Help Save Zinniker Farm

Posted: January 31, 2010 at 1:27 pm

The Zinniker Family Farm of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, was established in 1943 and is considered one of the oldest biodynamic farms in the United States. The farm has played a key role in the biodynamic movement, hosting field days, workshops, and prep-making events that have introduced hundreds of thousands of farmers and consumers to biodynamic agriculture. This fall, Zinniker Farm was shut down by the State of Wisconsin for distributing raw milk through a cow-share program they had run since the mid-80s. Through the program families purchased a share in the cow herd and picked up raw milk from their cows on a weekly basis. In the last year the State of Wisconsin reinterpreted the laws that originally made these programs legal, and now has begun to crack down on such programs in the state. This crackdown is widely considered to be driven by large corporate interests who are threatened by the number of consumers who are obtaining their milk and other food products direct from producers. A group of individuals are now working closely with the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund and the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association to explore alternative ways to sustain the farm into the future. In the meantime, however, the Zinniker’s have no tangible source of revenue.

If you can help support the Zinniker’s in this time of need,
please make a check out to the Zinniker Support Fund and mail it to
Zinniker Support Fund, N7399 Bowers Rd, Elkhorn, WI 53121.

For more information contact Robert Karp at or (262) 642-3672.

Food Safety on the Market Farm

Posted: January 30, 2010 at 8:25 am

The Buy Local Buy Wisconsin program at the Wisconsin Dept of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will be hosting a workshop entitled, “Food Safety on the Market Farm” in February in three different locations around the state. On February 10th in East Troy, February 11th in Montello, and February 12th in La Farge.

The Buy Local Buy Wisconsin program and the Center for Integrated Agricultural Studies at UW-Madison invite Wisconsin fresh fruit and vegetable growers to receive useful tips, discover valuable resources, and join the discussion about on-farm food safety protocol and the GAP/GHP program for fruits and vegetables at this day-long workshop. Presenters include university specialists, a USDA food safety inspector, and a grower who has been through a food safety certification process.

Each workshop will run from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and will cost $20/person, which includes workshop materials, lunch, and refreshments. For more information and to register, please visit our website at www.datcp.state.wi.us_, and click on “Buy Local Buy Wisconsin Workshop Registration,” in the right-hand column under, “Online Services” – or mail in the attached registration brochure with your payment.

Please feel free to contact Kenny Monroe,, 608-224-5112, with any questions.

Thank You,

*Kenny Monroe* – /Market Development Program Assistant/
WI DATCP – Division of Agricultural Development
2811 Agriculture Drive
PO Box 8911
Madison, WI 53708
(608) 224-5112

Help C&D Family Farms Recover From Devasting Fire Tomorrow, Jan. 30th

Posted: January 29, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Early in the morning on Monday, January 25th, the owners of C&D Family Farms, Crystal and Dan Nells, were awakened by the devasting news that one of their barns — housing pigs at the time — was engulfed in flames. C&D is located in Indiana, and the Nells, former Chicagoans, specialize in pasture- and woods-raised hogs, which they sell along with eggs, lamb and sausages. According to Hugh Amano’s blog, Food On The Dole, most pigs escaped, but unfortunately, a piglet, mother and mother-to-be, were lost.

Last-minute notice has gone out that the Nells will be at the Lincoln Park High School parking lot, tomorrow, January 30th, from 9-11 am, selling their products. Please try to make time to support C&D tomorrow and help them get back on their feet.

In the meantime, The Local Beet will keep you posted on their recovery.

Green Youth Farm Seeks Intern

Posted: January 29, 2010 at 1:53 pm

The Green Youth Farm interns will be working as part of a dedicated, energetic team at one of two sustainable farms, working alongside teenagers to produce vibrant young people and delicious organically grown food for underserved communities.

1) Educate teens on organic growing techniques including weeding, watering, planting and harvest
2) Facilitate with team building exercises
3) Supervise field trips
4) Assist with farmer’s markets including stand set-up, selling produce and supervising teens

Reports to coordinators, manager

Position Requirements: Work with Chicago’s most innovative horticulture training program for teens, the Green Youth Farm! Green Youth Farm participants are high school students from underserved communities who learn about principles of sustainable agriculture, teamwork, leadership and entrepreneurship as they cultivate a crop and their own work and career skills. Four 3 month interns (possibly longer) are required for two sites in North Chicago/Waukegan and Chicago’s west side. Basic knowledge of horticulture and willingness to work hard are essential. Experience in working with youth is desirable. Intern should have valid driver’s license and reliable transportation to and from the Chicago Botanic Garden. Must be able to lift 50 lbs and be available to work evenings and weekends as needed.

SALARY: $9.00/hour, 30-40 hours/week


Lake County Greentown

Posted: January 29, 2010 at 8:29 am

March 17-18 at College of Lake County: 19351 W. Washington St., Building C Lower Level, Grayslake, IL 60030

GreenTown Lake County Pre-conference Sessions Announced; Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for GreenTown: The Future of Community, to be held March 17-18 at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois. Pre-conference sessions will be held on March 17, and will include:

Green Jobs: The Future of the New Economy
Led by: Delta Institute

The green economy is expected to contribute billions of dollars and generate millions of jobs in the coming decades. Encouraged by federal economic incentives and state and local stimulus spending, community leaders want to know how to tap into this emerging sector to enhance competitiveness, promote economic recovery and create jobs. In this half-day session, The Delta Institute and guest speakers will present research, data and case studies that will help participants understand the dynamics of the green economy and show how it is transforming the U.S. economy.

