January 15, 2020 Winter Sagra at the Green Barn There may be snow on the ground, but there’s still plenty of Ontario produce to enjoy! To share it all, on Sunday, January 26, local chefs and vendors from The Stop’s Farmers’ Market are throwing a Winter Sagra. What’s a sagra? According to The Guardian, they’re Italy’s best-kept food secret. A sagra is a “festival organized to show off a local food or drink (or both), a sagra is a place where you’ll eat well – and learn.” All are welcome to join us as we share seasonal recipes, offer free samples, and sell enough fresh produce to keep you full throughout the winter. Hope to see you there! “Reflecting on Winter at the Market” By Cookie Roscoe The Stop’s Farmers’ Market manager The Stop’s Farmers Market is the perfect place to see the magnificent range of food we share here in Ontario. Here, you’ll meet the farmers who grow and store food from our province’s lush summers, and you can be confident that you’re eating the very best, and supporting the actual people who produced it. In a cynical world where advertising succeeds in convincing us of uncertainty, it’s a huge relief to find a welcoming community working hard to be hopeful with you. Our market draws on wide a circle of farms, some from as much as a 4-hour drive away. From one side of the province we have produce from Peterborough-area soils, and on the other you can taste the difference that being grown in Kitchener can make. Every Saturday morning, all year long, farmers get up at crazy wee hours and load up different seasonal foods they’ve seeded, weeded, pruned, posted, and polled for us from as far as North of Parry Sound. By sorting and storing the richness of the farm all summer, our farmers are able to provide us with an amazing array of great eats all winter long. Summer markets are about the fields, while winter markets draw from all over the farm. In summer, there’s fresh milk and pastured butter, but in winter, the healthy thing to do is to let milking animals go dry to prepare for birthing seasons, and to use up the feed stores put aside for them. That’s why there’s cheese, a product made during times of plenty to feed us in the off-season, and an excellent example of “Whole Farm” farming. Winter is when it’s time to eat ethically raised meat, when the herd or flock have done all the carbon sequestration work they can and are now being fed in the barn from the dwindling hay and feed stocks. Grains were stored in grain bins, hay in the hay loft, and as stores run out its time to cull the herds and turn over flocks. Soups and stews are the order of the day, slow cooking in a warm kitchen over low heat is how to have a snout-to-tail affordable and healthy winter. As the days, lengthen birds are cued by the sun to start laying eggs again and farmers are found in their greenhouses testing seed viability, washing trays and pots, and puttering around getting ready once more for the busy long days ahead. January is about dreaming, February is back to work! Cookie’s Favourite Seasonal Winter Produce: Kale Squash Leeks Onions Potatoes Beets Kholrabi Sunchokes Rutabaga Daikon Radishes Cabbage Chard The Stop’s Farmers’ Market runs every Saturday, 8am to 12:30pm at Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie St.