When the sun is high in the sky and the fields are bursting with summer abundance it’s hard to believe that winter is just around the corner.
Here at the Farm preparations are well underway for the oncoming cold weather; the autumn crops are planted and soon enough we’ll start filling up the cold room with hearty beets, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, onions, and squash. At this time of year we become like little squirrels - storing food away to keep us warm and cozy all winter long.
Ottawa Farm Fresh is here to help you meet your local, organic eating goals, no matter the season.
Eating local food all winter long is very much possible, it just requires a little bit of know-how and a little bit of planning. Prudent planting, preserving the summer harvest, and long-term storage are some of our favourite techniques - a trifecta of tips for local eating all winter long!
1. Grow greens well into the fall
If you have already stopped planting fresh crops in your garden then you are missing a trick! Spinach, arugula, and some varieties of lettuce are incredibly cold tolerant and can withstand the oncoming colder temperatures, as long as you get them planted soon. If you are able to offer the plants some protection in the form of row covers then your season can be extended even longer, allowing you to harvest your own greens well into October!
If you’d like to learn more about extending your growing season then join Farmer Jo right here on the Farm for our first in-person Farmer To Gardener Seminar - Growing Great Fall Greens. On August 21st from 1:30-3pm Jonathan will be sharing tips for fall growing, as well as answering any other gardening questions you might have.
2. Preserve the Harvest
Don’t walk the aisles of your local supermarket for food this winter, shop right from your own cupboards! We’re busy making tomato sauce, salsa, and pickles with all of the amazing veggies that are in great abundance right now and squirreling it away in the pantry for winter meals.
For the next couple of weeks you'll be able to purchase crates of our organic, sun-ripened tomato to preserve at home - either by canning or freezing. Order 20, 60, or 100lbs online and we'll harvest them just for you and let you know when to come and pick them up at the Farm. It's as easy as that!
Unsure where to get started with all this tomato canning stuff? Farmer Jo is here to help! On August 28th from 3-5pm Jonathan is leading a Tomato Growing and Canning Workshop right here on the Farm. Learn how you too can grow and preserve your very own tomatoes, and go home with a 20lb crate to try it out yourself!
3. Register for our Winter CSA
If all of this sounds like an awful lot of work, let us do it for you. Enter the Ottawa Farm Fresh Winter Abundance CSA!
When you sign up for our Winter CSA you’ll receive a weekly basket of hearty winter vegetables to keep you warm and cozy through until New Year. Thanks to our cold room we're able to store a wide array of crops: carrots, beets, potatoes, cabbage, winter squash, and garlic to name a few. On top of that, our caterpillar tunnels and greenhouse provide a bounty of frost-tolerant veggies such as kale, chard, spinach, and arugula, as well as more tender greens for as long as the season allows. Plus delicious sunflower and buckwheat microgreens from our indoor grow room!
Local eating doesn't need to end in October - Let's keep the veggie party going all the way to New Year!