Last winter I had a CSA and we did Silver Spring, Dupont Circle and Tacoma Park markets to get my local items for my winter challenge. I thought nothing of driving into DC or the suburbs to get fresh foods locally grown. At the time, I was unaware of the year round farm stores that are actually closer to me, and are now where I get my meats, produce and locally produced items like bread, milk, eggs and honey.
Every other week I head out to England Acres to get dairy, meat, winter veggies and fresh greens. Also, apples and sometimes citrus. Judy gets high tunnel microgreens and winter greens from a farm in Damascus, East Rivendell Farm.
I will be heading over to check them out some day probably a Friday when they are open. For me to add a farm to my local resources list, I like to visit and see what they have. I love the greens from East Rivendell. Today I picked up some winter salad mix, and a bag of red chard at England Acres. I believe both of them were brought in from East Rivendell. Like these greens a few weeks back.
The mix I got today includes some lovely baby dinosaur kale. I also picked up the Baby Bellas again today. And, some carrots that Judy orders from Lancaster Farm Fresh, the coop that supplies my summer CSA. The carrots are so sweet in the winter. My favorite time to buy them.
This week I made lots of soups and the lasagna, so we are eating leftovers until tomorrow night. Then, I will be making my winter weekly Eat Local Dinner, using two little 5 oz. filets I got from Judy today. We were talking out at the farm about whether I should order a side of lamb. She will be selling sides and whole lamb packages. In March and in May. After that, no fresh lamb until the fall.
I find it interesting to get meat from the local farmers. Chickens available only from May until late fall. Lamb available winter and early spring. Seasonal influences based on when the animals are ready to process. If you have never bought or cooked with locally raised, farm fresh meats, you don’t know what you are missing. Just like local eggs and local produce, that freshness and taste are unmistakable.
Only three weeks to go until my Breezy Willow Early Bird CSA starts. Still happily eating from the freezer, the pantry and a couple of trips a month to the farmstands. Can’t believe how little I get from grocery stores these days. I asked my husband last week to stop at the store for the few items I can’t get at markets, like coffee creamer, extra light olive oil for cooking and dishwasher detergent. When your total gasoline points for the month are 39 from Giant Food, you know you have changed your buying habits.
As for CSAs, the local ones are filling up quickly. Look over at localharvest.org if you want to get the freshest produce and fruit weekly. There are all sorts of sizes and types now being delivered to pick up spots all over Howard County.