Team Pork Fat: Victory at Kenmore Live

Posted: February 28, 2011 at 6:57 pm


As the Beet’s editors correctly point out, it’s been a while since there’s been fresh content here. Demos, classes, and other advocacy work have consumed my time of late. To make up for my absence, I thought I would share my Kenmore Live Cooking Combat winning chili recipe.

A weeks ago, I participated in Kenmore Live‘s Cooking Combat against Beth Aldrich Real Moms Love to Eat, going mano a mano with chili recipes. With a little help from my friends, Tomato Mountain, Three Sisters, the Downtown Farmstand, I emerged victorious. The biggest thanks go to Rob Levitt, butcher extraordinaire and owner of the newly opened The Butcher and Larder, who provided me with the beautiful, sustainably raised piece of piggy. Fatty, rich, and delectable, it was barely a fair fight.

Pork, Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili
Serves 6-8

3 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ medium onions, diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano chile, seeds removed and finely chopped (if you like your chili hotter, use two or include the seeds)
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cumin
1 bottle of beer, not dark
1 ½ cups chicken stock
½ cup sherry vinegar
½ cup mild tomato salsa
2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 cups cooked black beans
Juice of ½ lime
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 avocado, sliced
Sour cream and shredded Monterey Jack to taste

Heat the oil in a heavy large pot (I use the insert to my slow cooker) over medium-high heat. Dry the pork cubes with a paper towel. Salt and pepper the cubes and brown in batches, adding more oil if necessary. Remove the browned chunks to a bowl. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pan. Reduce the heat to medium, sauté the onions in the fat until golden. Add the garlic, Serrano chile, flour, and cumin and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Pour in beer, chicken stock, sherry vinegar, and salsa. Bring to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and return the pork and any juices that have accumulated in the bowl. Reduce to a simmer and cook over low heat, on a slow cooker on high for about 3 hours or in a 300º F oven for 1 ½ hours.

At this point, if your fat was particularly fatty (as mine was), you can strain the liquid from the solids and refrigerate each separately until the fat can be removed easily.

Return the defatted liquid and solids to the pot; add black beans and lime juice. Season with kosher salt to taste. Cook for an additional 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. Serve with chopped cilantro sprinkled on top. Serve the avocado, sour cream and cheese on the side.

Kickstart the Scrumptious Pantry

Posted: February 25, 2011 at 6:49 pm

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Our friend Lee Greene, of the scrumptious, Scrumptious Pantry, is looking to raise money for her product line made from local farms. She tells a little more about her company on her Kickstarter page:

At The Scrumptious Pantry we want to recreate the Farmer’s Market on the retail shelf – in the packaged goods aisle. Although we love (LOVE) our real, live weekend market, we all know there are those weekdays in which we stare into an empty cabinet at 6pm, but really want a nice home cooked meal. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could walk to your grocery store in the evening and grab all those pantry items you need for a delicious dinner – and still know who grew the stuff inside the jar? Who grew the grain for the pasta? Who raised the beef for the sauce? Who tended to the olive trees? And who farmed the tomatoes and cranberries in your condiment?

Giving you these answers is what we are here to do. That is why the farmers’ portraits are on the label. So you can look them in the eye. And you are going to find out that they will not blink. Because they have nothing to hide. They grow real ingredients, and we help them turn these real ingredients into real food for your enjoyment and nourishment.

We started working with Italian farms a while back, as that is where we lived and knew our farmers. Now, we want to work with great American farmers and ranchers to produce tasty products with a sense of place: products that represent the so called ‘terroir” (microclimate & soil conditions), as well as the regional culinary history – making use of heritage crops whenever possible.

Please consider kickstarting this worthy project.

Scrumptious Pantry

The Way to Have a Local Food System is to Eat Local – Start with the Local Calendar

Posted: February 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Well, there’s enough snow on the ground to justify calling them winter markets, and there’s enough winter markets around to justify the call to eat local.  More important, let me tell you this.  The best way, really the only way, to build a local food system here in the Chicago area is to eat local.  Want to eat more fully local in the future.  Want to be able to attract more of your friends and family to the cause of eating local.  Eat local.  Eat local now.  You can see below that certain seasonal items remain.  You also have access to high quality local products preserved for winter eating.  Visit the stores listed below that specialize in local foods and visit the markets happening.  And get involved!  We list many opportunities.


Do not fret.  We assure you you can find something locally grown.  Think indoor grown vegetables: lettuces, spinach, micro-greens, mushrooms, cucumbers, herbs, rocket; root vegetables (very limited supplies): beets, carrots, celery root, sunchokes, and storage crops like onions, potatoes, apples, and winter squash.

Do resist the tyranny of the fresh.  We expect you can find frozen and dried fruits from Seedlings at various markets.  Tomato Mountain does all sorts of things with its Wisconsin tomatoes, not just salsas; I love the pickles made by River Valley Kitchen.  Three Sisters Garden should have dried beans at Green City Market.  Use the local.


These stores specialize in local foods:

It’s open! Eat locally butchered meat at the Butcher and the Larder.

C&D Pastured Pork’s sales around town.

We bet, if you look around, you can also find local apples and potatoes, maybe onions at various grocery stores.  I know that the Angelo Caputo’s in Elmwood Park still has Michigan apples.


Saturday - February 26

Chicago – Green City Market – Theme: Meat & Potatoes – 8 AM – 1 PM – Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Geneva – Geneva Community Market – Inglenook Pantry – 11 N. 5th Street, Geneva – 9 AM – 1 PM

Sunday – February 27

Chicago – Logan Square Farmers Market – 2135 N. Milwaukee – 10 – 2 PM – All sorts of things on for Sunday including Otter Creek cheddars, Mint Creek lamb, and Tempel Farms eggs; Otter Creek Organic Farm also has grass fed beef and pasture raised organic pork and chicken – Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee – 10 AM – 2 PM

Tuesday – March 1

Chicago – Slow Food Chicago Breadmaking Workshop – Guests will learn about ciabatta and its many uses, as well as Sardinian semolina crackers and various toppings for ciabatta dough. The instructor will be Anne Kostroski, an alum of the Culinary Institute of America and a veteran of such esteemed kitchens as Tra Vigne in California and Citronelle in Washington, D.C. In 2009, she founded Crumb baking company. – Whole Foods Lincoln Park, 1550 N. Kingsbury St., Chicago

Wednesday – March 2

Chicago – Soup and Bread at the Hideout benefiting local food pantries – 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago – 530 PM – 730 PM


Saturday – March 5

Chicago - Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse presents a Gardening Exchange Event – The opportunity to take basic organic gardening classes (a mix of free classes and class @ $5), purchase compost and seeds, and find gently used gardening and cooking tools at bargain prices - Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse – 3501 N. Kilbourn, Chicago – 1 PM – 4 PM

Chicago – Winter market associated with Faith in Place at Bethany Evangelical Lutheran Church – 9147 S. Jeffery Blvd - 10 AM – 2 PM

Saturday – March 12

Oak Park – Winter market associated with Faith in Place at Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church - 405 Euclid Ave – 9 AM - 1 PM


March 13 – Slow Food Chicago Book Club – Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Vegetable Miracle – at First Slice Pie Cafe (4401 N. Ravenswood Ave.) at 2:00 p.m.  To learn more, or to purchase the book, visit here.  RSVP for the event by emailing

March 17 – 19 – Expo including Financing Farm to Fork, Chicago Food Policy Summit, Localicious Party and Consumer Day.

