In northern climate, this is the thin season. Fresh local vegetables are mostly root vegetables that keep and store well. Squashes, beets, onions, garlic, and potatoes are staples – and importantly the specific nutrition they provide is what our bodies need to deal with the colder temperatures. Of course there is a wide variety of veggies in the grocery store, but most of the selection is shipped in from the southern hemisphere which is approaching late summer. If reducing your fossil fuel footprint and eating more locally is important to you, then acknowledging that options are limited at this time of year is part of the process. This is an important time of year for another reason too. It is planning season. Now is the time to decide what you will plant in the upcoming season and order your seeds. I love to order from FEDCO in this region. They are an employee owned company with lots of organic and ecofriendly options, but they do sell out on popular items sometimes so I make sure I don’t wait until the last minute to buy. Besides planning, this is when I take a moment to be aware. To recognize that nature sets an example and teaches us to rest, recover, and build energy stores for the upcoming growth season. Appreciation is born from awareness. This is a time to appreciate all that we have and think about the incredible wealth of nutrition that we will receive in the coming year because later in the time of plenty it is easy to forget how special that bounty truly is. This is also the time to sign up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Farmers are planning what to plant right now too and they need to know how many people they will be partnering with. Waiting until you see things beginning to grow is too late to give farmers time to prepare. If everyone waits until the last minute there may not be as much to go around. I tried a new CSA last year and they were amazing! I am so eager to partner with them again this year and I can practically taste the spring greens they will deliver beginning in less that three months!