maritime climate: Climate typical of the west coasts at the middle latitudes of most continents, generally featuring warm (but not hot) summers and cool (but not cold) winters, with a relatively narrow annual temperature range. It typically lacks a dry season, as precipitation is more evenly dispersed throughout the year.*
For growing vegetables year-round, you can't really beat the Northwest's relatively mild temperature range. Sure, we could have the warmer and drier climate of California's productive Central Valley, but then, really, would you want to live there rather than here? I thought not!
Celery root, aka celeriac.
Which brings me to the point of this post, which is where to get the freshest, best produce all winter long and, to add the icing on the proverbial cake, at the same time support local family farmers. I'm talking about our winter farmers' markets (see list, below) and a good number of terrific winter CSAs.
Musquée de Provence squash.
Yes, I said "winter CSAs," a relatively recent phenomenon that has become an important source of year-round revenue for farmers and employment for their staffs, as well as a delicious opportunity for those of us who enjoy cooking the best the season has to offer.
A good list of local CSAs is available at the Portland Area CSA Coalition (call to inquire if subscriptions are available). For those of you who may feel inadequate when faced with squash, kohlrabi or celeriac, the winter CSAs from 47th Avenue Farm, Sauvie Island Organics and Minto Island Growers feature the added benefit of a free subscription to Katherine Deumling's Seasonal Recipe Collection.
Portland Metro Winter Farmers' Markets
- Beaverton Farmers Market
- Hillsdale Farmers' Market
- Lloyd Farmers Market
- Portland Farmers Market at PSU
- Hollywood Farmers Market
- Oregon City Farmers Market
- People's Co-op Farmers Market
- Montavilla Farmers Market (two winter stock-up markets)
* From Wikipedia