Post Content

""This is a guest blog from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), written by Program Coordinator Julia Grimaldi.

Ever wonder what farmers do during the winter? To find out, we asked a few Massachusetts farmers. Although it’s cold outside, the ground is frozen, and land is unplanted, there is still plenty of work that needs to get done.

Pressing Cider in Amesbury

Glenn and Karen Cook of Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury — a seasonal orchard, CSA, and farm store — are constructing a new hard cider–making facility this winter, as well as renovating their storefront. Glenn also spends about five hours a day pruning their apple trees, trellising 3,100 posts, and clearing snow from the greenhouses when it’s needed.

“This is a good time of the year for us as a family and a business to think about the direction of our business. We have time to think, plan, and take advantage of professional trainings too, and in just a few weeks we’ll be prepping seedlings for our greenhouses,” Glenn Cook said.

Growing Greens in New Braintree

Glenn Stillman — of Stillman’s Farm in New Braintree — grows spinach, mesclun lettuce, Asian greens, and kale in cold-frame greenhouses during the winter.

“There is actually more stress and worry to winter growing than during the summer,” said Stillman. If the temperature drops below 20 degrees, which often happens in the middle of the night, his plants may freeze.

Caring for Cows in Dudley

In Dudley, Krisanne and Jim Koebke are hard at work on Walnut Lane Farm. Their 230 acres are home to approximately 120 cows. Raising livestock is a full-time, 365-day-a-year job. Although the cows and calves spend more time inside, milk production remains the same. As a result, cleaning the barn happens more frequently, about two to three times a day.

The Koebkes also sell their own compost, beef, chicken, raw milk, and eggs from an honor system farm shed that they keep heated for their customers in the winter.

Where You Can Find Fresh Winter Foods

If you’re looking for the fruits of these and other local farmers’ labor, you can find late-season produce like kale, chard, and cabbage — as well as storage crops like apples, potatoes, winter squash, and carrots — at winter farmers’ markets. There are plenty of all-season products too, like cheese, eggs, poultry, meat, honey, and maple syrup. The Boston Public Market, which opened in July, boasts more than 38 vendors offering a little something for everyone, from fresh seafood to Massachusetts wine.

Visit a farmers’ market near you to get a taste of the season — you might be surprised by what you find, even when the ground is snow-covered.

Have a favorite winter farmers’ market? Let us know — tweet @MassGov. Share this post with friends and family to get the word out about local winter produce.

Written By:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

Ice Fishing, Hunting, and Camping This Winter posted on Jan 11

Ice Fishing, Hunting, and Camping This Winter

Winter is here, but your outdoor adventures don’t have to end. There’s a winter wonderland just waiting to be explored in Massachusetts state parks, Wildlife Management Areas, and forests. Whether you’re interested in hunting, fishing, or camping, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Department of Fish and   …Continue Reading Ice Fishing, Hunting, and Camping This Winter

New Year’s Eve Safety posted on Dec 23

New Year’s Eve Safety

Whether you’re celebrating in the Berkshires, Boston, or somewhere in between, New Year’s Eve events can be found across Massachusetts. While the holiday offers us a chance to ring in 2017 with friends, family, and fun, there are a few safety tips everyone should keep   …Continue Reading New Year’s Eve Safety

3 Activities to Keep You Moving this Winter posted on Dec 21

3 Activities to Keep You Moving this Winter

Another New England winter is rolling in with snow, ice, and more snow. But you don’t have to go into hibernation just because the temperature drops. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a number of winter activities can help you stay fit. Between   …Continue Reading 3 Activities to Keep You Moving this Winter