North often ask us how they can keep buying local food through the winter. In the produce realm, I usually recommend becoming familiar with winter storage crops – apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, onions, garlic, beets, carrots, and other root crops – and looking for signs in your grocery store to see if any come from local farms. Depending on where you live, hardy greens may also be available through the winter. It's helpful, too, to think beyond produce, and see if there are local options for eggs, dairy products, honey, meat, beans and grains.

Going to the pantry to get a pint of your own pickles in January might not be quite as satisfying as going out to the garden with a salad bowl in August and coming back with supper, but it's close. The desire to eat high quality local food through the winter is prompting more and more of us to preserve some of the bounty from the hot summer months. Whether the produce will come from your garden, a CSA or the farmers market, this winter you can lay plans to stock your freezer with roasted tomatoes, blanched greens, tomato sauce and frozen berries. If you ask for a canner for Christmas, you will be able to make applesauce and jam, and enjoy your own salsa all year long.

Putting even a little attention on eating 'winter food' over the coming months deepens our connection to the flow of the seasons, and to the earth itself. Deep greens, brilliant oranges – nature offers us bold colors in its darkest season. Rather than focusing on all the foods we “can't” have when we choose to eat seasonally and locally, we may notice a growing sense of appreciation for the abundance and variety of nourishment the land offers to us in each season. For this food, we give thanks.

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we are also thankful for the ongoing support so many people are giving to family farmers, even in this time of economic hardship. Your commitment to creating a sustainable food system is one of the blessings for which we at LocalHarvest are grateful this season.

May your tables be laden and your hearts and bellies full,

Erin Barnett

From the LocalHarvest Store:

If you need a little golden-ness in your November, or a little passion for that matter, here is a great deal for you: Farmer Bob from Fresh Gardens is offering a "buy one, get one for 1/2 off" deal on his golden passion fruit, now through November 29. These jewel-tone fruits look beautiful on your holiday table, and taste even better.

Love to decorate for the holidays? Our most popular seller is this boxwood wreath. We also carry balsam, pine, fir, mixed green, and dried flower wreaths. Order early, so you can enjoy your wreath all season long. from LocalHarvest farmers.

Food, Inc.

If you either saw the movie, Food, Inc. and wished more of your friends and family had seen it, or have been waiting to see it yourself, you'll be glad to hear that the DVD version is now available.

The film shines a bright light on the industrial food supply, showing how a handful of corporations often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment.  It's a troubling, informative, moving look at what we eat, how it's produced and who we have become as a nation.

Turkey Winner

Maureen Brown-Petracca is the lucky winner of our first-ever turkey giveaway! Her organic, heritage bird will come to her straight from Ayrshire Farm in Upperville, VA. Maureen says she and her immediate family plan to enjoy the bird at home in Manassas, VA this Thanksgiving. Congratulations and happy holidays!

If you've been meaning to order an organic or heritage bird for your Thanksgiving, you still have the rest of the week to do so!

Food from the Farm: Butternut Squash Soup

We love a good squash soup. This one is light, and makes a good starter to a meal, or a fine lunch. Butternut squash soup does not always have as much flavor as we'd like, so feel free to be liberal with the salt and pepper! For a heartier soup, you could substitute 3 cups of beef broth for the chicken broth, and add some whole milk or cream at the end.
(Recipes and More...)