The Hippo


Jun 2, 2020








Don’t stop shopping

Some markets have ended, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find local growers’ products. Check out these winter farmers markets currently running. Know of another local winter farmers market starting now or later in the season? Email
• Concord at Cole Gardens, 430 Loudon Road, on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit
• Contoocook at Town Hall, 846 Main St., Contoocook, on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit
• Henniker at Henniker Community Center, 57 Main St., on Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. Visit
• Milford at Milford Town Hall Auditorium, 1 Union Square, on Saturdays starting Saturday, Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit
• Salem at Lake Street Garden Center, 37 Lake St., on the first and third Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit

Winter markets cropping up
An abundance of late autumn crops now available


 There’s more to late autumn crops than pumpkins and gourds. At Henniker Community Market, farmers are bringing in potatoes, onions, leeks, shallots and more. 

“There’s a whole host of winter storage crops that come in at this time of year — winter squash, storage radishes, cabbages,” said market manager Monica Rico. “Also cold-weather greens. Spinach is back this time of year, and kale is sweeter this time of year.”
There’s also bok choy and swiss chard.
“I think the farmers markets are really impressive, even in the winter,” Rico said. 
She said that sometimes farmers offer recipes to go with their winter storage crops, in case customers aren’t sure how to use them. One example of a crop that’s in season this time of year that most market-goers don’t know how to use is celeriac, or celery root.
“Really, it’s a celery plant, but the energy has gone into the root rather than the stalks. We use it for the same thing that we would use celery for,” said Robert Bower of Kearsarge Gore Farm in Warner. “It’s spectacular if you chunk it up, if you cube it up like a potato and use it in a soup. It’s fantastic and gives it a very rich flavor.”
Bower participates in the Henniker Community Market as well as the winter markets in Warner and in Concord at Cole Gardens. Right now, he has winter turnips, rutabaga and winter-storage radishes. He’s still digging and storing potatoes, he said, and starting to dig winter-storage carrots.
“Of course, we’ve picked our winter squash and it’s being cured in the greenhouses,” Bower said. “The season’s late. We haven’t actually had a killing frost yet. The only thing that’s been killed for us is summer squash right now.”
Bower recently built a new winter storage facility, which includes an insulated room that keeps the temperature constant without any power at about the temperature of an icebox, he said. Carrots, radishes, celeriac and cut beets were stored there, while potatoes and winter squash were stored in cold storage in another part of the barn, kept at about 42 degrees.
While some crops now are getting ready for storage, others are just being planted even now.
“We’re actually planting greenhouses now with our winter vegetables, which are spinach, mustard greens, salad mix, radishes, arugula, cilantro, kale,” Bower said. 
Those greens will go into the CSA shares from Kearsarge Gore Farm during the winter CSA that runs January through March.
“The seasons are extended by a considerable amount. Everybody’s growing more through more seasons,” Bower said. “I think that the winter farmers markets are becoming increasingly popular. One of the things of doing a winter farmers market is continuity with your customers. They’re everywhere now.”
Many winter markets are starting up now (or in cases like Henniker, the market just moves indoors). To keep shopping local, winter squashes, like acorn and butternut, are perfect for roasting in the oven. Bower recommends picking up bulk items that store easily — like potatoes, winter squash and onions — and storing them in a cellar or a breezeway, “someplace where it’s cold but doesn’t freeze,” he said.
“Or they can just stop weekly at the farmers market, which is probably the easiest thing to do,” Bower said.
“I think the word needs to be spread more about winter markets, and people associate farmers markets with outdoors, summer time. So, people should still come out and see that there are still diverse products at winter markets,” Rico said. 
As seen in the October 30, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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