Locally produced foods available all winter
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Carol Reed, manager of Burlington's Winter Farmers Market, said extending the growing season for local producers was one of the reasons behind the market. Terry Mayer/staff.
BURLINGTON — Like a burst of summer in a snowy December, plump little butter head lettuces and white satin carrots made an appearance on Michelle Cannon’s table at Burlington’s Winter Farmers Market earlier this month.
The produce both pleased and surprised shoppers who weren’t expecting to see it among the usual fall bounty of squash and apples, said Cannon, of Larryville Gardens in Spring Prairie Township. “They even surprised me,” she joked, adding that despite the frosty weather, the lettuce and carrots were thriving in the greenhouse-like “tunnels” on her farm.
The vegetables, planted in September, benefit from the sun’s warmth in the polyurethane-covered 8- by 4-foot frames. Some crops actually do better in cold weather, she said, like spinach, which gets sweeter because the plant produces sugar in cooler temperatures.
Market manager Carol Reed said extending the growing season for local producers was one of the reasons behind this year’s first winter market in Burlington, located in a downtown building at 133 E. Chestnut St., The market opened Nov. 11 and operates from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays through the end of December.
About a dozen area vendors are selling a variety of homegrown products that include meat, cheese, honey, bakery, produce, handmade soap, candles, rugs, Christmas wreaths, garland and poinsettias.
Read the full story in the e-edition of Walworth County Sunday, PAGE 14A.