Greening the Campus: How Educational Institutions Combat Climate Issues
Led by: ICCSN and ACUPCC

Join the members of the Illinois Community College Sustainability Network (ICCSN) and signatories of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) to discuss climate change and share strategies for integrating sustainability into the curriculum and operations to help achieve climate neutrality. Campuses that address the climate challenge by eliminating global warming emissions and by integrating sustainability will better serve their students and meet their social mandate to help create a thriving, ethical and civil society.

Greening the K-12 School System
Led by: Seven Generations Ahead

Discover how practitioners supporting local and statewide efforts are making Illinois a leader in the green schools movement. Intended for school district board members, administrators, parents, teachers, and operations staff, this informative workshop will showcase one comprehensive green school model; farm-to-school initiatives that are changing the face of local food procurement and healthy eating education; and LEED green building projects that are saving schools money while improving the health and well-being of students. Participants will leave with project ideas, curriculum and program activities, and resources for saving money while supporting a healthy natural environment.

Engaging Residents in Creating Sustainable Communities: An Afternoon Workshop On How To Affect Change
Led by: a5

Developing sustainable communities requires community engagement. Learn how municipalities and community organizations can engage residents in improving the health of our communities through our jobs, air and water quality, transportation, local food and more. Through a mix of case studies, panels and discussions, participants will learn about how to plan, execute and finance sustainable community initiatives.

Flower Biz Workshop at UW

Posted: January 28, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Are you interested in turning your passion for growing flowers into a small business? The two-day Wisconsin Cut Flower Growers School is designed to help new and beginning growers learn how to start a cut flower business, grow flowers using organic and sustainable practices, and market cut flowers.

This workshop will be held March 13 and 14 on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. A $195 fee covers registration, lunches and refreshments. Enrollment is limited, so early registration is strongly recommended.

Three experienced growers will teach the course: third-generation flower grower Joe Schmitt, Jeanie McKewan of Brightflower Nursery and Carol Larsen of Sunborn Gardens and Fairfield Flowers. They will share a wealth of practical information gained from years of experience growing and marketing cut flowers.

The curriculum covers variety selection for farmers’ markets, florists and other sales outlets, planting and harvesting methods, pest management, post-harvest handling and direct marketing. There will be opportunities to network with other growers and learn about new tools, gadgets and techniques at show-and-tell tables.

The Cut Flower Growers School is part of the Wisconsin School for Beginning Market Growers, which has been helping people grow and market fresh produce since 1998. Both programs are offered through the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. For more information about the Cut Flower Growers School or the School for Beginning Market Growers contact John Hendrickson at (608) 265-3704 or , or visit the CIAS web site:

New Head Brewer at Goose Island Clybourn has a Stellar Background as a Chef

Posted: January 27, 2010 at 10:04 pm

For an article about the Siebel Institute of Technology, I asked Jared Rouben if he ever looked back on his notes from his days there.

“I became the head brewer over here last Monday, and that’s the first thing I did.” “Over here” is the Goose Island Brewpub, 1800 N. Clybourn, in Chicago.

I can’t let that comment wither in the middle of the Siebel article. Especially considering Jared’s background.

Jared was a chef before becoming a brewer. It wasn’t like he was a cook at the local hash house. He worked under celebrity chef Thomas Keller (who also mentored Grant Achatz, of Alinea – Chicago’s temple of molecular gastronomy). He was at Keller’s Per Se, which many consider to be the finest restaurant in New York City. That means it’s within a step or two of Chicago’s finest restaurants.

Many in the industry would kill to have Per Se on the resumé, and then move on up in the chefly world. So why did he decide to become a brewer?

“At the end of the day, you’ve got to do what makes you happy. Working there taught me a lot of things and opened a lot of doors. You just do whatever you’re passionate about. And I’ve always been passionate about beer. I didn’t want to not try something ‘cause I didn’t know about it. I kind of just went for it.”

In the past, Goose Island has occasionally collaborated with chefs from local restaurants, to create beers uniquely suited to their menus. Jared, with his background, intends to build upon that.

“I always like to do real cool things with restaurants and beer. I’m doing something with L2O [a high-end, seafood-based restaurant in Lincoln Park]. We’re kind of exploring beer science, you know, they do molecular gastronomy. We’re going to incorporate that with beer.”

Another example?

“I guess what I’m most excited about is this beer we’re going to create with Vie [the acclaimed restaurant in Western Springs]. It’s gonna be really, really fun. It’ll be a dark American wheat. You know, they have such a good … they’re homebrewers. Paul [Virant, Vie’s Head Chef] packs his kitchen with homebrewers, which makes my life very easy. They came in, and they knew exactly what they wanted. They go, ‘you know what? We don’t care about style. We want a dark wheat that’s not bitter. We want the aromatic to speak for itself. We really want to entice people through their senses, and [hoppy] aromatic is the way we’re gonna go.’”

