Taste June with this Local Calendar – UPDATED!

June 5, 2009 at 9:07 am

Rob Gardner

Editor’s Note: Molly the Eat Local Dog is in desperate need of a trip to the dog park.  Check back later today for more additions to the Local Calendar. – UPDATED BELOW

Enjoy the tastes of June:

  • Spinach – Spinach fades in heat, so now is the time to buy.  My pal Farmer Vicki has been picking hers pretty young, make a wilted salad with bacon.  Sandhill Organics who market in Oak Park sell a tasty Bordeaux spinach that sautees up well.  Just make sure to wash it good as it attracts a hell of a lot of grit.
  • Asparagus – We still have a few more weeks for our local asparagus.  Many vendors are selling the large purple stalks.  Do not be afraid to use them raw, thinly sliced.
  • Sugar Snap Peas – The first of these are now showing up.  If asparagus is usually thought of as a cooked thing, sugar snaps are invariably used raw.  Don’t be afraid, however, to cook them in some of your favorite pea recipes; for instance diced and sauteed with a a bit of La Quercia local prosciutto.
  • Radishes – Besides the red globers, you should be able to find radishes in various shapes and sizes from the sixties toned French breakfast, to purely white icicle. 
  • Strawberries – What else needs to be said.
  • Other things you will find in the markets now: kale, arugula, green garlic, spring onions, lettuces, rhubarb, baby bok choi, keeper apples, keeper potatoes.

Where to find these tastes of June?  The Local Beet’s Market Finder stretches far and wide these days.  We doubt there is a market in Illinois not currently listed.  Moreover, Editor-in-Chief Morowitz mentioned to me yesterday that pretty much all the white dots, markets where we did not have specific dates, have been de-whited, that is we have current date information for these markets too.

If you go to Green City Market on Saturday, stay hi to our friends from Slow Food Chicago who will have a table there.  Sign up for their Summer Solstice Pot Luck at Chicago’s Honey C0-op on June 19.

You can also support Slow Food Chicago tonight (Friday) by buying an heirloom tomato plant at the first happy hour farmer’s market at Uncommon Ground, 1401 W. Devon (some details of the market can be found here.)

Slow Sunday?  The Logan Square Farmer’s Market opens.  Meet Beet farm writer Vera V.  Better, buy some of her green garlic and stinging nettles.  She promises some recipes for you to use.  After you buy all of this fresh produce, you are going to need to deal with the leaves, peels, and other extraneous bits.  You will compost right?  The Beet’s Sustainable Cook, Melissa Graham, Purple Asparagus and the Urban Wormgirl, have a composting class Sunday at Kids Table (2337 W. North Ave).


Not this Sunday, but next Sunday, but I Advise you to make your reservations before this Sunday, Vie is holding one of their family suppers.  Paul Virant is committed to making his restaurant as accessible as possible, and these meals play in furthering this mission. 

Somewhere between this Sunday and next Sunday, June 11 to be exact, Growing Home is holding their benefit dinner.  The aforementioned Paul Virant and Melissa Graham are just two of the chefs featured at this event.  Of course we hope you enter our contest to win tickets, but we also hope you consider going anyways.

And before we even start thinking about any Sundays, we also have this Saturday too.  The annual Printer’s Row book fair has a few events of interest to eat local food fans in Chicago.  FOB (Friend of the Beet), Mike Gebert moderates a discussion with Tom Standage, author of Edible History of Humanity, at 1030.  FGOB (Food Gods of the Beet) Bruce Kraig and Bob Schwartz talk on the ultimate local food, the Chicago Hot Dog at 215 [ed., where’s Peter “ReneG” Engler?].

OK, let’s cut to the quick, the Reader’s Julia Thiel has a bunch of other events that will thrill us locavores.  Go there to see what else is up.

Anything Julia missed?