Fresh & New: Jan. 29 - Feb. 4

Peggy Paul Casella, Resident Wordsmith (and Farmstand Associate) It's no secret that winter is the hardest time of year to eat local. Frigid temperatures can negatively affect egg laying, cow's milk production, and the harvesting of some herbs and greenhouse-grown produce . . . and blizzards and nor'easters can make it nearly impossible for farmers to get what they do have to market. (While Storm Juno may have underwhelmed us here in Philly, it delayed Farmstand deliveries from Blue Moon Acres, Common Market, LFFC, and the Gehman family, all of which were rescheduled for either later this week or early next week.)

But before you download that "countdown to spring" app on your smartphone and give up completely on the current season, let's take a look at the motley crew of vegetables that actually thrive in colder temperatures. Did you know that Brassicas (cabbage, collards, kale, kohlrabi, radishes, rutabagas, turnips) and Umbelliferaes (carrots, celeriac, parsnips) develop sweeter flavors after a few good frosts? When temperatures plunge below the frost point, kale and other winter greens produce extra sugars to fortify their leaves, and hearty root vegetables convert their existing starches to sugars that function like natural anti-freeze. That's why roasted parsnips are especially delicious in the colder months--those excess sugars make for even more caramelized goodness!

Lucky for you, this week the Farmstand is overflowing with these earthy-sweet winter gems. So come on down, support local farmers when they need it the most, and celebrate the unique flavors of the season!

Cabbage

Celeriac

Kale

Kohlrabi

Parsnips & Carrots

Radishes

 

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