~ from Serena, Farmers' Market Manager ~
When winter hits, do you stop eating local food? Do you also stop breathing and sleeping?
Local food doesn't have to be a summer-only luxury. Lucky for us, when Howe Meadow ends, the party doesn't stop. We go indoors the very next week, right across the field, to Old Trail School.
When I first started this job, I thought the winters in the farmers' market world would be desolate and boring. Boy was I wrong. Winter market season at Countryside is alive and bustling.
Thanks to the farmers, who practice season extension and are skilled in storage crops, the hydroponic growers, the bakers, the food makers and producers, the coffee brewers, and the artists, starting your Saturday with a farmers' market doesn't need to stop when the snow falls.
You can continue shop and eat locally even when your windshield wipers are frozen to your car and your pockets are perpetually filled with tissues for the endless "winter runny nose."
My favorite parts about winter market are the abundance of butternut squash and other assorted root veg, trying new kinds of greens I've never heard of, the times I've bought a new and scary vegetable and attempted to cook it, my morning treat (usually a baked good), the volunteers who show up to help set up, hot breakfast and coffee, and the heated bathrooms.
It may seem early to be mentioning winter, but vendor applications for Countryside Old Trail School Winter Farmers' Market are opening shortly, and if you blink it will be time to order your local turkey.
Find your favorite part of winter market and continue your local eating adventure after the gate to Howe Meadow closes for the season.