As snow piles on city sidewalks, New Haven’s CitySeed Farmers’ Markets will continue to offer fresh food to residents at an indoor venue.
CitySeed represents several local farms and is known for its outdoor markets in Wooster Square, the New Haven Green and Edgewood Park during the late spring and through the summer and fall. But as the weather gets colder, Yale students and New Haven residents can now enjoy farmers’ market products from Jan. 11 to Apr. 26 in the cafeteria of the Metropolitan Business Academy. “Our core vendors from the summer market will be there,” said CitySeed Market Manager Patille Nargozian. “We’ll have some heartier winter greens, some more wool products and some dried goods that wouldn’t be available in the summer.”
The Yale Sustainable Food Project is among the farms participating in the winter market. YSFP has been selling at CitySeed since the summer of 2003; this is Yale’s sixth year at the indoor market.
In the cold months, the Yale farm and other local farms grow greens in seasonal tunnels. These structures, protected from the weather with clear plastic, trap the sun’s heat and allow for crops to grow naturally — without heaters or furnaces.
“During the winter months, we grow cold salad greens like spinach and baby mustards,” said Yale Farm Manager Jeremy Oldfield. “The cold brings out nutty, spicy, and even sweet flavors in the leaves.”
Among Yale products exclusively available at the winter market are herbal teas and tropical roots such as ginger, turmeric and galangal that have been grown through the summer and harvested in the Greeley Greenhouse on Prospect Street.
The Northfordy Farm, in Northford, Conn., has been working with CitySeed for seven years and has been involved with the winter market since it began in 2008. Farm Manager Peter Rothenberg said the farm will be selling goods specific to the winter season at the market, rather than growing fresh produce indoors.
“My lamb and chevon seems to be doing the best,” Rothenberg said. “I’m also selling yarn from my sheep.”
Rothenberg said he would not have any fresh produce to sell until at least early April.
Northfordy will participate in the indoor market every other week until the farm accumulates more fresh fruits and vegetables in mid-spring.
“We just don’t have enough product for the winter,” said Rothenberg, adding that he plans to sell some of his blueberry and raspberry fruit preserves in place of fresh fruit at the winter market. According to Nargozian, the best-selling items from the fresh produce will be the storage crops: potatoes, yams, carrots and garlic.
A farm named Two Guys from Woodbridge grows salad greens year-round that are produced hydroponically — in water, without soil, using mineral nutrients.
Nargozian added that, in addition to these salad greens, the indoor market would feature canned fruits and vegetables.
“Canned goods are a way to enjoy the summer bounty that you won’t get in the winter,” she said.
This year’s winter market will feature coffee, from Bean and Leaf of New London, for the first time.