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A Monthly Guide to Finding Locally Grown Foods

     by Stephen Morris

Remember: You can buy local farm products every day of the year Even in New England! Vital Communities, a non-profit organization based in White River Junction that promotes local agriculture, tells how. -SM


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January

  • Place seed catalog order
  • Keep taking meat out of the freezer
  • Enjoy local cheeses all year long
  • Go out to eat at restaurants offering local foods on menu
  • Hearty, hot roast chicken dishes
  • Use dried herbs
  • Knitting project with local yarns
  • Make butter with kids by shaking cream in a lidded jar

February

  • Plan out your garden designs
  • Decide if a CSA is right for you and your family
  • Make a berry pie with the last of the frozen berries you picked last summer
  • Order next year's firewood
  • Fresh half-and-half for coffee
  • Enjoy hearty breads with local grains and fresh butter

March

  • Call/Visit CSAs to see which one is right for you
  • Start tomato seeds indoors (traditionally on town meeting day)
  • Visit a maple farm for sugar on snow
  • Fresh local eggs for Sunday brunch
  • Attend town meeting, remember farmers need community, and communities need farms

April

  • Sign up for CSA
  • Order locally grown foods from the caterer for the annual meeting at work
  • Order mulch hay for garden projects
  • First greenhouse tomatoes are available
  • Greenhouses open for bedding plants season

May

  • Go to "Flavors of the Valley",Valley Food & Farm's free public tasting and information forum
  • Place deposit on side of beef, lamb or pork for fall
  • Farm stands open for season
  • Most farmers' markets open for season
  • Get first CSA share
  • Sheepskin for wedding present
  • The first local tender greens are ready!

June

  • Transplant seedlings to garden
  • Put last year's compost pile on garden beds
  • Regular visits to farm stands
  • Visit two out-of-town farmers' markets
  • Order locally grown foods from the caterer for the wedding
  • Put up wedding guests at a local farm that offers overnight stays
  • Start strawberry picking at month end
  • Make ice cream with the kids from fresh local rich cream

July

  • Lots of strawberry picking over 4th
  • Raspberry and black raspberry picking
  • Garden lettuces and spinaches usually bolt (go to seed) from the heat--switch to broccoli, cucumbers, summer squash
  • Make pesto with early basil, garlic
  • Attend Family Farm Fest in Randolph
  • Summer fair season starts
  • Some blueberry picking starts

August

  • Lots of blueberry picking: easiest berry to freeze! In each freezer bag, pack enough to make a pie
  • Make lots of jam for holiday gifts
  • Fresh sweet corn season!
  • Delicious local ice cream cones
  • Fill the house with colorful flowers
  • Take a vacation: try a farm stay
  • Eat every possible kind of veggie, and try 2 new ones
  • Make homemade ice pops with local berries
  • Tour farms statewide on NH Ag Day

September

  • Go to Southern Vermont Garlic & Herb Festival in Wilmington
  • Most farm stands and farmers' markets are still open
  • Still getting CSA shares
  • Can or blanch-&-freeze tomato sauce and salsa
  • Still getting fresh corn; it's easy to blanch & freeze
  • First frost coming by month end
  • Store roots in cool dark basement room: carrots, apples, garlic, cabbage, onions, potatoes and more
  • Start harvesting kale, collards, other hardy greens

October

  • Start picking up winter CSA share: winter squash, root crops
  • Volunteer with gleaning project to harvest excess farm products for our hungry neighbors
  • Local cheddar cheese on apple pies
  • Fill up honey jar for baking season
  • Last visits to farmers' markets
  • Plant mums for fall blooms
  • Plant bulbs for spring blooms
  • Hang fresh herbs in kitchen to dry

November

  • Jack-o-lanterns give light to dark nights
  • Go to indoor holiday farmers' markets
  • Hunting season
  • Serve fresh turkey from local farm
  • Bake pies from local fresh pumpkin or apples
  • Still harvesting hardy greens from cold frame or sunny window
  • Order locally grown foods from the caterer for holiday parties

December

  • Give away maple syrup and homemade jams
  • Make pies from frozen berries
  • Serve fresh turkey, goose, lamb, or other game or poultry
  • Start perusing seed catalogs
  • Cut-your-own holiday tree
  • Bring baked root crop dish to potluck: carrot, beet, onion, garlic, rutabaga (they're sweeter than you think!), potatoes, herbs, balsamic vinegar, butter
  • Get garlands, wreaths, dried flowers to green up the house

Reprinted courtesy of Vital Communities
104 Railroad Row : White River Junction : VT 05001
802:291:9100 x103 : www.vitalcommunities.org

6,280 neighbors have viewed this article.


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