If you are a locavore you make an effort to eat foods raised by local farmers. Pretty easy in the summer when the farmers’ markets are bursting with fresh produce. What does it mean at this time of year and through the winter and spring before those markets open once again?
I ordered my turkey about two months ago from Dancing Faun Farm in Sheridan. They are regulars at the McMinnville Thursday Farmers’ Market and are currently offering a biweekly delivery service to Mac for eggs and chicken. Their turkeys dressed out HUGE so they offered half turkeys to us with normal size ovens. Understand that a locally raised turkey is considerably more expensive than a grocery store bird. Understand also that the locally raised turkey is free of chemicals and added water. It has been humanely raised and allowed to free range in pasture for the months it needs to grow naturally without hormones. It is worth the extra money, but you need to budget for it.
A number of local farms raise sweet potatoes and yams. You can find one near you with the information posted in Local Harvest. My suggestion is to call now, ask for availability and then make an effort to support those farmers all year. Many offer food through Yamhill Valley Grown but also have CSAs and a few have farmstands.
Several towns in the area have winter farmers’s markets that offer fresh produce and food from local farms. Each Saturday from 10-2 there is a fresh local farmers’ market located inside the McMinnville Grange 1700 Old Sheridan Road, moments off the the intersection with 99WSouth. In Forest Grove Adelantes Mujeres and the Dairy Creek Food Web will be hosting two more Fill Your Pantry markets on Sundays, November 23 and December 21 at the Times Litho Building located at Pacific and A Street. Local food producers bring in produce, meats, honeys, jams and other treats that will suit your tastebuds.
The idea of heading to the supermarket to stock up for the Thanksgiving meal is easy. There you can buy anything you want and perhaps its source and contents are really not that important to you. But consider this: the whole concept of a harvest festival, a moment to stop and offer appreciation for all that we have surrounding us, is best served by sourcing those foods locally. Not only will you be continuing in the footsteps of the original concept, but you will be supporting your local economy, something we all need to think more of especially in this season when we spend so lavishly.