What’s Left at a Winter Market

January 19, 2010 at 9:56 am

Rob Gardner

We told you about the three stages of winter.  You accumulate.  You eat from your stores.  You make do.  While we are well past the period of late accumulation,  we still can find local foods at winter markets.  And thank God, there was local food to be had or one of the Local Family would be in deep-do.  Remember the tale of squash?  See, I decided the perfect inclusion in the LTHForum Holiday party gift exchange would be an heirloom squash.  My wife though so too.  One one condition; I replace the squash for her.  In fact, as a fee, so to speak, I had to buy her two heirloom squash.

In late November, we visited the South Bend Farmer’s Market.  Because of a warm fall, the market then still brimmed with foods.  We purchased a lot of cold weather crops including broccoli, cauliflower and fennel (as shown below, the fennel and 1 cauliflower remain in our inventory).  We also snagged some hooray hoop-house stuff, the final tomatoes and cucumbers of the season.  We also came across a lady selling a wide variety of heirloom squashes, all priced to move.  We expected to meet up again with her on this January visit.

Mid-January, we made the ninety mile drive from Oak Park to South Bend for the purpose of buying squash.  Our squash lady’s stand is right near the market restaurant, so we knew we had squash to buy before sitting down to market omelettes covered with sausage gravy and plates of smoked pork chops.  No one’s getting skinny eating at this place.  Very full, I settled my debt with two blue triamble, plus one warty galeux d eysines and one large Australian butter.  If the squash were priced to move in November, in January, they were practically giving them away, as I paid less than $10 for all of those (and if you think that’s too much, you don’t know how big the galeux d eysine and butter squash are). 

We were getting the last of these squash.  As our friend noted, when they were gone, she was gone.  One other vendor had squash, acorns, and a large pile thereof.  Yes, there was produce to be had in January in South Bend, but it is clearly what is left.  All of that late-late field crops and season extenders, gone.  Only one seller offered storage vegetables, mostly carrots plus some onions and leeks.  As we expected, Walt Skibbe still had many apples for sale including Spy, Winesap and Pippens.  We got the latter for immediate eating and also got some gala’s and granny smith’s to put away.  There was one other fruit guy, and besides apples, he had, yes, pears, bosc pears and harrow pears.  Oh to have local fruit besides apples.  Pears, one of the few things left at the winter market.

Adding the pears and squash and items purchased last week in Milwaukee and subtracting what’s been used, I’ve updated the Local Inventory below.

Basement Storage

  • Winter Squash – acorn (3), carnival (5), delicata, spaghetti, pie pumpkin, butternut (2), red kuri (3), big ass orange – UPDATE: Used 3 carnival, delicata, 1 red kuri; gained 2 blue triamble, 1 Australian butter and 1 galeux d eysines, warts and all
  • Red onions – 25 lb bag, untouched + 5 or so loose UPDATE: Used 2
  • White onions – 6 or so, about 1 lb
  • Canned tomatoes – whole, sauce, puree
  • Spiced peaches
  • Peach chutney
  • Dried mushrooms
  • Misc. pickles, jams, jellies
  • Dried beans
  • New! – Local oats

Basement Fridge

  • Cauliflower
  • Fennel (3) – very tired
  • Leeks (5)
  • Daikon (5)
  • Red cabbage (3) – one very tired
  • White cabbage (2) – one very tired
  • Kohlrabi (6) – 2 very large, 4 small
  • Cranberries – 4 1 lb packages
  • Turnips (15) – assorted
  • Carrots (40) – assorted
  • New! – Beauty heart radishes
  • New! – 3 1 lb bags of assorted cultivated mushrooms

Basement Freezer

  • Frozen fruits – blueberries, grapes, cherries, peaches
  • Frozen veg – peas, corn, greens, pureed squash, tomato puree, dried tomato
  • Local meat – UPDATE: Added latest Mint Creek meat CSA share including veal racks, lamb stew; also bought rack of lamb from Mint Creek

Kitchen Fridge

  • New! – Roasted squash with sesame butter
  • Prepared carnival squash w/pancetta and jalepeno – UPDATE: Gone
  • Prepared beans – UPDATE: Gone
  • Leek (2) – UPDATE: Used 1
  • Jalepenos (15) – UPDATE: About 8 left
  • Daikon – UPDATE: 1/2 left
  • Parsley root (2)
  • Cabbage – 1/2 red, 1/2 white – UPDATE: Gone
  • Turnip
  • Homemade quince-apple membrillo
  • New! – Bosc pears
  • Local eggs


  • Garlic (5)
  • Lady apples – 5 lbs – UPDATE: Gone
  • Black walnuts
  • Dried fruits – strawberries, apricots, peaches
  • New! – Yarrow pears
  • New – Newton pippen apples

Root Cellar in the Sky

  • Apples – 25 lbs – Including Northern spy, red delicious, yellow delicious, winesap, honeycrisp, mutsu – UPDATE: Added gala, granny smith
  • Potatoes – 40 lbs – 20 lbs or russet or related, 5 lbs yukon gold, fingerlings, all-blue — no reds oddly enough – UPDATE: Used about a lb of white, non-russet
  • Sweet potatoes – 1 lb
  • Rutabaga (5)
  • Turnips (15)
  • Beets (10)
  • Carrots – 7 lbs
  • Chestnuts – 1 lb
  • Sunchokes – 4 lbs – New