Don’t Be Without Your Local Food – Stock Up Now!

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October 27, 2010 at 11:29 am

If your local farmer’s market has not already pulled its tents for the year, it will do so soon.  This weekend will be it for many (but not all!), Chicago area farmer’s markets.  Of course, we will be updating you soon on markets open in November, road-trip markets and winter markets, but for now we want to just remind you to stock up.  The unfortunate truth of eating local around here is that you cannot buy all the local food you need from November through May.  Sure, it’s getting better, easier, but unless you want to give in to imported foods*, you need to stock up now.

Here’s your shopping list.

FALL FOODS WITH LIMITED STORAGE

You will find the following items at area markets but consume these within a week or so:

  • Rocket
  • Sweet peppers
  • Lettuces
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Collard and other hearty greens
  • Bok choi and related
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Smaller radishes
  • Spinach
  • Celery

FOODS FOR STORAGE – SHORT TERM

The following items will last with good handling for about a month:

  • Pears, especially Asian style pears
  • Hot peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Grapes
  • Larger radishes such as black radishes
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Sweet potatoes

FOODS FOR STORAGE - MEDIUM TERM

The following items will last through winter with good handling:

  • Kohlrabi (use the greens within a week)
  • Turnips (use the greens within a week)
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Beets
  • Rutabaga
  • Celery root
  • Parsley root
  • Onions
  • Winter squash
  • Sunchokes
  • Burdock root

FOODS FOR STORAGE - LONG TERM

The following items will last you through early spring or beyond with good handling:

  • Garlic
  • Apples–Most fall apples keep well with the exception of McIntosh, which are very poor keepers)
  • Potatoes–Likewise, most fall potatoes keep well, but especially good keepers include blue potatoes and russet potatoes

*Not that we think you cannot eat any non-local foods.  Winter time is citrus time.  We also reach out in the off-season for the stuff like bananas, pineapples, prickly pears, and such.  We don’t believe one has to only eat local foods!

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One Comment

  1. Mober says:

    I think it would be good if you included a list of … if you grew it yourself, or if you find it at a market do so … like persimmons or jujubes maybe. Then we could plan ahead to maybe find a way to grow/get/use these as well.

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