Seasonally available produce in Kentucky: Winter

When we think of fresh, local produce, we usually think about the summer months when farmers harvest new items each day. Rarely we think of the coldest months of the year providing us with fresh produce. In Kentucky, it is possible to find onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and a variety of winter squashes during the months of January, February, and March. Each of these items are full of flavor and nutrition, and you can use them to build a hearty, winter meal. They are all stored best in a cool, dark location in your home.

  • Onions: Onions are a great way to add texture and flavor to any dish. They are also a good source of fiber and high in vitamin C.
  • Potatoes: There are several varieties that may be available, including russet, white, fingerling, red, or yellow. They can serve as the center of a meal, are an excellent source of vitamin C, and are a good source of potassium and vitamin B6.
  • Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are versatile and can be found in Asian, Latino, Mediterranean, and even Southern dishes. They are a good source of fiber and potassium and are high in vitamin A and vitamin C.
  • Winter squash: Common types of winter squash include butternut, acorn, spaghetti, and delicata. Several of these are a good source of vitamins A and C.

Although farmers’ markets may be closed in most counties, there are still ways to buy and eat local produce during the winter months. Check with your local grocer or food retailer to see if they are carrying items from local producers, or look for roadside stands selling directly to consumers. Another great option is to check with your county Extension agents about growers and producers in the community.

Source: Heather Norman-Burgdolf, PhD, Extension Specialist for Food and Nutrition