22 December 2015

Oregon Agriculture During the Holidays

We say it time and time again because it’s true: we are lucky to live in a part of the country where agriculture is so bountiful. This is clear in the spring when tender asparagus is at its peak, in the summer when the market is bursting with berries and stone fruit, but have you really stopped to think about what you can find in the winter? I often hear shoppers remark that they are surprised by the variety of products at market in the winter, asking “is anything even growing this time of year?”

I love to explain to others what you can find at market during a time when most people don’t want to set foot outside because their skepticism of what’s in season turns to delight, because the truth is, yes, yes and yes! The berries, peppers, tomatoes and lettuce may be gone but in their absence other products take the main stage. Hearty greens, root vegetables, eggs, potatoes, cheese meats, nuts, apples, pears, fermented foods fill up my market bags this time of year.

The holidays are perhaps the perfect part of the year to honor what grows here; so much of the season’s festivities revolves around food and other crops, and I love it when I hear examples of how Oregon’s agriculture contributes to these traditions. Pumpkins at Halloween, cranberries at Thanksgiving or trees at Christmastime.

This is perfectly demonstrated by a recent article published by the Oregon Department of Agriculture titled “Oregon Agriculture Adds Taste and Color to the Holidays” and sums up how I feel about all of our dedicated and wonderful vendors who return to market week after week, month after month, year after year, to deliver the best of Oregon to us.

“Our farmers, ranchers, and fishers are all producing an incredible bounty of food, drink, and other products that really come to life during the holidays. During the holiday season, take a moment to enjoy Oregon agriculture. You can see its wonderful colors, taste its wonderful flavors, and take in its wonderful aromas.”

Happy holidays!

-Kelly Merrick, Communications Manager