Why eat local year-round? Because you can! And it’s better for you, our planet, and our communities.

1. Grow food through the winter. Thank you, temperate valley.

The trick for a wintertime garden? Plan ahead: you will need to think about your winter kale in August and your overwintered carrots in July. If you don’t have space for a garden, consider sharing space with a neighbor or finding a plot in a community garden.

2. Stock up on storage crops.

Attend our annual Fill Your Pantry event in November where you can purchase storage crops in bulk from local farms. Our 2020 event will be modified to allow for social distancing and low-contact purchasing. Shop early online. (Link will be posted here in October.)

Done right, you can be snacking on yummy local carrots, potatoes, and squash all the way until spring. The table below can be summed up by these rules of thumb: keep fruits and veggies apart; dry-skinned things like garlic prefer dry (low humidity) cool, dark, ventilated spaces (e.g., attic, garage, basement). Colder, damper porches and sheds are good for fruits and vegetables.

Good long-term storage containers include: lightweight plastic tubs (with holes on side for ventilation), slated crates, waxed produce boxes, galvanized garbage cans.

Check out our storage primer for more tips.


3. Process and preserve foods for even longer term storage.

Food preservation is an art and a science. Learn from people who know what they’re doing by attending a Master Food Preserver workshop.

If time is tight but freezer space is available, lots of food can store for months or even up to a year in a freezer. Some freezing tips: only use produce in good condition (young veggies, ripe fruit), blanch veggies first to kill enzymes, use good quality freezer bags or containers.

4. Shop for local foods all year.

If you can’t grow, store, or preserve enough, you can still find plenty of local foods for sale. Many farmers markets, farmstands, and CSAs are starting earlier, ending later, and offering extended season products. There are also many grocery stores who work hard to stock locally produced food. See our Locally Grown guide for complete listings of places to find local food.

And a final thought: learn to question the winter tomato or strawberry. Given a chance, your taste buds will crave foods that are in season here. Check out Food That Grows Here for more info.


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Contact Us

Willamette Farm and Food Coalition

P.O. Box 41672
Eugene, OR 97404
© Willamette Farm and Food Coalition 2020