2015 Outlook for Local Produce
by Oliver Owen, Produce Manager
Springfield Food Co-op
Greetings folks, the 2015 growing season is underway! Memorial Day traditionally marks the start of direct sowing in most home gardens around the New England region, however, when the first potted culinary herbs arrive at the Co-op from Happy Valley Organics, it feels like time to get busy in the garden!
Here is a pre-season peek into what local offerings are up and coming.
Plants blast off in May and June! Excitement for the new warm season is evident in the shoppers clamoring for fresh spring edible ephemerals such as fiddleheads, ramps, and morels. Asparagus from Riverview Farm of Weathersfield makes a fleeting appearance. Other farmers eagerly plant warm weather crops. The Co-op staff “plants” strawberries from Blais Farm on our shelves. Tender young salad greens from the green houses of Coger Farms make a fantastic spicy salad mix. Good n’ Ugly tomatoes are available from Longwind Farm in Thetford and there is much to celebrate. Because June also boasts terrific early field crops such as the best heads lettuce you’re going to find all year.
Try pickling something new this spring, how about thinned carrots? Garlic scapes or baby onions? If you’ve already graduated from those methods, try some lacto-fermentation.
Pencil in blueberries around the 4th of July and declare your independence from far away fruits with blackberries too!
July is great time for cucumbers, summer squashes, and the peppers begin.
Mid-season is August and September when we’re going to have a whole lot of local bounty to offer. Apples and cider start coming in from Champlain Orchards, the heirlooms of Scott Farm. Melons, cherry tomatoes, eggplant and corn from Blais Farm. While Organic corn on the cob can be a challenge to source, Harlow Farm and Deep Meadow Farm have been making progress, plus with help from Black River Produce I’m confident that we’ll be well stocked.
Suddenly October is upon us. Daylight hours dwindle. Carpe diem! Eat all the fresh greenery you can lay hands on! Grab generous-sized bunches of kales and chard from Deep Meadow Farm. Broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and all the brassica crew are “cole” crops, which means they get sweeter, as the weather here in Vermont gets colder. Time to stock up on winter squashes, onions and potatoes from Deep Meadow Farm. As you reach for those long johns, think of sweet potatoes from Laughing Child farm in Dorset.
And this is not all, oh no this is not all… Remember, here is just a peek of what’s in store. Check out the farm profiles and produce information cards in store featuring flavor profiles, common uses, fun facts, recipe ideas, nutritional info, and agricultural practices throughout 2015.
Thank You for Eating Fresh and Local!