Farm to tableWinter vegetables from the Puyallup Valley, WA

Winter vegetables sketch by Chandler O'Leary

These are not sketches of veggie bins at the farmer’s market—this is what our back porch looks like every year at this time. When we’re at home, the Tailor and I eat almost entirely seasonally and locally (what can I say—we’re weirdos). So that means we buy all of our winter vegetables in November, and then nothing until the markets open again in the spring. I confess that by February I’m pretty sick of beets (and when I’m on the road I might sneak a salad in a restaurant), but in the fall I’m nothing but excited about the prospect of all those beautiful sugar pie pumpkins, fresh cranberries and heirloom potatoes.

Each vegetable has different storage needs: the fussy squash and pumpkins like it dry and cool (and need individual newspaper nests); the carrots, apples and garlic do best in the fridge; and the taters and onions like it dark and damp. (And you really can’t kill a beet, so they thrive on neglect.) But before the squash head for the attic and the potatoes for the root cellar, I spread out all the boxes so I can sketch the whole bounty of the cornucopia.

(And then sometimes I swipe an apple while I work.)

Winter vegetables sketch by Chandler O'Leary

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