March 19 – Equinox Farm Dinner – Heritage Prairie Farm – Elburn

April 30 – GreenNet’s 19th Annual Green & Growing Urban Gardening Fair – Garfield Park, Chicago

Do You Want a CSA in 2011? – The Local Beet is Here For You

Posted: February 25, 2011 at 9:27 am

We are proud to release our 2011 list of Chicago area CSAs or Community Supported Agriculture produced by Wendy Aeschlimann.  We made a very big list in 2010 then made it bigger in 2011, and then when it seemed as full as full can be, our scouts Robin Schirmer and Wendy found even more.  In addition to those Beetniks, we worked with our friends at on the 2011 Guide.  As we did last year, we organized our listings in a table, allowing you to sort and organize as you need.  Also, as in last year, the Guide features a robust search box allowing you to find your specific need.

As you know, we have been soliciting feedback on your CSA experiences, and we have gathered a good amount of intelligence.  It is not too late, however, to submit your opinions.  We expect to publish our consumer feedback piece soon.  We also very much seek your comments, corrections and additions to our 2011 Guide.  Do you want a CSA in 2011?  The Local Beet is here for you.

And want to talk CSAs with us?  We will be an exhibitor at the 2011 FamilyFarmed Expo, Saturday March 19, at the UIC Forum to answer all your CSA questions.  In addition, at the Expo you will find representatives from many CSA farms who can tell you about their product.

Look for our table of 2011 CSAs here.  You can sort and search the table by the following columns/fields:

  • CSA Name
  • Type of CSA – e.g., vegetable, meat
  • Type of Farm – Find organic CSAs!
  • Delivery options – Find a CSA near you and a box size for you; some CSAs offer home delivery
  • How often – i.e., weekly
  • Length of season – Including CSAs with Spring, Fall and Winter options
  • Extra products – e.g., some CSAs offer eggs or even fresh flowers
  • Availability – Yes some CSAs are already near capacity

 We are pleased to have produced the 2011 CSA Guide in conjunction with our friends at

Cover photograph by Local Beet Contributor Roderick Gedey

One Comment

Wanted: Candid Feedback On CSAs

Posted: February 25, 2011 at 8:00 am

We are very close to publishing our 2011 CSA Guide.  In order to make our CSA Guide the best we can, we would love to have some feedback from you on your 2010 CSA.  Specifically, we’d like to know:

  • What did you think about the CSA to which you subscribed in 2010?
  • What do/did you want in a CSA?  Did that CSA meet, exceed or fail to meet those expectations? 
  • Will you join a CSA in 2011?  Which one, and why?
  • If you are changing CSA’s in 2011, why?

Please feel free to post comments below.  If you’d like to respond privately to the Beet, please do so here.  Private responses will be kept confidential.


A Well Deserved Award for Good Eating

Posted: February 24, 2011 at 10:26 am

It’s probably not news to any Beetnik that Melissa Graham, our Sustainable Cook, produces good eating, nor is it probably not news to anyone already that the Chicago Tribune gave one of its 2011 Good Eating Awards to her.  Still, we want to extend a special Beet congratulations. 

The 2011 Award summarizes Melissa’s career, also probably known to a lot of you: high-falutin’ lawyer yet highly talented home cook, rejects the Bar to man the bar for various functions through a catering company called Monogramme Events all the while spearheading Purple Asparagus, a group focused on bringing families back to the source of good foods.  A pretty cool story.  And a story hardly complete.

The Melissa Graham story changed quite a bit in the last few years, and from a selfish perspective, it changed a bit for the worse for the Local Beet.  We at the Beet love Melissa’s recipes and her tips on composting and living the sustainable life.  We nudge her all the time for more content for the site.  Yet, we cannot feel too bad because we know that Melissa has changed her focus from lawyer to caterer to advocate and educator.  While she can still dish up a tasty event, her focus now stands almost entirely on working on the causes of school lunches and healthy eating for kids like her little Loca-Thor.  If anything, Melissa’s Good Eating Award comes too soon because her efforts have really just begun.

We really look forward to watching Melissa’s efforts.  We know that the energies and drive that made her a top-notch lawyer and an expert bread-baker, will make her an effective voice for children.  Every week seems to bring a new week from hell for Melissa as she balances being a mom with all her demonstrations and meetings.  Somewhere in there we hope for some Local Beet time, but we know all the kids and causes that are getting her time benefit pretty well.

2011 CSA Guide

Posted: February 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm





2011 CSA Listings

Name/Location/WebsiteType of CSAType of Farm or FarmingType of Shares & CostDelivery or Pickup?How often?Length of SeasonExtra ProductsSold out or close to sold out
Angelic Organics
Caledonia, IL
web site
Vegetable & some fruit (Balanced selection of 12-16 vegetables per week & melons)Biodynamic approach to organic farmingFull $650
Half $420
Pickup @ farm, or in Rockford, Elgin, Arlington Heights, Deerfield, Geneva, Wheaton, Westmont, Oak Park (2 sites), Edison Park/Park Ridge, Wilmette, Evanston (2 sites), and in Chicago, Rogers Park, Andersonville/Edgewater, Uptown/Ravenswood, Ravenswood Manor, Irving Park, St. Benedict's, Logan Square, Bucktown, Wicker Park, Hyde Park (2 sites), Lincoln Park & LakeviewWeeklyMid-June through mid-Oct. (for full share); mid-Aug. – mid-Oct. (for ½ share)Fruit shares extra; Winter CSA extraClose to selling out
Beaver Creek Gardens
Poplar Grove, IL
web site
Fruits & vegetables

Mission is to reduce carbon footprint; harvests own seeds, grows own inputs, and cycles according to natureFull $595

Half $350
Pickup @ farm or in Crystal LakeWeekly20 weeks (Jun-Oct)Egg CSA extra (year-round)Available
Big Head Farm
South Haven, MI
web site
Vegetables, herbs & flowers, *NEW FOR 2011: Fruit shares, Egg sharesFormer Chicagoans growing organic produce on property previously used only for huntingFull $500 (bushel)

Half $275 (1/2 bushel)

"Flying Solo" $150 (1/4 bushel)

Pickup in Chicago & South Haven, MI

Home delivery available
Weekly24 weeks (May-end Oct)Fruit: Full share $161.50/year; Half share $81.25/year, includes 10# (full) or 5# (half) tree fruits from area growers every other week

Egg: Full share $110/yr, Half share $55/year, includes 1 doz eggs either weekly (full) or biweekly (half)
Bob's Fresh and Local
St. Charles, IL
web site
Vegetables and herbs Produce grown using organic practices, including only organic fertilizer and pesticides$625 (3/4 bushel)

$25 discount until March 1st
Pickup likely to be at farm, Wheaton, Elmhurst and North Aurora. Contact farm for more details.Weekly24 weeks (June-Oct.)Fruit share availableAvailable
Broad Branch Farm
Wyoming, IL
web site
Separate vegetable, meat & egg sharesOrganicMain season: (Full) $528 (Half) $297
Fall $60
Pickup @ the farm or in Dunlap, Peoria, Peoria Heights & NapervilleFull share is weekly; Half-share is biweekly
Fall share is 2 deliveries in Nov
Main season is 22 weeks (Jun – Oct); Fall season is in NovemberEgg & Meat shares available Available
Bumblebee Acres Farm
Harvard, IL
web site
Vegetables, Chicken *Website not updated for 2011*No chemical pesticides or commercial fertilizers; chickens are pasture-raisedVegetable CSA $500
$160 for 10 chickens
Pickup @ Woodstock Farmer’s MarketVeggie box is weekly
Chickens are biweekly
20 weeks (Jun-Oct)Fiber (wool, fleece, roving, etc.), turkeys, eggs extraClose to selling out
C&D Family Farms
web site
Meat (Pork)

