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Cold weather produce is ripe for holiday meals

Some think fresh, local produce is off the menu now that the warm growing season has passed. But there are several cold-hardy crops that last throughout the winter.

“Cold season crops are those that are adapted to low temperatures—when you get to less than 50 degrees, they can thrive,” said Leonard Githinji, a sustainable and urban agriculture Virginia Cooperative Extension specialist and associate professor at Virginia State University.

Githinji explained that hardy fall and winter greens like arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collards, herbs, kale, lettuce and turnips can withstand temperatures as low as 30 degrees.

Some consumers believe the chilly weather enhances the flavor of the produce.

“There are people who like (kale) when it has gone through that chilling—they think it tastes better and it’s more tender,” Githinji explained. “People like it better than when it’s harvested in early spring. The cold brings out the flavor more, and people love it.”

These crop...

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