Makes sense to Jared. “Coming from a culinary background, you can’t just depend on the palate. So much of taste is smell – I’d say 80% of taste is smell. Because when you’re stuffed up, like most of us are in winter, it’s almost impossible to taste anything.”

I haven’t tasted anything specifically from Jared yet, although I’m looking forward to trying the Imperial Stout he’s about to release. I’ll get there soon.

Happy 2nd Anniversary To Green Grocer!

Posted: January 27, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Green Grocer, Cassie Green’s eponymously named West Town store, is celebrating its 2nd anniversary this week. Since its opening, Green Grocer has been dedicated to stocking local and organic produce, meats, dairy and eggs. More recently, Cassie has developed Green Grocer’s small, but quality, wine and beer selection, carrying organic, biodynamic and local beverages such as JK Scrumpy’s cider. As loyal customers know, Green Grocer has filled a much-needed niche in our food community. We wish Cassie and Green Grocer all the best and many more years!

Celebrate Green Grocer’s anniversary with a party on Sunday, January 31st. From 10 am – 6 pm, vendors will be sampling such locally made foods as Milk and Honey granola, Red Hen breads, locally roasted coffee, Seedling apple cider, organic wines, Das Caramels, artisan cheeses, Pasta Puttana and Nice Cream. More information about the event, as well as other events at Green Grocer, can be found here.

Dunn, Nowak, Bayne, FamilyFarmed on Your Local Calendar – UPDATED

Posted: January 27, 2010 at 9:02 am

UPDATE: – We reported earlier this week on some events, involving Local Hero’s.  Well, we have more Hero’s on more Calendar below.  Chiefly, one of the most heroic of all Local Hero’s, Cassie Green, is celebrating her second anniversary this week.  Cassie has made no secret that she though long and hard about making it through year one.  Now that she’s celebrating year two, we should all be thankful.

The Local Calendar this week offers changes to mingle with some of the folks doing the most in our local food community.  Tonight, Wednesday January 27, you can run yourself ragged keeping up with exalted foodies.  You’ve got the resource guru, Ken Dunn and the radio voice Mike Nowak at the Wellington Avenue Church.  You’ve got local food systems maven Jim Slama and his band of FamilyFarmed Expo-ers doing a launch party at the UIC Forum, and you have Martha Bayne doing her best for the Greater Chicago Food Depository at Hideout tonight.  And because we cannot get enough of good eggs, we can convene with Ms. Bayne again this Friday at the Chicago Downtown Farmstand.  Details below.


The best news for us locavores, local apples can still be found, at prices ranging from good to unbelievable.  Our market spies found Michigan Fuji apples at Stanleys for 79 cents/lb.  These, of course, stretch your wallet a lot more than the Michigan Jonathan apples at Caputo’s for 10 cents/lb.  Caputo’s had other varieties of Michigan apples including Rome, Red and Golden Delicious for slightly more money (like up to 59 cents/lb).  You can also find Wisconsin potatoes still at very low prices.  Caputo’s again being a prime market. 

Otherwise, your specialists may still have some beets  and squash,  rocket, collards, spinach, lettuces and micro-greens/sprouts.  There are always cultivated mushrooms from River Valley Ranch.   If find yourself in Milwaukee, the Whole Foods there had local rutabagas and sunchokes (although oddly enough no Wisconsin potatoes).

We checked in recently with the Produce Express stand at the Chicago French Market, and we found they still have  has Illinois grown, indoor tomatoes as well as local potatoes and squash.

When there is no fresh fruit around, there is still fruits dried and frozen.  Tomato Mountain and River Valley Ranch offer canned local goods.

Let us know what other local goods you are still seeing for sale.


These stores specialize in local foods:

As noted above, local apples and potatoes can be had for excellent prices.  Look soon for an update on what’s local at  the French Market at Metra Market. Until then here’s our previous report.

C&D Pastured Pork’s sales around town



Wednesday - January 27

5th Annual Elizabeth I. Benson Award - This is an opportunity to honor someone really making local food happen in Chicago, Ken Dunn of the Chicago Resource Center/City Farm.  He is well deserving of this award. The Elizabeth I. Benson Award was created in honor of Elizabeth (Betty) I. Benson, the inaugural recipient of the award. This award is given to those who work tirelessly and faithfully for social justice in the Chicago area and beyond, while simultaneously shunning personal recognition of their efforts. - Reception with food by locavore favorites North Pond and Frontera Grill.  MC is our radio pal, Mike Nowak.  Go to Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ for more details and ticket information - 615 W. Wellington, Chicago – 6 PM

Soup and Bread – Hideout – Tto benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository.  1354 West Wabansia, Chicago – 530 – 8 PM

FamilyFarmed EXPO launch party - 5 to 7pm. Get the inside scoop on plans and programming for this year’s EXPO and learn all the fantastic way YOU can get involved! Best of all, it’s free!  FamilyFarmed Expo Launch Pary – Speakers at both the party and the EXPO include Bill Kurtis of Tallgrass Beef, Erika Allen of Growing Power, Lisa Lee of Jane Addams Hull-House Museum (Hull-House is a major sponsor of the EXPO), and Jim Slama of – UIC Forum

Thursday – January 28

Sold out, waiting list started! – Farm Dinner – Vie – Featuring 28 day dry aged beef from Dietzler Farm.  The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (708) 246-2082.