Partners with other farms for beef and poultry
Raises hogs in their natural environment on pasture and in wooded areas where they graze on pasture or eat leaves, weeds, berries and acorns from their large wooded pens. Hogs are very social animals and are kept in droves so they can socialize and prosper. Option 1 (pork): 3 mos. $255; 6 mos. $500; 12 mos. $975

Option 2 (partners w/nearby poultry & beef farm): 3 mos. $255; 6 mos. $500; 12 mos. $975
Pickup in Lincoln Square, Andersonville, Hyde Park, Beverly, Lincoln Park, and North CenterMonthly3, 6 or 12 monthsContact farm for additional meat productsAvailable year-round
Cedar Valley Farm
Ottawa, IL
web site
Meat & eggs (Various cuts of beef, pork & chicken + 2 dozen eggs)Raising animals without hormones or drugs in sustainable environment3 months $255
6 months $500
Full year $975
Pickup @ several north side locations, Naperville, Oak Park & Oak LawnMonthlyYear-roundNoneAvailable
Chicago Honey Coop
Chicago, IL
web site
Honey *Website not updated for 2011*Provides job training opportunities for under-employed; uses sustainable agricultural practices; employee-owned.Purchase a $48 share in beginning of season, which is used like cash at their farmer's market standsProducts available at Green City Market or Logan Square farmer's marketsWeeklyFor as long as Honey Coop sells at marketBody products, beeswax candles available for purchaseAvailable
City Farm
Chicago, IL
web site
VegetablesLocated at Clybourn & Division, City Farm is an urban farm project of the Resource Center, a Chicago non-profit dedicated to resuse and recyclingFull share (feeds small family or 2-3 adults): $550

Half share (every other week): $300
Pickup at FarmWeekly (Full) or Biweekly (Half)Mid-May through end of OctoberNone, but you may volunteer at the farmAvailable
City Provisions*
Chicago, IL
web site
Meat Local butcher/specialty delicatessen in Ravenswood neighborhood that works directly with local farmsTen weeks ( 5 deliveries biweekly) $1000+tax includes variety of Dietzler steaks, house-cured bacon, lamb chops, Cook's bison ribeyes, homemade sausages, pâtés, terrines and deli meatsPickup at the storeBiweeklyTen weeks beginning March 18th through May 20, 2011NoneAvailable immediately
Cookoo's Nest
Levis Osseo, WI
Local Harvest page
Vegetables, eggs and other "seasonal Wisconsin goodies"
*Information not updated for 2011*
Small farm producing vegetables and culling products from neighboring small producers Full share $600

Half share $360
Pickup in Arlington Heights and Lincoln ParkWeeklyJune-Oct.None40 shares available
Crème de la Crop
Porter, IN
web site
Vegetables, herbs & edible flowers *NEW: Fruit shares*Certified Organic (200 types of unique heirloom varieties);
“Standard Market” plan gets more common market vegetables
“Epicurean” gets everything they grow
Standard $615 (Full) $315 (Half)
Epicurean $770 (Full) $395 (Half)

Pickup @ Farm, or locations in Valparaiso, Hammond, Merrillville, Chesterton & Laporte , INWeekly18 weeks (end of June-Oct.)Squash/storage vegetable plan extra

Fruit CSA extra
Dea Dia Organics
Grayslake, IL
web site
Vegetables & Herbs; EggsCertified OrganicFull (1/2 bushel) $585
Biweekly $350
Pickup in Lake Bluff, Deerfield & GrayslakeWeekly or Biweekly20 weeks (Jun-Oct)Pork CSA, cut flowers extraNOT AVAILABLE FOR 2011
Earth and Skye Farm
Manhattan, IL
web site
Vegetables & herbsEnvironmentally and sustainable methods of farmingFull $620

Half $335
Pickup @ the farm or in Orland ParkWeeklyJune – Oct.NoneAvailable
Earth First Farms
Berrien Center, MI
web site
ApplesCertified organic farming on 60 acres encompassing 4500 fruit-bearing apple trees 10-lb. bag (1 peck) apples (Nov. share includes cider) $85Pickup @ farm or in Chicago (@ markets)Biweekly Mid-August-Halloween & one November pickup Pies available

Tree rental
Earth Harvest Farm
Lake Geneva, WI
web site
VegetablesCertified Naturally GrownFull weekly share $480

Every other week $240
Pickup @ farm or Mundelein Weekly18 weeks beginning in mid-JunePasture-raised beef and Michigan fruit extraAvailable
Edible Alchemy Foods Co-op
Chicago, IL
web site
Fruits & vegetablesFood Co-op that organizes an all-organic or sustainably-grown produce share every other weekFull share -- no commitment -- purchase the Wed. before pickupPickup in Pilsen, Lakeview, Gold Coast & Hyde Park or Delivery for $5 Bi-WeeklyShares begin in MayNoneAvailable
Erehwon Farm
Elburn, IL
web site
Vegetables (6-10 kinds)

2-week trial available
No chemical herbicides or pesticides; sustainable growing practices.Full (1/2-3/4 bushel) $600Pickup @ farm & in Wheaton, Elgin, Bartlett, Lombard & Logan SquareWeekly20 weeks (mid-June – mid-Oct.)NoneAvailable
Elizabeth & Mary's Potting Bench
Crystal Lake, IL
web site
Vegetables, small fruit, cut flowers & herbsUses intensive planting techniques, square-foot gardening & greenhouses to grow in smaller spacesFull $200

Half $100
Pickup @ Woodstock Farmer's MarketWeeklyEnd of June-early Sept.NoneAvailable
Esther's Place/Lamb of God*
Big Rock, IL
Local Harvest page
Multiple farms provide vegetables, produce, meat, cheese, dairy, egg and fiber products *Listing not updated for 2011*Embraces Christian principles in the spirit, character and depth of agrarian living$45/weekPickup in Wheaton, Big Rock, St. Charles and Oswego Weekly 20 weeks (Jun.-Oct.)None40 shares available
Fair Share
Harvard, IL
web site
VegetablesSmall, sustainable farm$395 for share (grocery bag)Pickup in Cary, Barrington, Arlington Heights, Palatine, Mount Prospect, Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, and in Chicago, Elston/Central, Loyola and Jefferson Park, and Illinois Tollway Oases in Lake Forest, O'Hare, and Des PlainesWeeklyJune-Oct.NoneAvailable
Farmer Tom's CSA*
web site
Vegetables & FruitPurchases produce from several growers that use organic methods.

Operates differently than traditional CSA - you pay upfront membership fee and then order produce when you want -- no commitment
$60 membership fee at beginning of season, then $35/week for 1 bushel & $24/week for 1/2 bushel

Pickup in Edgewater, Oak Park, Lombard, Woodlawn, North Park, Logan Square, Gold Coast & Lincoln Park

Home delivery available to some areas
WeeklyYear-round (July-Oct, produce is local; from Nov-June, produce is selected from other nonlocal growers)NoneAvailable
Fat Blossom Farm
Allegan, MI
web site
VegetablesPracticing sustainable agricultureLarge $550
Small $300

Pickup @ locations in Chicago & SW MichiganWeekly20 weeks (Jun-Oct)Flower shares availableAvailable
Four Friends Farm
Hebron, IL
web site
VegetablesUses only organically-approved seeds, farms sustainably without the use of synthetic chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers (not organic)Full (1 bushel) $630

