Sunday, November 27, 2011

Settling into the Winter Routine again

My love! Great day for the park yesterday!
Winter is rolling its way here in Michigan, although you wouldn't have known it by the temperature yesterday- incredible weather! I've been getting back into what has been my Winter Routine for the past several years;
Turning to use the food I've canned, frozen, or have stored;
Heading over to the Ann Arbor Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings in search of root vegetables, winter-hardy greens, local herbs, honey, and other winter goods;
Making and eating a lot of chillis, soups, and stews.

It feels good to have been at this whole "homesteading" thing long enough to even have a routine to return to. Each year, I get a little closer to being more self-sufficient, although on the whole I'm still very far away from that goal.

Storage root veggies and squas
This year it seems I'll be all set through most of the winter squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots and onions, meaning I'll be able to eat those things locally throughout the entire winter, based on what I've grown and/or bought locally and stored. I also have some canned corn and green beans that will probably get me through at least until January or February. I've got 5 pints and 7 half pints of jam, which will last me until next year's jam-making begins.

I'm going to try to focus on utilizing the root vegetables I have and getting what I can locally as far as winter greens goes, and will again this winter try to avoid purchasing produce that is way past its' season: Peppers, fresh corn, etc. The same goes for fruits- I'm going to stock up on apples that will last for a while in my chilly "mudroom" space.

I usually cave and purchase frozen fruit in the winter because I start to crave it; we're lucky around here to have a great Winter CSA called Locavorious- they purchase locally-grown fruits and vegetables while they're in season and then they flash-freeze them, so folks can have this great produce available all-year round! While I didn't purchase a share from Locavorious, they are usually at the Ypsilanti & Ann Arbor Farmers' Markets and I love that I can still buy local in the winter!

What's your technique for eating local in the Winter?

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