Slow Food in Late Winter: Keeping It Real

800px-Downtown_Indy_snowLast week I wrote about canning, and preserving summer’s bounty for the winter. Boy, I sure wish I had some of that bounty in my pantry now (next year, right?). But I don’t and I admit that I’m on an eat-local learning curve. So what good, seasonal, local food IS available in Indianapolis in March? What are my options if I don’t want to buy a ton of probably-less-than-peak imported produce from the mega-mart?

The Indy Winter Farmer’s Market is at the top of the list, of course. The amazing farmers and craftsman at the Winter Market can keep a cook in beautiful root vegetables, greens, meat, eggs, dairy products and much more, right up until the time the city’s other farmer’s markets re-open in spring.

But wait. This is me. I’ve been out of town the last two Saturday mornings. Not to mention that this winter’s train of snowstorms has driven me to spend most of my Saturday mornings in complete icy-street denial, buried safe under my blankets and nowhere near the Indy Winter’s Farmers Market. Bad Lorrie. Sad pantry.

So now what? Where else can I get good, seasonable, preferably local, foodstuffs in the month of March? On a week day? I’ve discovered a few resources on my own. There are great local vendors at the City Market. I can buy Trader’s Point Creamery products in just about any local grocery store. Goose the Market isn’t far away. Good Earth Natural Food Company is in nearby Broad Ripple. Georgetown Market is a bit further, but I can “bundle” a trip there with a few other northwest-side errands and conserve gas.

Plus, right here on the Slow Food Indy website, under the Resources menu, there are links to several sites with listings of dozens of local farmers, markets, food businesses, wineries, breweries, and much more.

Okay, suddenly March doesn’t look quite so barren. Provided I take just a little time to educate myself and be willing to visit some new places and talk to some new people. I think, too, I have to honest with myself. I know I won’t give up all imported foods (coffee, anyone?), but I can choose to buy from local purveyors who have longstanding, fair relationships with coffee farmers. I know I’m not going to ban lemons from my kitchen counter, but I can be aware of where and how they were grown. And I can definitely make seasonal and local foods the platform from which I plan meals and choose where to shop.

I’m learning that I can support the Slow Food way of life, and yet be realistic about myself, my schedule and my budget – all year ’round.

About the Author
Lorrie Wehr is an Indianapolis writer and sometimes-artist who believes sharing good food is the key to a good life.