Half (2 people) $390

Single (peck) $240

Community (donates to food pantry) $100

Worker share -- call for details

Pickup @ farm, or in Batavia, or Mundelein (at Farmer's Market)Weekly20 weeks (Jun-Oct)NoneAvailable
Freedom Organix
Harvard, IL
web site
Vegetables, herbs & flowers, eggs Sustainable farm growing vegetables and raising chickens, geese and cowsSpring $180
Full $650 (w/eggs, $770)
Half $365 (w/eggs, $425)
Harvest $110 (w/eggs, $135)
Pickup in Harvard, Cary, Lake Geneva & Delavan, WI, Woodstock, Barrington, Crystal Lake, Lake Zurich, Libertyville, Highland Park, Lake Bluff, Deerfield, Lake Forest (Tollway Oasis), Vernon Hills, Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Des Plaines (Tollway Oasis), Chicago North (Elston/Central), Park Ridge, O'Hare (Tollway Oasis), Loyola, & Jefferson ParkSpring: Weekly

Full: Weekly

Half: Biweekly

Harvest: 2 deliveries
Spring share is 6 weeks beginning in May, Full share is 20 weeks beginning in JuneEggs, chickens, & heritage turkeys available; option to purchase grass-fed beefAvailable
Genesis Growers
St. Anne, IL
web site
Vegetables, eggs, fruits & herbsUses natural methods, no pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizer.
Available yearly or by season
Shares available: Medium (20% larger than paper grocery bag) & Large (60% more than paper grocery bag)
Spring $250 (medium); $425 (large)
Summer $650 (medium); $1000 (large)
Fall $225 (medium); $375 (large)
Pickup @ Green City Market or in Chicago - downtown (Chicago Farmstand), Old Irving Park, West Town, West Rogers Park, North Center, Bridgeport & Hyde Park, Forest Park, Highland Park, Mokena, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, Park Forest, Arlington Heights, Skokie & WheatonWeekly9 months (Apr. – Dec.) or by season: Apr. & May (Spring); June-Oct (Summer); Oct-Dec. (Fall) Eggs available for extraAvailable
Gentleman Farmer
Barrington, IL
web site

Practices organic methods (no pesitcides or herbicides)Weekly $595

Biweekly $325
Pickup @ suburban & Chicago location TBDWeekly or biweekly21 weeks (Jun-Oct)Eggs extraAvailable
Gibbs Family Garden
Plymouth, WI
web site
Vegetable“Certified Naturally Grown” organic (no synthetic pesticides or chemicals)Biweekly share (approx. 3/4 bushel) $425

1 doz. eggs biweekly $44
Pickup @ Good Earth Greenhouse in River Forest, IL *Seeking residential dropsites in River Forest, Oak Park, LaGrange, Riverside, and Elmhurst*BiweeklyJune through NovemberEggs available for extraAvailable
Granor Farms
Three Oaks, MI

Facebook Page
Vegetables and fruitContact farm for detailsSignups before Mar. 1st receive $25 credit for farmstand Dropsites in Chicagoland and Michigan. Please contact farm directly for details.Contact farm for detailsContact farm for detailsContact farm for detailsAvailable
Grass Is Greener Gardens*
Beloit, WI
web site
Meat & Poultry

Offering from 4 different Southwest WI producers who raise free range, grass & grain fed meat

Also offers a produce CSA with certified organic produce, wild crops and greenhouse stock (GIGG produces about 75% for their produce CSA; remainder is from partner farms that grow according to organic standards, but are not certified)
Meat & Poultry $785 (large), $625 (medium) & $495 (small)
Poultry only $390

Produce $560 (20 weeks); $290 (10 weeks); $120 (storage share)
Pickup, Meat: Lakeview, Evanston, Hyde Park & Oak Park

Pickup, Produce: Lakeview, Evanston, Hyde Park, Oak Park, Pilsen, Roscoe Village, Northbrook, North Center, Monroe & Beloit, WI,
Meat: Monthly

Produce: Weekly (20 week); Every other week (Half)
Year round; enrollment twice annually preferred, but if room you will be accommodated year-round

Eggs, honey & yogurt extra

Jam and egg shares available
Grassroots Farm
Monroe, WI
web site
Vegetables, fruit & cut flowersMother-daughter operation using minimal machinery to farm 40 acres as it would be done 100 years ago. Organic methods & no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.Full $495 (3/4 bushel)Pickup in Andersonville or Madison, WIWeekly16 weeksNoneOnly 40 shares available
Green Acres Farm
North Judson, IN
web site
Vegetables70-year old family farm started by Japanese immigrants in its third generation and growing Certified Naturally Grown organic vegetables2-person $550

Family $990
Pickup @ Green City Market & Evanston Farmer's MarketWeekly22 weeks beginning June 1stNoneAvailable
Green Earth Farm
Richmond, IL
web site
Vegetables (100 different varieties)“Certified Naturally Grown” organicFull $450
Half $275
Pickup @ farm. Contact farm for other drop-off sites.Weekly20 weeks (Jun-late Oct.)Free range eggs & poultry available for extraAvailable
Green Earth Institute
South Naperville, IL
web site
Vegetable & herbUSDA certified organic, nonprofit operated by The Conservation Foundation, promoting health & environmental sustainabilityMain Season: $671.56 (Weekly) $361.22 (Biweekly)
Spring & Late Fall $113.96
Pickup @ farm in South Naperville, IL onlyWeekly or BiweeklySpring (4 weeks), Main (20 weeks – Jun-Oct); Late Fall (4 weeks – Nov.)NoneOnly a few Late Fall shares available
Green Grocer*
Chicago, IL (West Town)
web site
Vegetables and some specialty itemsSmall store specializing in local and organic food sources that puts together a weekly box of organic and/or local foods (not all foods are local) $15/week for single share

$28/week for double share
Pickup at store, home delivery available in a limited areaWeeklyYear-roundNoneAvailable
Growing Home
Chicago, IL
web site
Vegetables & herbsUSDA certified organic. CSA shares of urban Chicago Farms support nonprofit transitional job programSpring $135 for Marseilles pickup, $145 for Green City Market pickup

Summer $490 for Marseilles pickup & $570 for pickup everywhere else

Fall $145 for Marseilles pickup, $155 for Green City Market Pickup

Early bird discount through Mar. 1st.
Pickup @ Green City Market, Hyde Park, Lakeview, Edgewater, Evanston, Lincoln Park, Logan Square or MarseillesWeeklySpring (4 weeks in May); Summer (early June-early Oct); Fall (3-4 weeks from mid-Oct to early Nov)Eggs extraAvailable
Growing Power
Farm Co-op in Wisconsin
web site
Vegetables, Fruit* (*During colder months, non-local produce will be sourced from small wholesalers like Goodness Greenness)Part of a cooperative that includes farms in Milwaukee regionNo commitment; place order weekly
Regular $17
Junior $9
Sustainable $28
Fruit $17
Pickup in Beverly, Bronzeville, Englewood, Humboldt Park, West Garfield Park, Lakeview, Logan Square, Oak Park, Green City Market, and Wicker Park or coordinate own pickup by recruiting 10 ordersWeekly Spring, summer & fallSome meat available for extraAvailable
Harvest Moon Farms
West Central Wisconsin
web site
Vegetables & fruit or meat (seasonal, organic, and heirloom vegetables along with available herbs and fruit), eggsCertified OrganicRegular (2-3 people) $525
Double (3 adults or family of 5) $825
Order before March 1st for discounts
Pickup in Palatine, Lake Forest Tollway Oasis, Des Plaines Tollway Oasis, O'Hare Tollway Oasis, South Loop/UIC, Downtown/Loop, Wicker Park, West Town, Roscoe Village, Wrigleyville, Lincoln Square & EdgewaterWeekly20 weeks (Mid-June – mid-Oct.)Meat shares (beef, chicken & combo) extra; Winter CSA extra