Friday, January 29

Martha Bayne signs her Soup and Bread cookbook at the Downtown Farmstand – 12 – 2P

Sunday – January 31

SOLD OUT – WAITING LIST OPENUPDATE:  Tickets are freeing up, so do not be discouraged Slow Food Chicago Annual Meeting – Kendall College – 900 N North Branch St, Chicago – 130 – 4 PM – Details and registration here.

SOLD OUT -  Continue your Slow Food Sunday with dinner at Sepia honoring Marsha Guerrero, Chez Panisse Foundation Director of Special Projects and The Edible Schoolyard.  And what a dinner it seems.  It’s not enough that favorite local cheese Holland Family Farms Marienke gouda appears on the menu .  After charcuterie, pasta, roasted pears, we get to a course of choucroute garni with cider-braised pork belly, Toulouse-style sausage, ham hock, sauerkraut, and fingerling potatoes.  Wine pairings too!  The cost for attendance is $55 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Slow Food Chicago. Seating is limited and early reservations are recommended. Call Sepia at (312) 441-1920 or email them here. Sepia is located at 123 N. Jefferson St. in Chicago’s West Loop. 

Logan Square Farmers Market – 2135 N. Milwaukee, Chicago – 10 – 2 PM

Winter Market  – Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of DeKalb - 158 N 4th, DeKalb, IL 

Mado Pig Butchering Demo – Dueling testas – Noon – Rob will be demonstrating his methods for making mado’s two different styles of testa.  Our rolled testa is made with braised and shredded pig’s head, while “porchetta di testa” involves boning out the pig’s head, curing, rolling and slowly simmering.  $50/pp

New!Green Grocer’s Second Anniversary Party  – From 10 am – 6 pm, vendors will be sampling such locally made foods as Milk and Honey granola, Red Hen breads, locally roasted coffee, Seedling apple cider, organic wines, Das Caramels, artisan cheeses, Pasta Puttana and Nice Cream. 1402 W. Grand, Chicago


 Saturday – February 6

City of Chicago and Green City Market host a Farmer’s Forum.  This event promotes local food and farms by helping farmers, market managers, and chefs connect. In addition, farmers can learn how to become part of the City of Chicago’s Farmers market program as well as improve their direct sales and learn how to better market their products and services.   Kendall College – 9 AM – 2 PM

Slow Food lunch in Michigan City, IN – Brother and sister farmers and Slow Food members Alex and Patty Panozzo are set to host a sustainable harvest lunch  in recognition of Terra Madre, a biannual celebration of Slow Food chapters across the globe. With 2010 being a Terra Madre year, Patty Panozzo is opening her Michigan City, Indiana home to supporters and heralding the day with a festive luncheon.   The sustainable harvest lunch will take place from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. cst and will feature a lavish spread of homegrown food from the Panozzo’s “Victory Garden.” While guests dine, they’ll be treated to a slide show presentation of that very garden. Attendance is free, though donations to Slow Food are appreciated. RSVP is required by February 1.

Wednesday - February 10

Love Bites at Carnivale – One of our favorite organizations, Slow Food Chicago, stops for the night, at one of our favorite restaurants, Carnivale for a pre-Valentine’s Day celebration.   “Love Bites” promises to be a festive evening of sustainable, Latin-flavored bites from Chef Mark Mendez paired with wines selected by wife and Carnivale Wine Director Elizabeth Mendez.  The event takes place from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., with live music by Son De La Habana set to start pumping at 7:30 p.m.  The cost is $30 per person, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Slow Food Chicago. Reservations will only be taken by calling the restaurant at (312) 850-5005. Carnivale is located at 702 W. Fulton St, Chicago.

Saturday – February 13

Winter Market, Oak Park – Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church – 405 S. Euclid, Oak Park – 9 AM – 1PM

Chicago Green City Market at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m (Directions) – The theme is “Meat and Potatoes”

New! – A Tasting of Local Candy – Pastoral – Whimsical Candy: Chris Kadow-Dougherty will sample her artisan La Dee Dahs confection, handmade swirls of white chocolate nougat and sea salt caramel hand-dipped in premium dark chocolate.  1:00p.m. – 3:00 p.m – 2945 N. Broadway, Chicago

Saturday – February 20

Winter Market, United Church of Rogers Park – 1545 W. Morse, Chicago - 9 AM – 1 PM

Tuesday - February 23

City Provisions Supper Club with North Shore Distillery (venue TBD)

Saturday – February 27

Chicago Green City Market at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m (Directions) – The theme is “Meat and Potatoes”

