Most people associate fruits and vegetables with the sunny days of spring, summer, and fall. However, local farm shops are bustling during the winter as well, with a variety of fresh crops and products suited to make your home more hospitable over the holiday season. The aromas and flavours of Christmas are upon us, with the scent of pine and pumpkin permeating the air of many homes. Shopping local not only gives you access to the freshest and healthiest produce, it also helps support local farmers and families who participate in the cultivation and harvesting of those crops. Here are three reasons why Christmastime is one of the best times of year to visit a local farm shop:
1. Fresh Winter Crops Abound
Never underestimate the sheer deliciousness of commonly overlooked winter crops like kale, chard, leeks, savoy cabbage, spinach, Brussel sprouts, artichokes, sprouting broccoli, and cauliflower. In fact, many of these crops are at their finest during the winter because the cold temperatures have a ripening effect on most plants. Plus, wintertime crops are often sweeter and more colourful than their summertime counterparts. Of course, the cold weather also has a way of preserving flavours and freshness via natural refrigeration, so you stand to find some of the crispiest and juiciest greens during the late and early months of the year.
2. Christmas Trees and Wreaths
From later November onwards you can typically find a variety of Christmas trees and wreaths at your local farm shop, garden centre, or nursery. There’s nothing like the smell of a freshly cut tree to bring the authentic smell of the holiday season alive in your home. Carpenters Nursery carries a range of firs and spruces that exhibit a variety of aromas, statures, and growing characteristics. If you prefer to bring the tree inside in early December you’d be wise to choose a Nordmann Fir, whereas the Norway Spruce is better left outside until December 15th due to its tendency to shed needles in warm temperatures.
3. Recipe Ideas, Desserts, Breads, Essential Oils, Candles, and Other Natural Products
Visiting a farm shop during Christmastime is sure to inspire you to bring your culinary creations to the next level. Oftentimes you’ll find artisan, locally crafted products that you can’t get anywhere else. These items are not only healthier for you as an individual, they also help promote the local economy and build a stronger, more self-sufficient society. Instead of spending your money with the larger brands and getting an inferior dining or home décor experience, why not help the citizens of your region by opting for higher quality products that will benefit the community as a whole.
A Unique and Friendly Shopping Experience
All other perks aside, the staff at a local farm shop is likely to greet you with a warmer welcome than the average clerk at a national grocery chain store. Christmas is a festive time of year so it would make more sense to put yourself in places where your business and presence is appreciated.