Eggs $112.48/doz. per week; $56.24/half doz. per week
Healthy Food Hub*
Chicago, IL
web site
Vegetables"Consumer-operated," holistically-focused cooperative run through the Holistic Family Medicine Healthy Lifestyle & Prevention Chicago that uses collective buying power to purchase organic produce$25 annual membership fee, pre-pay orders for produceContact collective for more detailsContact collective for more detailsContact collective for more detailsContact collective for more detailsAvailable
Heritage Prairie Farm
Elburn, IL
web site
VegetablesDedicated to "Four Season Farming," in which the farm produces food during all four seasons through use of hoophouses$825 for dropoff sites or $775 for farm pickupPickup @ farm or @ Green City Market, West Loop (Chicago) & EvanstonWeekly25 weeks (1st week of Jun-Oct + 2 holiday shares)Farm-produced honey & honey bee products extraAvailable
Iron Creek Farm
LaPorte, IN
web site
Vegetables & small fruits (over 100 varieties)Certified OrganicStandard $570 (one grocery bag)

Large Share $850 (box)

Winter $270
Pickup @ farm, or Green City Market (Chicago), Andersonville, Brookfield, Oak Park, Wicker Park, Evanston or St. Joseph, MIWeeklyStandard & Large shares run from Jun-Oct

Winter runs from Oct-Nov
NoneLimited shares available
Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks*
Chicago, IL
web site
Vegetables, meat, dairy & eggsSources from local & organic Chicago-area farms.* (*During the winter, the box is supplemented with produce from outside the region.)Fresh Picks Box: Single ($18), Double ($25) or Family-sized ($40)Home delivery. ($5.50 shipping & handling fee.)Weekly or Bi-weeklyYear-round.Boxes contain produce but can be customized to include non-produce itemsAvailable
King’s Hill Farm
Mineral Point, WI
web site
Vegetables, Duck & Hen EggsEmbraces ideology of Permaculture. Grows without pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or GMOs. “Crops are raised from the earth, naturally, in harmony with the seasons.”Full $380
Summer $230
Winter $120
Market $50 (includes tote bag & 10% off market purchases)

Hen eggs 1 doz/10 weeks: $60

Duck eggs 1/2 doz/10 weeks: $60
Pickup @ Green City Market, Independence Park, Glencoe @ Chicago Botanic Garden, Rogers Park, Oak Park, Palatine10 deliveries bimonthly for full season; 6 biweekly for summer; 2 for Winter Jun-Oct for full season; Aug-Oct for summer season & Nov-Dec for winter seasonEggsAvailable
Lake Breeze Organics
Benton Heights, MI
web site
Vegetables & fruitCertified organic with emphasis on hard-to-find crops & Jersey blueberriesFull $500
Half $275
Pickup in Evanston & EdgewaterWeekly (full)

Biweekly (half)
June-SeptNoneLimited shares available
Liberty Family Farm
Hart, MI
web site
or Andy Wright @ (231) 873-3737
Meat including grass-fed beef, lamb and goat, pasture-raised pork & poultryHolistic, humane & environmentally sound method of raising animalsContact farm for detailsContact farm for detailsContact farm for detailsContact farm for detailsContact farm for detailsContact farm for details
Linda's Organical Farm
Union, IL
web site
Vegetables, fruit & SpicesOrganically grown.

Customizable to your needs & wants. Delivery available on weekly, biweekly or monthly basis.
Full $250

Half $125

Optional custom packages available
Pickup @ farm

Delivery options avalalbe
Weekly or BiweeklyJune-OctFruit & nut trees availableAvailable
M’s Organic Farm
Woodstock, IL
web site
Vegetables, herbs, granola, eggsOrganic veggies, free-range eggsFull $405; With eggs $435

Half $245; With eggs $275
Pickup @ farm, Logan Square MarketWeekly18 weeks (Jun-Oct)Eggs Almost sold out
Majestic Nursery & Farm
Millbrook, IL
web site
Vegetables, herbsSustainable and environmentally responsible homestead that grows Certified Naturally Grown produce, annuals and herbs3-season $640 (single) $928 (double)

Spring $100 (single) $145 (double)

Summer $400 (single) $580 (double)

Fall $140 (single) $203 (double)

Winter (pricing TBD)

Single share is about 3/4 of paper grocery bag

Double is 1-1/2 of paper grocery bag
Pickup @ farm, Green City Market, or YorktownWeekly3-season: May-Dec

Spring: May-June (5 wks)

Summer: June-Oct. (20 wks)

Fall: Nov.-Dec. (7 wks)

Winter: TBD
Also sell annuals, birhouses and gourdcraftsAvailable
Marr's Valley/Country Haven Farms
Mineral Point, WI
web site
Meat (angus beef, lamb, poultry, pork and eggs)Marr's Valley is a 580-acre Black Angus Beef Farm that has been in the Marr family since 1874, and works with Country Haven Farm, another family farm in Southeast WisconsinSmall (1/2 paper grocery bag) $480

Medium (3/4 paper grocery bag) $600

Large (full paper grocery bag) $780
Pickup @ farm, and in Franklin, Milwaukee West, River Hills, Shorewood, WiMonthly for 6 months

(Signup anytime-shares may be prorated)
6 months:

Winter - Nov. through April

Summer - May through Oct.
NoneAvailable year-round
Midnight Sun Organics
Grayslake, IL
web site
Vegetables3 acre farm in Prairie Crossing neighborhood that grows vegetables according to organic and sustainable practices; in the process of becoming certified organicFull $575 (5/9ths bushel)

Half $325 (1/2 paper grocery bag)
Pickup @ farm, Gurnee and Rogers ParkWeekly20 weeks (Jun.-Oct.)Eggs and poultry availableAvailable
Mike & Clare’s Farm
Woodstock, IL
web site
VegetablesOrganic$250 (5/9th bushel)Pickup @ farm, Logan SquareWeeklyJun-OctNoneAvailable
Mint Creek Farm
Stelle, IL
web site
Grass-fed Meat (lamb, goat, beef, rose veal and more)Organic, pasture-raisedHalf Shares (5 lbs) for 3 months at $150 or 6 months at $285 and Whole Shares (10 lbs) for 3 months at $270 or 6 months at $510 Green City Market, Logan Square Farmers Market and the Andersonville Farmers MarketMonthly

See blog for pick up schedule
6 months (May-October) or 3 months (May-July) and (August-October)Whole or Half animal purchases an optionClose to selling out
Mom's Farm
Lockport, IL
web site
Vegetable, herbs & some apples & pears *Website not updated for 2011*Small, roving farm currently working land in Lockport. Also working an orchard in Yorkville.Full (4 persons) $600

Half (2 persons) $300
Pickup in Lockport & Homer Glen. Possible home delivery based on location.WeeklyJun-OctNoneOnly 10 shares available
Montalbano Farms
Plano, IL
web site
Vegetables, herbsCertified organic; committed to socially responsible practices & transparency (visitors allowed to visit farm)3/4 bushel $640 before May 1stPickup @ Logan Square farmer's market, Lincoln Square, and farm Weekly20 weeks (Jun-Oct), with option to take off 2 weeks per season, and make them up later (great for vacations)NoneAvailable
Naturally Naked Foods
Sugar Grove, IL
web site
Fruits & Vegetables