Portage Park – Irving Park and Central, Chicago - 10 – 2 PM

New!Empty Bottle – 1035 N. Western, Chicago – 11 – 5PM

Sunday – March 7

Winter Market, St. Giles Church – 1025 Colombian, Oak Park – Times not posted

Thursday - March 11

Family Farmed Expo – Financing Farm to Fork Conference - UIC Forum, Chicago

Friday - March 12

Family Farmed Expo – Trade Conference – UIC Forum, Chicago

Localious Party with FamilyFarmed – UIC Forum, Chicag0 – 7 – 10PM

Chicago Food Policy Summit - UIC Forum, Chicago

Saturday – March 13

Chicago Green City Market at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m (Directions) – The theme is “Greens, Eggs and Ham”

Family Farmed Expo – Consumer Day – UIC Forum, Chicago

Sunday – March 14

Winter Market, Park Ridge Community Church, 100 Courtland, Park Ridge – 930 AM - 130 PM

Saturday – March 20

Ebenezer Luthern Church – 1650, W. Foster, Chicago – 9 AM – 1 PM

Sunday – March 20

Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin – 39W830 Highland, Elgin – 1 – 3 PM

Saturday – March 27

Chicago Green City Market at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m (Directions) – The theme is still Greens, Eggs, and Ham (we think).

Portage Park – Irving Park and Central, Chicago - 10 – 2 PM

Saturday - April 10

Chicago Green City Market at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m (Directions) – The theme is Cheese

Saturday – April 24

Chicago Green City Market at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m (Directions) – The theme is Cheese.

Portage Park – Irving Park and Central, Chicago - 10 – 2 PM


St. Benedict Parish-Northcenter

First Evangelical Free Church-Andersonville

Keep you eye on Local Beet as we have all your winter needs covered.


Farm Getaways

Posted: January 26, 2010 at 10:08 am

Sowing the Seeds of Hope is offering a Farm Men’s Weekend Getaway in Feb and several Farm Couple’s Weekend Getaways in March of 2010.

The getaways are small groups and are designed to give participants a chance to get away from the farm, focus on their relationships, communication skills, stress management skills, and goal setting.

The Getaways are lead by experienced facilitators. All lodging, meals, and materials are paid for through the Sowing the Seeds of Hope project. In addition, participants may be eligible for a stipend to offset the cost of replacement farm labor, childcare, or travel expenses.

For information on either getaway, contact Chris Eickhoff Social Services Specialist DATCP 608-224-5052, Kathy Schmitt Community Services Specialist DATCP 608-224-5048 or WI Farm Center 800-942-2474.

Chris Eickhoff
Social Services Specialist
WI Farm Center DATCP
PO Box 8911
Madison, WI 53708-8911

News from New Glarus

Posted: January 26, 2010 at 4:35 am

There’s a possibly interesting article I’m working on that still needs comments from a few people. Several of them haven’t gotten back to me yet. But Dan Carey did.

Dan is the brilliant brewmaster at what is quite possibly Wisconsin’s finest brewery, and certainly one of the top craft  breweries in the country – New Glarus.


New Glarus’ Brewmaster Dan Carey

There will be more from Dan in the coming article, if I ever get around to writing it up. But in the meantime, I got into an interesting discussion with Dan about what we can expect in the coming months from New Glarus.

And that dovetailed nicely with a recent meeting of The Local Beet cognoscenti (I have no idea why I was invited) at Deta’s Café in Rogers Park. “We need more #@*&)^%$#@ news on The Local Beet!” screamed Editor at Large Rob Gardner, at the humbled, cowering mini-mass of locavore-foodies that try their best to add content to this site. (Possible exaggeration for entertainment value.)

Okay, Rob, I got your news, right here. And it’s straight from New Glarus’ brewmaster’s mouth.

Recently, New Glarus opened its new, Hilltop brewery. A lot – maybe even an entire bevy – of new beers will be burping out of there soon. (How many is in a bevy, anyway?)


New Glarus’ new Hilltop brewery

First news from Dan: “We’re re-making our Enigma.” One of the limited-edition beers in New Glarus’ generally excellent Unplugged series, Enigma was a beer made only once, in 2006. Until now. “We’re going to be brewing that here in the next week.”

New Glarus describes Enigma as “a complex and intriguing original. The mystery began with wild yeast spontaneously fermenting a rich treasure of malted barley and whole cherries. Unlined Oak casks breathe deep vanilla hues and chords of smoke into this sour brown ale.” I tasted it in 2006, and there are no words to describe its rich complexity. (“No words” is not a good thing when you’re supposed to be writing about the stuff, but hell, it was 3 1/2 years ago I tasted it. Oh, wait. Maybe “rich complexity” counts as words.) Since 2006, rare bottles have been hoarded by beer geeks, and shared only with the most worthy. Ratebeer gave it 99/100; BeerAdvocate calls it excellent.

Second news from Dan: “We also will be bottling, for our Unplugged series, a beer called Cherry Stout, that we’ve made before.”

It’s a dark ale, aged in Oak barrels, so in addition to the usual Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast for the fermentation, it’s likely to have some Brettanomyces butting in. Dan uses eight different Wisconsin malted barleys, and Wisconsin Montmorency Cherries. One reviewer said, “It tastes like a liquid, chocolate covered cherry, and makes for an ultimate dessert beer, or after dinner drink.”

