SHERIDAN — Eating locally is a Saturday away, even in the winter.
With greenhouses going all year round, Landon’s Greenhouse and Nursery will keep its farmers market a weekly event through the winter.
This gives local growers, farmers and ranchers a place to bring their food and a place Sheridanites can go to get it.
While it may not have the variety of big chain grocery stores, Landon’s employee Tiffany Sessin said there is enough variety at the farmers market to have food for every day of the week.
Eating locally has been a topic of conversation in our schools, with programs like Farm to School pushing for students to eat fresh food from the area instead of frozen from other states or countries.
Vendors at the farmers market unanimously agreed that eating locally for a week is possible, with some breaking down how to do it.
“You can buy granola for breakfast, and some of our greens you can make a salad with for lunch,” Sessin said.
If that lunch salad seems a little short on protein, buying a dozen eggs from Box Cross Road Farms and hard-boiling them would offer a solution if sliced and placed on top.
Sessin pointed out that getting enough meat in your diet shouldn’t pose a problem, as there always seems to be an option.
“We have chicken, beef, lamb, pig,” she said.
Tom Varcalli, of Box Cross Road Farms, said eating locally would be an amazing thing for Sheridan.
“Maybe amazing isn’t the right word,” he said with a smile.
But he did have items to offer.
Aside from the eggs Varcalli sells, buying greens in the form of celery or Swiss Chard can be meals or supplements to meals.
“My mother always fried it just like spinach,” Varcalli said of the chard.
And other vendors know what’s around them.
Rachel Bourgault, of Lower Piney Heirloom Vegetable Gardens, said Varcalli’s wares are special.
“Everybody grows tomatoes, but isn’t it interesting to grow celery?” she said.
Bourgault’s stand offers different mixes of granola. From a raisin and pecan mix to granola bars made with pumpkin seeds, Bourgault said people will buy the food that tastes good.
“You could introduce people to things they haven’t had,” she said.
Across from Bourgault’s stand is Lorean Newbrough who makes bread, cookies and pie — an option for dessert.
“You could buy pies when you’re having company,” Bourgault said. “You could eat here without any problem, you could even entertain.”
If thirsty, Hillside Spirit Farm has fresh local goat milk. If thirsty and falling asleep, Powder River Coffee Roasters has the coffee beans ready, both full-bean and ground to go.
The food is always fresh, and the vendors rotate in and out so opportunities to try something new and tasty aren’t out of reach for those seeking local foods.
“We even have a lady in there who does dog treats,” Sessin said of the weekly market.
But some call into question the cost of eating foods locally made compared to that found in a supermarket.
The cost of a gallon of locally made goat’s milk from Hillside Spirit Farm comes out to $9, whereas a gallon of milk from the grocery store is currently priced at less than $4; a dozen eggs from Box Cross Road Farms is $3, and eggs bought in the store can range from $1.99 to $4.49 per dozen; a pound of coffee beans from Powder River Coffee Roasters ranges from $10 to $12, whereas a pound of generic coffee goes for $2 to $3 a pound.
However, a piece of information to keep in mind when considering how much food costs: people living in the U.S. spend less on food annually than any other place in the world. That’s based on 2009 information from the World Bank and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
They found that our English-speaking neighbors in the United Kingdom, for example, spend 9 percent of household earnings on food; in the U.S., the average household spends 6 percent of household earnings on food.
The Landon’s farmers market started in February, and has been operating every Saturday since.
At first the vendors were few, but time has bolstered their numbers.
“Now we’re up to 20-plus vendors that come and go on different weekends,” Sessin said.
Landon’s farmers market is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.