Single farm Contact farm for detailsContact farm for detailsBiweeklyMay-Oct.None10 shares available
Nature's Choice
Grant Park, IL
web site
Meat Family farm that pasture-raises chicken, turkey, eggs, pork, and grass-fed beef3 month shares for $300 (15 lbs. of meat, such as whole chicken (4 lbs), 1 lb of ground chicken, a chuck roast (3-4 lbs), 1-2 lbs ground beef, 1lb of bacon, 1 lbs of Italian sausage, a pkg of pork chops, 1 to 2 lbs of ground pork)Pickup @ farm, Frankfort, and BolingbrookMonthlyYear-round in 3 month incrementsKosher option available20 shares available for June
New Era Farm
Cashton, WI
web site
Vegetables, crop berries, heirloom fruits & herbs with some bonus items such as maple syrup & teaUSDA Certified Organic growing & harvesting methodsFull (contact farm for pricing)Contact farm for pickup locationsBiweeklyMay-OctJams & jellies extraAvailable
New Leaf Grocery*
Chicago, IL (Rogers Park)
web site
Vegetables and fruitSmall grocer that offers weekly organic produce boxes (Note: produce organic though not entirely local)Start at $15/weekPickup @ store; home delivery availableWeeklyYear-roundCall store for detailsAvailable year-round
New Traditions Farm
Beaverville, IL
web site
Heirloom Vegetables & Heritage Poultry

Organic, Pesticide & Herbicide Free
Spring Share $100 (#3 3/4 Bushel Boxes Delivered), Half Share $350 (#10 3/4 Bushel Boxes, Delivered Bi-Weekly), Full Share $600 (#20 3/4 Bushel Boxes, Delivered Weekly)
Home Delivery Avalaible for $5 / Per Box, Pick-Up Locations Available throughout Chicago & Evanston. Delivery is included in price of Spring Shares.

Please contact farm directly for more information about dropsites.
Half-share is biweekly

Full-share is weekly
Spring Share (3 Weeks, May 22 - Jun 5), Main Season Shares (June 12 - October 30)

Heritage Poultry Avalaible to CSA Subscribers at Discounted Rates

About 20 shares are going quickly
Nichols Farm and Orchard
Marengo, IL
web site
Variety of vegetables & fruitFamily farm using sustainable practices and specializing in variety (they grove over 1000 cultivars)$30/week for 20 weeks of vegetables

$40/week for 20 weeks of vegetables & berries

Pickup @ farm & in locations in Chicago & several suburbs (contact farm for details)Weekly20 weeks (Jun-Oct)NoneAvailable
Peasant’s Plot
Manteno, IL
web site
VegetablesSustainable & organicIndividual $320

Family $640
Pickup @ farm, Lincoln Square, Wicker Park, and North CenterWeekly20 weeks, Jun-OctNoneAvailable
Plow Creek
Tiskilwa, IL
web site
Vegetables and berriesMennonite farmers that practice a shalom lifestyle (promoting overall well-being) and farm by being good stewards of the soil through sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry, reducing detrimental use of chemicals and machinery, and by
being economically sustainable
$480/season (Chicago-area pickup)

$430/season (Princeton, IL-area pickup)

Discounts available until Mar. 15th
Pickup in Chicago & PrincetonWeeklyMay-Oct.Eggs shares available50 shares available
Radical Root Farm
Marseilles, IL
web site
VegetablesCertified OrganicFull $585 at Logan Square, $565 at Prairie Crossing

Half $350

Extended Season (Logan Square only) $110
Pickup on farm, or at Logan Square Farmer's Market or Green City MarketWeekly20 weeks (Jun-Oct)NoneAvailable
Ready Jam Farms
Marengo, IL
web site
Vegetables (8-14 varieties including herbs)Organically GrownFull (5/9th bushel): $625

Half (1/4 bushel): $355
Pickup in Marengo, Elgin and ElmhurstWeekly20 weeks (mid-June through Oct)NoneAvailable
Richert/Phillips Farms
North Liberty, IN
Local Harvest page
Fruits & vegetablesSmall farm with new CSA that sells wholesale at farmer's markets and to restaurantsFull $525

Half $300
Pickup at farm, in Palatine, Granger, IN, or Indianapolis, INWeekly June-OctNoneAvailable
Sandhill Organics
Prairie Crossing, IL
web site
Vegetables, herbs & some fruit (80% from their farm; remainder from other local organic farms)Certified OrganicSpring $170 (SOLD OUT)
Summer $510
Fall $170
Fruit $230
farm or in Barrington, Glen Ellyn, Lake Forest, Glenview, Clarendon Hills, Oak Park, GrayslakeWeeklySpring Vegetable Season (early May-early June) & Summer Vegetable Season (mid-Jun – late Sept)Fruit share extraSpring Season is sold out
Scotch Hill Farm
SW Wisconsin
web site
VegetablesOrganic. No synthetic fertilizers, chemicals or herbicidesFull $560
Large Family Double $1060
Pickup in Oak Park, Ravenswood, Old Irving Park, Logan Square, West Town (@ Green Grocer), AndersonvilleWeekly20 weeksFlower shares available for extraAvailable
Simply Wisconsin* (fmrly Homegrown Wisconsin)
Farm Co-op in Southeastern & South Central Wisconsin
web site
or contact Katrina Pine (608) 333-1227
Vegetables; Fruit, fruit butters & honey, when available; (Vegetables include leafy greens, carrots, potatoes, summer squash, peppers & beans); Meat, egg, cheese and "pantry" shares (staple items)Certified Organic produce & eggs. Part of cooperative of 20+ family farms. Also offers cheese, preserves & naturally raised meats.Full $440
Basic $230
Eggs 1 doz/wk for 18 weeks $75 or 1/2 doz/wk for 18 weeks $40

Discount available ujnti March 1st
Pickup @ several locations on Chicago’s North side + Northbrook, Evanston, Highland Park, Lake Bluff, Prospect Heights, Grayslake, Rochelle, Western Springs (Vie) & Orland ParkWeekly20 weeks (beginning in late June through Oct.)Cheese, meat and pantry shares availableAvailable
Sweet Earth Organic Farm
Southwestern Wisconsin
web site
Vegetables (special emphasis on heirloom tomatoes)Certified organic Full (3/4 bushel) $485
Partial (1/2 bushel) $385
Austin, Bridgeport, Old Irving Park, Pilsen, Austin, Bridgeport, Old Irving Park, Pilsen, Wicker Park, Green City Market Arlington Heights, Elgin, Northbrook & EvanstonWeekly or Biweekly20 weeks (beginning in late June)NoneAvailable
Sweet Home Organics
St. Charles, IL
web site
Vegetables and herbsOrganically grown (no synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides -and- GMO free seeds)
Full (5/9 bushel or grocery paper bag) weekly: $625

Half (5/9 bushel) every other week: $350

Full+Half share: $900
Pickup in St. Charles and Villa ParkWeekly or Biweekly18 weeks beginning June 9 through OctoberNone~20 shares available -- order soon
Tempel Farms Organics (frmly Red Tail Farm)
Old Mill Creek, IL
web site
Vegetables & fruitNo herbicides, pesticides or petroleum-based fertilizersFull $585
Half $345
Fruit $275 (16 weeks of Mick Klug fruit)
Pickup @ farm or in Logan Square, Lake Forest or Vernon HillsWeekly (Full) or Biweekly (Half)Full share is 20 weeks (Jun-Oct)
Half share is 10 weeks biweekly
Fruit CSA extraAvailable
Tom's Acres
Hampshire, IL
web site
Vegetables, fruit, herbs, flowers & free-range eggs *Website not updated for 2011*Sustainable practicesNo commitment - order in advance when you want a box (1/2 bushel) $15Pickup @ farm stand in Hoffman Estates, ILWeeklyContact farm for details on growing seasonNoneAvailable
Tomato Mountain Farm
Brooklyn, WI
web site
Vegetables, herbs and strawberriesCertified Organic. Full Season (30 weeks) $1620, large (1 1/9th bushel); $1008, small; (5/9th bushel) $612 solo (1/3 bushel)

Main Season (24 weeks) $1080 (1 1/9th bushel), large; $672, small (5/9th bushel); $408 solo (1/3 bushel)

Fall Season (12 weeks) $540, large (1 1/9th bushel); $336, small (5/9th bushel); $204 solo (1/3th bushel)

Discounts available until March 1st.
Home delivery throughout the greater Chicago area. No pickup sites.WeeklyFull season is from April through Dec.