Third news: “We also have some wine barrels of our lambic [a Belgian style using wild, unpredictable yeasts] going, I don’t know when they will be ready.”

Fourth news: “We’re making a beer we’re going to be calling an Abt.” And no, it’s not made from the dregs of a certain large appliance store in Glenview, Illinois. If you’re familiar with Belgian Dubbel and Tripel styles, Abt would be a darker version of a Quadruple – an example from Belgium would be St. Bernardus Abt 12. It’ll likely to be in the 10+% ABV range. Have a few glasses and then be sure to get home stumbling on foot or wildly waving your hands to flag down a taxi. (The latter approach won’t be particularly effective in some of the more rural areas of Wisconsin.)

Fifth news: “We have a new beer coming out in March. We’re going to stop making our IPA and make a new beer that’s going to be a blonde beer, around 12° Plato [probably leading to a mid-range alcohol level], but very hop-accented.

“We’re beginning with German malts, but it’s going to be made with a blend of hops, mostly American hops, with a real heavy hit of dry hopping — about 2 lbs/barrel of dry hopping. It’s a blend of about six different varieties of hops, so it’s going to be very much a hop-aromatic beer. It won’t be a 100 IBU beer [i.e. extremely bitter], just moderate bitterness, but very aromatic.

“We’re calling it a No-Coast Pale Ale. It’s gonna be sort of our own take on a hop-forward beer. So that’ll be coming out in March.”

But unless you live in Wisconsin, don’t plan on getting any of these beers at your local beer purveyor. Says Dan, “Our plan is to stay in the state – try to concentrate. We’d rather run deep than wide.”

He admits that he’s heard reports of his beers for sale in other states – bootlegged in. He doesn’t get overly upset about it “as long as people aren’t taking our kegs. The kegs are so darn expensive.”

But, “We like to stay small. I’m glad and flattered that people want to try the beer, but we’re not really trying to be a big brewer. A lot of breweries keep growing and keep growing because they’re opening up new territories. We really don’t like that false sense of security. We’d rather concentrate.”

So, I know a trip to New Glarus – southwest of Madison – is in my future. If only to get Rob some more #@*&)^%$#@ news.

photos courtesy New Glarus Brewing


Chicago Garden Instructor Needed

Posted: January 25, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Gary Comer Youth Center
7200 S. Ingleside Ave., Chicago, IL

Position Title: Instructor, Garden Apprentice and Internship program, Gary Comer Youth Center

Position Summary
In this part-time position, the Garden Apprentice and Intern Program Instructor will implement a year-round garden-based green career exploration program for 13- to 18-year-olds, teach garden and environmental science classes, facilitate on-the-job training in three produce distribution projects, and help to maintain the GCYC rooftop garden and grounds. The position reports to GCYC Garden Manager.

Gary Comer Youth Center
Having opened its doors in June 2006, the state-of-the-art Gary Comer Youth Center (GCYC) offers positive extracurricular alternatives in a welcoming and safe environment. The mission is to provide the support for all members to graduate from high school, prepared to pursue college and careers. Located on Chicago’s South Side, GCYC draws its primary membership from the youth of the South Shore Drill Team, Paul Revere School, Gary Comer College Prep High School, and youth residing in the broader 3rd District of the Chicago Police Department community. For more information:

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:
• Teach garden and environmental science classes to high school youth
• Organize and lead green career exploration workshops, field trips, career days and community service days for youth, families and community members
• Facilitate youth participation and leadership in garden-based entrepreneurial projects
• Provide leadership and supervision of youth during all aspects of apprenticeship and internship programs
• Manage daily program operations, including recording keeping and administrative duties
• Facilitate youth team building, character development and conflict resolution in an engaging, safe and positive environment
• Work collaboratively with all GCYC departments, including volunteers and external partners
• Assist with maintenance of 8,600 square foot organic rooftop farm and GCYC grounds
• Attend mandatory trainings and meetings as required
• Work up to 30 hours per week within the following schedule:
o CPS school year: Monday-Friday, 3 p.m. – 8 p.m., Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.;
o CPS days-off, including spring break: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.;
o CPS summer break: Monday – Saturday: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
• Work outside year-round, ability to lift 25 lbs.

Experience / Education:
• Minimum of two years of experience working directly with youth in a program with a demonstrated track record of supporting high school graduation rates and career readiness.
• Preference will be given to applicants with significant experience growing food in an urban environment
• College degree, BA or BS required

Qualifications include:
• Knowledge of youth development and programming principles
• Demonstrable cultural competency with a dedication to working with youth, families and community members
• Experience working with and supervising 13- to 18-year-old youth, preferably in an urban agriculture setting
• Experience in environmentally responsible vegetable production gardening practices
• Ability to motivate and engage youth to explore green careers
• Excellent organizational and communication skills
• Ability to multi-task, troubleshoot and problem solve effectively
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite

Hourly Rate: Dependent upon qualifications and experience.

