Accessing Fresh Food in the Winter

 As we start to crawl deeper towards the heart of winter, it gets harder and harder to access fresh produce and local foods.  We have become accustomed to the abundant harvests of summer and fall months when so much is available here in the Greenbrier Valley.  Most of us home gardeners have put our beds to rest and are perusing through seed catalogs, looking forward to next years fruits.  And again for most of us this is a long season of buying produce at the Kroger gardens.  I ask you to consider another option when purchasing your food this winter season.  An option that will nourish our whole community and economy along with your family and friends.  Below is a list of markets and retail stores in the Greenbrier Valley which sell local food and produce year-round.

  • Monroe Farm Market

www.localfoodmarketplace.com/monroe/

Monroe Farm Market is an online year round farmers market selling locally grown produce.  Remember all of those high tunnels your friends have been talking about?  They still have fresh greens growing in them and you can find farmers selling lettuces, kale, herbs, and other frost hardy crops all winter long. You can also order frozen meats, eggs, mushrooms, baked goods, crafts, and many more products on Monroe Farm Market (MFM.)  Monroe Farm Market is a farmer’s run cooperative that arrogates and distributes locally grown and crafted products as far as Kanawha County. Online ordering opens Sundays at noon and closes Tuesdays at noon. They offer two pick up points in Charleston, one in Lewisburg, and one in Union. You pick up your produce at one of their four locations on Thursdays. The MFM delivers every week from June-September, and every other week October-May.  There is a small yearly membership fee, which helps to cover some of the delivery costs.  Not sure you want to join?  They offer two free trials, so you can sign up online and try out the market place before making a full commitment.

  • The Lewisburg Indoor Winter Farmers Market

New to Lewisburg this year is the Indoor Winter Farmers’ Market. On Saturdays, December- March, the market is held at the state fair grounds in the Gus Douglas building from 10am to 3pm.  There are a variety of venders selling everything from vegetables, meat, and artisan breads to handmade herbal tinctures and body products.  Stop by the coffee and espresso bar, brought to you by Chestnut Revival in Hinton, to warm up.  Visit the Market Café, which features products from different vendors each week for lunch. The market has live music each week and offers Tai Chi classes along with other activities for the whole family.  So come down to the Indoor Farmers Market with your friends and family to find a unique gift for the holidays and do your grocery shopping for the week!

  • Alderson Green Grocer

The Alderson Green Grocer, a part of the Alderson Community Food Hub, is anticipating an expansion into the Wolf Creek gallery in 2015. Currently they are located inside part of the gallery.  They offer a selection of bulk foods, frozen local meats, local eggs, cheese, chocolate and even kombucha drinks.  They also carry specialty international foods and spices, vegan and gluten free options.   The Green Grocer sources vegetables year round from local farmers when available.  Stop in at the Alderson Green Grocer for a wide selection of natural food products and seasonal foods all year round. 

  • Bella The Corner Gourmet

Located on the corner of Jefferson and Washington Street in downtown Lewisburg.  Bella’s carries a variety of West Virginia made products.  Including local frozen meats and selection of Watts Roost Vineyards wines.  Bella’s also has made in WV household items and other specialty cookware.  Visit the website here: http://www.bellathecornergourmet.com/

  • Edith’s Specialty Store

Edith’s Store is your downtown Lewisburg stop for specialty herbs, chocolate, teas, and other health food products. They always have bulk foods items in stock such as grains, seeds, and nuts, just to name a few.   Edith’s sell a variety of local meats, eggs, and bread in the store all year round.

I feel lucky to live in a place where getting local food in all seasons is an option.  It might take a little more effort on my part, but it is worth it to know I am eating the freshest possible food and supporting my neighbors.  I encourage you to try one of the above options this winter and taste for yourself the difference local food can make.

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