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Top ten ways to eat sustainably during the winter

A kale plant still growing through the coldest part of winter.
A kale plant still growing through the coldest part of winter.
Erica Andrews of Hurricane Farm

Whether it is a New Year's resolution to know where your food is coming from, a desire to be eco-friendly, or inspiration from Michael Pollan's latest book, many people are trying out a sustainable diet.  However, eating sustainably during the winter months can be challenging - especially without advanced planning.  Here are some helpful ways to get started:

  1. Find a Hartford winter farmer's market.  They are not as common as the summer variety - but do exist.  Coventry has a great one that is held every Sunday from 11-2 at Coventry High School.  You will not find most of the produce that you find during the summer/fall, but plenty of great alternatives are still available.  You may even be lucky enough to find farmers that are growing in greenhouses, which will greatly expand the variety of winter produce.
  2. Try looking at local grocery stores.  With the COOL labeling, it has become much easier to find out where food is coming from.  Some stores, such as Whole Foods, will even tell you what state your produce is from. Also, check out local food Co-ops.  They are a great source of locally grown/produced food. 
  3. Sustainable meat is a product that is not affected by the time of year.  There are great places to find fresh, local meat during the winter, as well as the rest of the year
  4. Let go of produce expectations.  Unless you are able to find local greenhouse produce, you will have to eat vegetables that can be stored well but are very tasty and versatile: winter squashes, potatoes, turnips, onions, kohlrabi, dried beans, etc. 
  5. Develop a taste for kale.  It can even grow in the snow!  Kale is very healthy and can be sauteed, added to soups, made into chips, baked ...
  6. Try visiting a restaurant that buys food locally.  In Hartford county, you will find Firebox and in Tolland county Zest is another delicious option.
  7. Winter is a great time for starting to plan out your garden.  Growing your own food is about as sustainable as you can get.  If possible, try to find a source of heirloom vegetables and fruits.
  8. Also, winter is a great time to learn a new food preservation skill - such as pickling, canning, etc.  You can use whatever local produce you can find and learn these new skills now.
  9. Join a CSA.  CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture) are a fantastic way to know where your food is coming from AND to support the local economy. 
  10. Do more research now.  There are many books, magazines, and online sources to find out more information on sustainable eating.


  • Bettie-Jeanne 5 years ago

    Dear Local Foods Girl,
    Thank you so much for the informative article on how to try out a sustainable diet.
    Maybe you could write an additional article for people like me who need more help learning what a sustainable diet is.
    Thank you.

    Very Cordially yours,
    a neophyte when it comes to not eating out of a package

  • Rich 5 years ago

    Very informative, didn't know what i was missing...Thanks.

  • RipItUp 5 years ago

    True dat!

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