Best Time to Eat Local

With the advent of winter farmer’s markets and CSA’s you can eat local all year long with plenty of food to choose from. But, although most people think of the abundance of fresh produce in the spring and summer months, I think the best time to eat local is in the fall.  Sure, you won’t see any strawberries or blackberries, but markets will be brimming with ripe tomatoes, all types of squashes – yellow squash, butternut squash, acorn squash – potatoes, onions, carrots, cool weather greens like swiss chard, spinach,  beets, lettuces, figs and of course apples. Depending on where you live, early in the season you may still find cucumbers, peppers, eggplants and beans.

Later in the season will come the more hardy vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and sweet potatoes.  In the way of dairy, cheese and eggs, you can still find fresh eggs, fresh meat and fresh cheese, but production is slowing. A chicken’s egg-laying capacity is based on the amount of sunlight in the day, so as the days get shorter egg-laying decreases, still most chickens won’t stop laying until November or so (again depending on where you live). And since fresh cheeses will be turned into wonderful aged cheddars, blues, feta, Gouda, and dozens of other styles of hard or semi-soft cheeses you still have a wealth of choices.

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