There is a chill in the air, and few November farmers markets to go with it. Most of them have closed, but the remaining winter farmers markets have a lot to offer!
Fruits are hard to find, but you will find apples and cider still, and potentially pears. Cranberries are in season but you might not find them locally.
At the November farmers markets you’ll find plenty of root vegetables, a few last tomatoes before the frost, and cool weather vegetables like broccoli and leafy greens. Various winter squashes should be available and easy to store in a root cellar.
You’ll see less vendors at the November farmers markets as the farmers pack up for the winter. You’ll see meat and dairy, as well as microgreens and always the bakeries and cooked food vendors.
November Farmers Markets
You’ll find more “keeper” apples available now. Talk to your farmer about which keep best, so you can buy apples to store. Otherwise, making applesauce or apple butter is a great way to keep apples around.
Even without a root cellar, you can keep veggies and apples fresh for a long time. Look into the best ways to store them, and see where in your house you can offer those conditions. Most like it colder, well ventilated, and humid.
Check out the meat vendors at the November farmers markets. They don’t shut down when it gets cold, though they may offer more frozen over fresh options. You can find chickens, beef and pork. Some may offer rabbit, turkeys, quail, or lamb.
Now is a good time to look for local turkeys for Thanksgiving or Christmas, though my local farmer assured me that he sells out quickly. If you haven’t talked to your poultry farmers, now is the time to do so.
I prefer buying whole chickens over pieces, and it’s easier to cut them up when they are not frozen. However, you can thaw a frozen bird, cut it up, and refreeze the pieces if you want.
Often meat at the grocery store has been frozen and thawed before it gets to you. Your local chicken hasn’t been treated that way, so you won’t see a loss of quality if you thaw and refreeze once.
Thaw your meat in the fridge so they stay below dangerous temperatures, then cut and repackage for later. I like to portion out thighs and legs so I can grab a dinner’s worth later. I freeze them in cereal bags rather than new plastic, and use them soon so they don’t get freezer burnt.
Cutting up poultry is not hard, and there are plenty of tutorials out there to help you learn to do it. I like to cut off thighs and legs and keep them together, and use the breast for quick meals later on. I take the carcass and make broth out of it.
As it gets colder, soups and stews are a welcome meal. That chicken broth can be added for extra nutrition to the soups, or drank warm at any time.
Cutting up your own poultry make take a bit of time and knowledge, but not a lot. You can save plastic, you can buy whole chickens for less per pound, and you get an added bonus of homemade chicken broth as well.
Enjoy the November farmers markets this year! Think about what you might want to serve at Thanksgiving and truly make it a harvest meal again, harvested from your foodshed!