To apply: Email cover letter, resume and three references to: Marji Hess, GCYC Garden Manager,

Roadtrippin’ For Local Food

Posted: January 22, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Update: Another market added.  See below

Yes, it may seem the most oxymoronic idea yet, but sometimes we need to travel to find our local food.  We travel for  more food than found in our Chicago area markets, and we travel for foods not found in our markets at all.  It is especially fruitful to travel in the winter because, well, there are some pretty good winter markets out there. For instance, some of these winter markets still have supplies of root vegetables.  You should be able to find apples, potatoes, onions and garlic.  There could be indoor grown greens and lettuces.  Look especially for products not prevalent in Chicago markets

  • Dried beans
  • Grains
  • Nuts – If you head north you may find butternuts and hickory nuts; south it may be walnuts including English walnuts if you go far enough south
  • Booze – Just think New Glarus
  • Cheese – Think Fantome Farm goat cheese
  • Sorghum

We always enjoy getting out and about anyways.  Why not make it a roadtrip for local food.  You owe to your pantry.

Since I gave away one of my wife’s prized heirloom squash at the LTHForum Holiday party (getting Russian Lawry’s type salt in return, yes!), I’ve owed my wife a trip to South Bend.  We were thinking this forthcoming weekend would still yield excellent winter squash and other cold weather produce, as well as smoked pork chops.  Yet, in researching this post, I’ve come across a winter market in Milwaukee that seems incredible.   How come nobody’s told me about this one before?  In fact, I want, nay need to go to all of the places listed below.  Soon.

Here are some places within driving distance where you find winter markets/year round markets, listed roughly in order of distance from downtown Chicago:

Chicagoland, IL – There are times in the winter when a trip down the driveway is a roadtrip.  Still, visiting the various area winter markets qualifies as drives for most, and a few of the markets, like Elgin and Geneva are probably schleps anyways.  Our Local Calendar has the most complete listing of Chicago area winter markets. 

Kenosha, WI - Hardly a roadtrip, but if your wife’s like my wife, Kenosha’s a full day with the outlet malls and all.  Find some time for the year round, Saturday HarborMarket.

Elburn, IL – Depending where you live in the Chicago area, the Heritage Prairie Market in Elburn is hardly a roadtrip either.  Still, for me, once you cross Randall Road, you’re in the country, and that makes an outing here a road trip.  Farm market open daily.

Milwaukee, WI – Man, I’ve been salivating since reading the list of vendors at the Milwaukee County Winter Farmer’s Market.  How ’bout some Wisconsin guancialeUPDATE: Always wondering where to find local oats for local oatmeal.  Here ya go.  Saturdays 8 – 12 (No market April 3)

Milwaukee, WI – Another winter market option in Milwaukee is the Westown Indoor Market, in downtown Milwaukee.  First and Third Wednesday’s through February 17.

South Bend, IN – In the stack of Local Beet articles to be posted, is our compare and contrast between the South Bend Farmer’s Market and the American Countryside Market nearby in Elkhart, Indiana.  For now, we’ll tell you that one of these is roadtrip worthy and the other one is in Elkhart.  When you visit the South Bend market, make sure to save tummy room for the in-market diner.  The South Bend market is currently open Saturdays from 7 am to 3 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 am to 2 pm.

Madison, WI – The Dane County Farmer’s Market has moved to the smallest of its three incarnations, the Madison Senior Center until April.  Of course what you lose in vendor space, you gain in market breakfast.  If nothing else, there is cheese.  Saturdays – 8 – 12

Sterling, IL – If it’s snowing too much on the way to the Quad Cities (see below), you can find a year round market in Sterling, Illinois a/k/a Illinois’s Twin Cities (twinned with Rock Falls).  Saturday’s 8 – 12.

Viroqua, WI – A center of organic farming, Viroqua hosts a year round farmer’s market.  Saturdays 8 AM – Noon

New!Sheboygan, WI – Go for award winning brats and a winter market held on various dates

Kalamazoo, MI – Roadfooders go to Kalamazoo for donuts and beer.  You cam also find an indoor winter market.  Wednesdays through April 28 and Saturdays January 16, March 13 and April 3 – 7 – 1 PM

Davenport, IA – The Freight House Farmer’s Market indicates many vendors.  I had thought our family had our fill of the Quad Cities, but now it seems we have a new reason to venture west.  Tuesdays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm AND Saturdays from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm

Dubuque, IA – It’s been even longer since I’ve been to another Iowa river town, Dubuque.  If I want to visit there again, I have a winter market to try. Of note, this market has local wines and grape juices, and a vendor with a good range of local nuts. Saturdays -9 – 12

Eau Claire, WI – If you are going to Dubuque, might as well visit Eau Claire too, right?  They have a winter market on Saturday’s once a month through April.  The next market is January 9. 9 – 1 PM

Detroit, MI – The whole Local Family finds Detroit surprisingly attractive to visit.  There is the time machine quality to the place, and there is the entire Eastern Market complex.  They are now promising a bigger and better winter experience.  Added bonuses include low cost hotels (try Priceline) and some of the best Arabian food in the US.  There’s even casinos.  Saturday – 7 AM – 4 PM

Ann Arbor, MI – When we think foodie roadtrip, we think Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor.  Do the Tour de Zing–visit the Roadhouse, Bakery, Creamery and Deli over the course of a day and you also get a T shirt.  If you cannot bring home thousands of dollars worth of local goodies, you are not trying.  Go also for Michigan grown dried beans.   A good selection can be found at the Sparrow Market just around the bend from Zingermans.  In the winter, the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market runs Saturdays 8 AM – 3 PM.

