Will Alice Waters Find Spring with This Local Calender?

April 24, 2009 at 9:24 am

Rob Gardner

Before getting to the Local Calender, can you all indulge me in an extraneous thought: Is the era of Chicago sports dominance over?

Will the era of spring food ever come to Chicago?  Like the performance of Jeff Samardzija in Iowa, we see glimmers.  Cassie has had ramps at her Green Grocer.  The Downtown Farmstand had some produce from my pal Farmer Vicki and a few others.  Any other sightings?

And it’s a full calender.  A mid-week Earth Day had many organizations feeling, let’s just shoot for the weekend. 

Get a jump start on the weekend with the  Green Fest, featuring the Local Beet’s Vera V and others at the University of Chicago today.

Now what to do on Saturday?  Teach your kids composting with the Urban Worm Girl, Stephanie Davies and the Beet’s Sustainable Cook, Melissa Graham?  Several Chicago parks have not Earth Day, Earth Day events.  You can spend the day at Loyola where there is a whole package of workshops, talks, vendors, etc.  Some of our favorites will be there including Helen Cammeron from Uncommon Ground, Rep Jan Schakowsky (D. Local Food), and Familyfarmed.org.  Me, personally, I’ll probably be at the Green and Growing Fair at Garfield Park.  Go to the Greenheart shop for their Living La Vida Verde happenings.  Oh, and you may have heard, an Alice Waters will be at Green City Market (expect madhouse).  Top your day with a slightly secret pre-industrial pig dinner; Sula has some details.

Gosh, so many events, what about just a little local shopping.  I so wish I could point you to the Local Beet’s Market Finder ’cause there’s more and more markets getting going this weekend*.  Chiefly, the various “French Markets” around the Chicago area begin this weekend.  There’s an ongoing debate amongst market people about whether food should mix with crafts, let alone whether local foods should mingle with other foods.  The French Markets may not be for purists but they give you buying opportunities.   Maybe you’ve been hankering for a trip to Kankakee.  A spring market starts this weekend there.

Sunday and Monday you should be pooped, but by Tuesday, how ’bout heading out to Geneva for a class on cooking local foods with the Geneva Green Market?

Our friends at Uncommon Ground stay busy too.  On Wednesday, they host a fundraiser for Slow Food Chicago, featuring the newly issued and well recieved beers from Goose Island (hint to sound more like a beer geek, know that sour is the new hep thing in beers.) 

You cannot keep a good woman down.  Another great event Wednesday: Martha and crew return with more soup for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.  There will also be a discussion on TIFs at the Hideout.

If you want to hit a restaurant on Thursday, hit one of the ones participating in Dining Out for Life, an AIDS benefit.  The list includes some of our favorites like Blackbird as well as places very much on our to-try list like Big Jones.

As always, please add to our listings, and especially, please tell us if you spot any signs of spring including ramps, morels, rhubarb, nettles, etc.