Main season is from Jun-Sept.

Fall season is from Oct-Dec.
Tomato Mountain's bottled products and extra produce (as available) can be added to weekly delivery.
Ongoing availability; shares will be prorated throughout the season.
Torpland Farm
Grayslate, IL
Local Harvest listing
VegetablesDesigned crop plan according to "five basic color groups in our daily diets: Red, Green, Orange/Yellow, Blue/Purple and White"$550 full season sharePickup in Lisle/Warrenville, Chicago-North, Mundelein, Prairie CrossingWeekly20 weeks (June-Oct.)None50 shares available
Trail's End
Putnam, IL
Local Harvest listing
MeatUSDA-Certified Organic meat that raises grass-fed Scottish Highland/Black Angus cross cattle; beef sold by halves and quarters. $1030/year (1/2 beef)

$2060/year (full beef)

Will receive about 10-12 lbs. of beef per month for 1/2 cow, and 20-24 lobs for full cow.
Pickup in Wheaton, Evanston & Pekin, ILMonthlyYear-roundNoneAvailable year-round
Triple A Farm
St. Anne, IL
web site
VegetablesFamily farm operated by DeGroot brothersWeekly Vegetable Box $23.50Pickup throughout Chicagoland, home delivery available at no extra costWeekly12 weeks (July-Sept)NoneAvailable
Trogg's Hollow
Elgin, IL
web site
Vegetables & herbsFamily-owned and run farm practicing biointesive farming1/2 bushel shares $625Pickup @ farm & other locations TBDWeekly18 weeksNoneSOLD OUT FOR 2011
Videnovich Farms
Bridgman, MI
web site
Vegetables & fruitThe Videnovich family has farmed for centuries in Eastern Europe. Uses old world methods such as minimal pesticides & hand weeding.“Summer Bounty” (8 weeks) $200

Full (22 weeks) $550
Pickup in Andersonville, Logan Square; Possible delivery to Ravenswood & River NorthWeekly22 weeks for Full Season
8 weeks for “Summer Bounty”
Hand-spun, natural yarns available from farm’s sheep
Fall & Winter extensions available
Village Organics
Elk Grove Village, IL
web site
VegetablesGreenhouse-grown; organic methods used, including no chemical pesicides or synthetic fertilizers.No commitment; place orders in advance for pickup.Pickup in Elk Grove Village

Free local delivery in Elk Grove Village for senior citizens.
WeeklyApril-Sept. growing seasonNoneAvailable
Walkup Heritage Farm & Gardens
Crystal Lake, IL
web site

Local Harvest page
Meat & eggs *website not updated for 2011*Raises heritage Poulet Rouge chickens fed on organic feed and ranged in chicken tractors20 weeks poultry at $4/lb

Eggs (year-round) $150 or 10 weeks for $40
Pickup @ farmVaries depending upon arrangement with farmYear-round (eggs) or 6 months (poultry)Flowers extra

Tennessee fainting goats & rabbits for pets for sale
10 shares available
Walnut Acres
Walnut, IL
web site
Meat (Range-fed beef, chicken, pork, turkey, eggs)Meat is free of antibiotics, hormones & animal by-productsMin. 3 month commitment $85/month ($80 if pickup on farm)Pickup @ farm, St. Charles, Ottawa, Streator, Yorkville, NapervilleMonthly or BimonthlyYear-roundCan add-on extra products such as ground beef, sausage patties, links, etc.Available
Wellhausen Farm
Southwestern, WI
web site
Vegetables & fruit (tomatoes, cabbage, green beans, sweet corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, peppers & spinach)No chemical fertilizers, insecticides or herbicides$149 to join, $19/week for 15-22 weeks
Delivered to home. Delivery route includes Bloomingdale, Glen Ellyn, Roselle, West Chicago, Wheaton, Naperville, Lombard & Villa Park Weekly 22 weeks (beginning in mid-June)NoneAvailable
Zanjabil Gardens
St. Anne, IL
web site
Vegetables *Website not updated since 2011*Halaal, biointensive organic method of growing transitioning to certified organicFull $600
Half “Personal Share” $150
Pickup @ farm & in EnglewoodWeeklyApr to DecNoneAvailable



*CSAs denoted with an asterisk are aggregators, meaning that they are non-traditional CSAs in that they do not grow or produce the meat or produce offered, rather, they cull the items from preferred sources.

 We are pleased to have produced the 2011 CSA Guide in conjunction with our friends at



More talking about meat…and Andouille

Posted: February 18, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Last week, Chef Paul Fehribach of Big Jones restaurant in Chicago wrote a post on the restaurant’s blog regarding a new focus on using the whole hog. While his writing is very compelling, and has been for awhile – the blog is very insightful, his passion and commitment to sourcing local whole animal products, and honesty in describing the challenges of doing this in a restaurant setting, is so terribly evident in his post that it is hard not to be inspired. For me, that inspiration led me to use some local meat in an iconic recipe from the blog from Big Jones – Andouille.

As an aside, for me, the impetus for this announcement was also very exciting. The inclusion of Big Jones in the formidable Baconfest lineup moved Fehribach to announce that they have their house-made bacon recipe set. My big qualm with Baconfest was that it didn’t seem like many chefs actually cured and smoked their own bacon. It seems like making your own bacon for the competition would be step one, but it did not seem to be priority and making your own bacon has a special place in my heart.

The recipe for Andouille is pretty simple, but if you look at Big Jones’ recipe it is scaled down to include 20 lbs. of meat and fat. Even for the most staunch carnivores, 20 pounds of andouille is a lot. I scaled it down even further to 4 pounds. I had a really nice bone-in pork shoulder roast from our meat CSA, Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm and some back fat from Slagel Farms, another local farm with amazing pork.

After gathering the ingredients, the two most difficult things are to chop two pounds of pork by hand into 1/2″ cubes and then waiting for three days to cure the sausage before smoking. For hand chopping the pork, I highly suggest freezing the pork shoulder and back fat. For the waiting, consult your DVR.

I have had the Andouille from Big Jones a few times, but most memorably at the Green City Market BBQ when I finally noticed that andouille isn’t a completely ground sausage, but rather a mix of chopped and ground meats. To me, it resembled a brick sausage with the ground bits serving as the mortar. Given that I was using pork casings instead of beef middles, I was slightly concerned about a 1/2″ chop on half of the mix, so I went slightly smaller, but still kept pieces large enough to stand out from ground meat.

After three days of curing in the fridge, the sausages were far more dense and the casings had dried well. Putting the sausages over bourbon barrels instead of pecan wood definitely felt like a departure, but Logan Square’s pecan tree population has dwindled and I have a barrel and a half of amazing smoking wood. The sausages were smoked for over 6 hours and while I was looking for an opaqueness in the casing that I did not get before internal temps hit 155 degrees, I knew after a quick sample that the smoke had make it through the sausage.

We first had this andouille in jambalaya. The andouille made the dish smoky and porky, but it almost felt like the jambalaya was holding the sausage back a little. This sausage is so good that it really belongs on its own or with something simple.

In the end, I truly believe that Fehribach is really connecting some serious dots when he relates how using the whole hog, no matter how trendy, more closely resembles the cooking of our grandparents. That sort of cooking appeals to me.

