If you live in a colder part of the world, then winter means most Farmer’s Markets are pretty limited in the winter. Gone are the days of wandering the markets and seeing smiling local farmer faces. As more people become aware of where their food comes from you may be thinking how can I still support our local farmers? Well, you are in luck because we have some tips, straight from some farmers themselves, on how we can still support buying local.
Community- Supported Agriculture (CSAs)
Not everything that a farmer harvests is done in the warmer seasons. You can still purchase meat or dairy products during the winter months. You can participate in meat Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA), similar to produce CSAs – except it is year-round. Find your closest meat CSA by clicking here.
You can also look for CSAs that have: baked goods, canned or preserved fruits/ vegetables, dried beans, milled grains/flour, dried herbs, honey, maple products, nuts, soap/ body care products, and juices. Remember just because it is cold outside doesn’t mean the farm is closed, it just means more time to do other activities.
Winter CSAs are also an option. With farming techniques such as greenhouses and high tunnels, farms are able to extend their seasons through the winter months. Farmers can grow and store. Check out LocalHarvest or EatWell to find winter farmer’s markets.
Holiday & Winter Markets
A fellow farmer told us to check out your local holiday markets! What a great place to find gifts during the holiday season. You will be able to find unique items while shopping local! A quick google search should give you a list of holiday markets. Our farmers aren’t just growing our food but getting crafty as well!
In Albuquerque check out:
- the Downtown Grower’s Market Farm-To-Car Winter Edition
- Los Ranchos Market every Second Saturday in the winter
- The Corales Market has some winter dates
You can purchase Silverleaf farm produce here
Follow your Local Farms on Social Media
How are you supposed to know if your local farms are selling anything or not if you aren’t following them on social media? Social media does not have a preference for the weather. Sign up for their “email list to get updates on what they have available,” is what one farm told us. Who knows maybe you will find something cool like this farmer in Switzerland who makes coo-coo clocks to sell in the wintertime!
Shop at your Local Grocery Market or Food Cooperative
With the movement of buying local growing, you may be surprised at what you find at your local market. Walk up to the store manager and ask for the local products section. If they say they don’t carry any local product, then ask them to do so. Until people start voicing their wants, stores will not change their practices. After all, our voice as customers has lots of power!
We hope we have given you some ideas on how to continue to support your local farmers during the winter months. Just because it is cold doesn’t mean that our farms are closed. There are still products available, just be open to what you can find!