It’s almost summer, and in many places, people are looking forward to buying fruits and vegetables from local farms.

But Hallie Anderson of Tenth Street Farm and Market in Afton, Minnesota, says buying fresh, local produce can be a year-round affair, even in her chilly state.

“We are able to harvest a product off our farm all year round,” she says.

Anderson uses unheated high tunnels – which are plastic-covered structures – to grow spinach in the winter. She also has one tunnel that’s heated.

“We’re not doing it in a way where we are using a lot of carbon to heat major structures to 60 degrees to grow tomatoes,” she says. “Our heated tunnel, we’re only heating to 28.”

But she says even that small amount of heat enables her to grow kale, arugula, and baby greens for her community during Minnesota’s coldest months.

And she says that’s good for the climate because eating local food reduces the carbon pollution caused by trucking food long distances.

Her unheated tunnels are useful in the summer, too. For example, during extreme weather, they can be moved and used to protect delicate crops.

“Our tomatoes look really nice even after a big thunderstorm,” she says.

So regardless of rain, snow, or sleet, Anderson is growing local food for her community.

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Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Topics: Food & Agriculture