Dana’s Big Gardening Adventure: It’s over

This picture shows one of my rescued, window sill-ripened Brandywine tomatoes perched on a rescued Cherokee Purple tomato that itself is perched upon a can of organic Ontario tomatoes. This pic was taken a couple of weeks ago but I saved it for today.

At this point, most of my readers (at least the ones in Canada) will have very little produce to harvest from their gardens. A cabbage remains here and there; a few carrots or beets, tops blackened by frost might still be salvageable; and, maybe a few of you in the warmer parts of Ontario like Pelee Island or in BC on Vancouver Island have some Brussels sprouts waiting for a good frost.

For the rest of us, it’s back to the produce section where many of the options are trucked in from warmer climes. While I will buy lettuce and other produce from around the globe during the colder months, I was heartened to see this can of tomatoes at Planet Organic. It’s nice to know that even if the growing season is over, that good quality local produce solutions can still be found if you look for them.

Will you try to buy products like these tomatoes now that the colder weather has arrived? Or will you put your locavore practices aside until spring?

12 Responses to Dana’s Big Gardening Adventure: It’s over

  1. I popped over to Planet Organic’s website and they aren’t in my area. Too bad.

    I’d love to continue buying local throughout the winter, although I will be forced to buy some veggies from far-flung places. Since I use a lot of tinned tomatoes for stews and sauces, I’ll start looking for local versions.

    Years ago, organic produce was hard to find. As it grew in popularity, it became easy to locate. Let’s hope support for local produce means it, too, will be easier to find.

  2. Kitt says:

    I froze a ton of garden tomatoes, and also roasted/dried a big batch yesterday (pictures here), which I then pureed into paste. It’ll make a good base for winter sauces and improve on whatever canned tomatoes I have to add. There’s no point in buying “fresh tomatoes” in winter; they have no flavor.

  3. Cheryl says:

    I envy Kitt. I wish I, too, had pureed some of my roasted tomatoes and frozen them. I ate them all instead but could so easily have made more. Grrr! Hindsight!

    I’ll buy what I can locally. Interestingly, I have no craving for summer produce in the winter so I’m fine living without berries, stonefruit, and especially tomatoes in the cooler months. And I’d use good canned tomatoes any day of the week over an out of season fresh tomato. Blech.

  4. Diva says:

    Good questions. I’ll continue to be a locavore as much as possible by shopping the year round farmers markets. I do like to eat with the seasons and appreciated that which is fresh from the earth at the moment. That being said, I’m sure I’ll be purchasing some imported stuff at times due to cravings and such. I agree about the canned tomatoes over those out of season or hot house variety.

  5. I’d definitely try products like these. I keep canned tomatoes on hand! Sometimes they make cooking such a breeze!


  6. danamccauley says:

    Kitt – you are an inspiration! Why didn’t I roast tomatoes and puree them? Such a good idea. I will do that for sure next year.

    Lots of good comments today folks – thanks for popping over!

  7. Hélène says:

    I guess I’m the one that will continu to by tomatoes, in winter, at the grocery store. We eat so many tomatoes in my house. Too bad we can’t garden tomatoes, all year long, in this country. Have a great w-end!

  8. Kevin says:

    The farmers market here in Toronto still seems to be full of local produce though that will end soon enough. It would be really nice if it were easier to find/identify which canned goods were local.

  9. Nazarina A says:

    I am from Colorado and I do share your sentiments exactly. I become terribly depressed about our garden at the end of Fall! But not for too long because I stock up on the organic canned brands because a girl’s got to do what a girl got to do! Last year I tried to plant some of the tomato plants in pots and placed them in our sun room with a timed heating device, but alas to no avail!

  10. I think it’s nice to have those options, but I usually freeze tomatoes. They’re not good to eat fresh (I don’t like raw tomatoes anyway) but they work as fine cooked.

  11. Cheryl A says:

    You have Planet Organic there? I worked at the very first one, when it was still Terra Natural Foods…

    Luckily, we have a local hydroponic tomatoe and lettuce grower. The family-run operation sells at a farmers’ market, except in February/March when they take a break. Hubby goes in withdrawl at that time of year.

  12. Mary says:

    We’ve made enough ‘sauce’ or passata and stewed whole tomatoes for the year. I echo the sentiments about the lacklustre flavour over winter.. although I don’t go through withdrawl, close but not quite, I do get pretty excited about the season’s first tomato salad.
    Winter is not so bad.. many lettuces (radicchio especially) can be harvested quite late and keep well into winter in a root cellar. Also, the flavour of my favourite winter veg, rapini, improves remarkably after a light frost.

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