Indianapolis, IN – The Indianapolis Winter Market is in its second year, and has been on my to-do list both years.  Saturdays 9 – 1230 PM

Zionsville, IN – Near Indy is a winter market at Trader’s Point Creamery.  Brad can vouch for the trip-worthyness of this place.  Saturday’s 9 – 12

Two Rivers, WI – Local locavores should head here to see first hand, the operations filmed by MikeG’s SkyFullofBacon productions and get themselves some lake fish.  They’ll also find a winter market on Saturdays. 9 – 2PM

Toledo, OH – Stretching the definition of roadtrip, Toledo has Tony Packo’s dogs and pickles and a year round Saturday market. 9 – 1 PM

Maplewood, MO – Is Missouri within roadtrip distance?  In the St. Louis area, the well regarded Schlafly Brewery has a winter market once a month through March.  Saturdays – 9 – 1 PM

St. Louis, MO – And St. Louis has one of those damn authentic permanent markets, Soulard, that kills us here in Chicago.  Open all winter Wednesday through Saturday.

Bloomington, IN – Pretty much beyond the reach of a daytrip, but a weekend roadtrip to Bloomington has been calling to me both for the winter market and the FARMBloomington Resturant.  Market is on Saturday 9 – 12

Traverse City, MI – Maybe not a drive, but if you fly here for “local” skiing, you will also find a winter market on Saturdays.

We believe we have supplied the largest listing of Midwestern winter markets around.  Note, we’ve pretty much limited the markets to places within a day’s drive, so we have no included markets in Minnesota and Ohio (excepting Toledo).  We would love to know of any winter markets we have missed.  Likewise, we’d love for you to share your winter market experiences with us.

One Comment

Winter Markets – New England

Posted: January 22, 2010 at 9:31 am

The Local Beet has, we strongly believe, the most complete [ed., you mean only] list of winter markets in the Midwest.  For those looking for winter markets elsewhere, we recently came across this listing of winter markets in New England.

Winter Market in Old Irving Park – Sunday

Posted: January 21, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Lots of fun stuff to buy this week at the Winter Market.  As we noted the other day, this is a key chance to get your grains, local.   What else?  Check out the list below.  

The market is this Sunday, January 24 from 12noon to 3pm at Irving Park Lutheran Church – 3938 W. Belle Plaine Ave., Chicago, IL 60618.  The church is one block North of the corner of Irving Park Rd & Pulaski. The market will actually be held in the gym diagonally across from the church at the Southeast corner of Belle Plaine & Harding.  Parking is generally available on-street, but feel free to use the lot directly West of the church.

What you’ll find at the market this week . . .

Organically-raised ground beef, pork sausages & bacon
·  Cheese
·  Eggs 

· Sprouts & micro-greens
·  Mushrooms
·  Radishes & carrots
·  Apple cider
·  Fruit butters & preserves 
·  Honey & mustards

·  Wheatgrass juice
·  Dried fruits
·  Pastries & fruit tarts

·  Breads & croissants
·  Salsas, soups & sauces
·  Sweet basil vinaigrette
·  Spreads & dips
·  Organic tofu

·  Soaps   
·  Yarns & felting kits
·  Spa & beauty products
·  Lavender sachets 

·  Flour & corn meal

·  Felted catnip balls  

·  Organic tomato juice & Bloody Mary mix 
·  Pickled vegetables ·  Recycled denim shopping bags
. . . and so much more!  

You can follow the Winter Market circuit with their Local Harvest listing.

USDA Helping the Local Growing Cause Thursday, January 21st, 2010
A Little Something to Snack on Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Seeking Rare Roosters? Look no further. Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
You Need to Plan for Your Local Calendar – UPDATED Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Uncommon Ground Seeking Director Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
What’s Left at a Winter Market Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
Winter CSAs and Gluten-Free Lasagne Monday, January 18th, 2010
Yes, You Can Eat Local Grains Monday, January 18th, 2010
Farmland Needs Saving Friday, January 15th, 2010
What’s Local – Restaurant Supply House Thursday, January 14th, 2010
Soup, Bread, Green, City, Milwaukee, etc. – Local Calendar – UPDATED Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
The Beet Eaters Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
Extending the Season Monday, January 11th, 2010
Rooting for the Rutabaga Monday, January 11th, 2010
What’s Left to Last the Winter – UPDATED Monday, January 11th, 2010
Winter Market this Weekend? Monday, January 11th, 2010
Eat Local Radio Friday, January 8th, 2010
A Cake Fit for a King Thursday, January 7th, 2010
Start Shopping Again – Local Calendar – Updated Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
City Provisions Supper Club Deal Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
The Sardine Man Cometh Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
Gone Fishin’ Monday, January 4th, 2010
New Year’s Links – Weekly Harvest Monday, January 4th, 2010