The Amazing Staying Power of Vegetables

Posted: February 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm

A fair amount of our weekly Friday night dinners start on Wednesday at the latest, scrounging around the basement freezer for meat.  There one can find a few cuts of beef from a very old cow purchase, a hunk or two of Ann Boleyn our pig who came without her head (the subsequent head provided to us was later donated for this video), bits of Bacon the lamb and other assorted carnivore catches.  The fact that meat stays for a long time, frozen, should not surprise.  Can you get your head around the fact that the rest of the dinner that Friday featured various vegetables lying around since at least October, including two bags of very old spinach.  The real key to eating local in a northerly locale like ours is the amazing staying power of vegetables.

We subscribed to the fall/winter CSA from Tomato Mountain.*  The CSA included much spinach.  Much.  A smart locavore would have blanched and froze the spinach for later use; a knowing locavore just waited for a later use.  Now, I will admit that not 100 percent of the fall spinach made it to February use.  I will also admit that I was not necessarily able to make spinach salad from this spinach.  Still, after weeding out the bad leaves and snipping the occasional yellow tips, we had more than enough spinach to make one of my favorite dishes, Greek style spinach-rice.  I’ll add that although the recipe for the spinach-rice called for green onions, we could substitute leeks also from long storage–with leeks, just rid yourselves of the whithered outer leaves and there is plenty leeky goodness inside.

The amount of good spinach around for dinner should have been a little amazing, but I am not that amazed that the rest of the veg that went into the dinner, the turnips and potatoes for the lamb stew; the rutabaga that got mashed with Moroccan spices and the white cabbage for my famous lemon-y garlic cabbage salad are known keepers.  All we do is keep them cold and damp and they stay amazingly well for us. 

I remain convinced that the secret to producing a true local food system in the Chicago area comes from the amazing staying power of vegetables.  Much more effort gets focused on winter/indoor production.  Even if a nice green salad breaks the monotony of winter eating, it’s not like an abundance of rocket and chard will make for more local eating anyways.  We can, however, fill up our root cellars with a big variety of vegetables, from sweet squash to sulfurous onions.  The only thing missing, of course, is an abundance of root cellars.  The person who builds the community root cellar, who recognizes the amazing staying power of vegetables will be the person who advances the cause of eating local more than any re-packer and I-57 warehouse.  It will also be a person who makes some money.

*My wife was employed by Tomato Mountain at the time of our subscription.  We did not receive a discount on the subscription but received free home delivery.


French beer from Chicagoland? Mon dieu!

Posted: February 18, 2011 at 5:31 am

So I was talking with my new best friend, Igor, at a small bar in the Latin Quarter in Paris (gotta love that generous Local Beet travel budget).

“Zat Fischer Beer … eet iz craap.” he said, seemingly with authority.

I’d always thought Fischer was a pretty good beer. Even if it is a Heineken product.

With very little authority, I replied, “Well, if you really want a good French beer, you’ll have to come to Chicago.” I didn’t think Igor would know where Warrenville is.

He gave me a look that suggested, “You must be out of your mind.”

Post-hangover, it got me thinking. Could two brothers from Illinois really make a French-style beer that rivals the stuff they make in France? (It also begs the bigger question – what could those skinny, effete, wine-drinking, smelly cheese eating snobs that make up the bulk of the French populace possibly know about beer? That’s a question I won’t attempt to explore here.)

I had to do a blind tasting. So I assembled a random variety of French beers, and compared them to Domaine DuPage, a flagship brew from Warrenville’s Two Brothers Brewery. (It’s made in DuPage County, hence Domaine DuPage … get it?)

As it happens, my little brother was in town, so he joined me in this blind tasting. Mind you, his beer fridge is loaded with Bud Light, so you know where his taste buds lie. If he even has functioning taste buds.

We compared the Domaine DuPage to La Goudale (aka the Good Ale), self described as a “biére blonde å l’ anciennne” from Douai, France, northwest of Paris, the aforementioned Fischer Amber (from Schiltigheim, in Alsace), Gavroche, from St Sylvestre Cappel (near the Belgium border), Valmy (from the Champagne region), and Brasserie Lebbe l’ Amalthée, from the Hautes-Pyrenees. A pretty damn good assortment of French beers, if I do say so myself.

l to r, Gavroche, Domaine DuPage, Brasserie Lebbe l’ Amalthée, Valmy, La Goudale, and Fischer

l to r, Gavroche, Domaine DuPage, Brasserie Lebbe l’ Amalthée, Valmy, La Goudale, and Fischer

So, scores. The biggest discrepancy between my tastebud-challenged brother and me was on the Valmy. He liked the hopppiness, I thought it was overly astringent. We almost agreed on the Brasserie Lebbe l’ Amalthée, liking the hoppiness and balance with the malts. The La Goudale was thin, bright yellow, not much flavor, and if anything, it was Budweiser-like (and no, that’s not a good thing). The Fischer had a stale taste, but getting past that, it did have a rich nuttiness. I guess, overall, I’d have to agree somewhat with Igor about the Fischer.

The winner? We’re really not trying to be homies here, but there was no question that the Domaine DuPage was the tastiest French brew. My little brother called its taste “rounder” than the others. I thought the rich maltiness shone through. It could be because the Domaine Dpage was fresher, and didn’t have to suffer a transatlantic boat ride (these are not high alcohol beers that benefit from aging.) The Valmy, though, should have been reasonably fresh, as it came over in my luggage from the market where we purchased it in Epernay, France.)

Other than the Domaine DuPage, I almost never agree with my baby brother about anything.

But these two brothers agreed that Two Brothers Domaine DuPage beats out a bunch of brews actually made in France.

Igor would be dismayed. That could be a good thing. Mon dieu!

Learn to Make Cheese with the Local Beet’s Keighty Alvarez

Posted: February 17, 2011 at 11:33 pm


Hey fellow cheese lovers!

Come check out some home cheese making in action at the FamilyFarmed Expo  Good Food Festival on Saturday  March 19th.

I’ll be moderating the panel, Home Cheese Making: How To Make Fresh Cheese at Home!

It will be super informative and a great opportunity to see all the stuff I’ve been writing about.

Click here for more info about the workshops.

Click here for info about tickets.

Hope to see you there!

Can We Call Them Winter Markets on this Local Calendar

Posted: February 17, 2011 at 6:08 pm

How warm is it.  Warm enough that I opened my office window and also let the cat out of said window.  Do we still call them Winter Markets when the snow has all melted?  Well, just because there are puddles all around, don’t think the local food supply has increased much. 


We remain in the part of the year where it is not a question of what’s “in season”, it’s a question of “what’s available.” As noted above, we believe there may be a bit more indoor grown produce this week.  Please let us know what you are seeing.

Indoor grown vegetables: lettuces, spinach, micro-greens, mushrooms, cucumbers, herbs, rocket; root vegetables (very limited supplies): beets, carrots, celery root, sunchokes; storage crops like onions, potatoes, and apples, and winter squash.


These stores specialize in local foods:

It’s open! Eat locally butchered meat at the Butcher and the Larder.

C&D Pastured Pork’s sales around town.

We bet, if you look around, you can also find local foods at various grocery stores, especially local apples, onions, winter squash and potatoes.


Saturday - February 19

Brookfield – Winter market associated with Faith in Place at Faith Luthern Church – 12 PM – 3 PM – 3801 Madison, Brookfield

Geneva – Geneva Community Market – Inglenook Pantry – 11 N. 5th Street, Geneva – 9 AM – 1 PM

Sunday – February 20

Chicago – Logan Square Farmers Market – 2135 N. Milwaukee – 10 – 2 PM – All sorts of things on for Sunday including Otter Creek cheddars, Mint Creek lamb, and Tempel Farms eggs; Otter Creek Organic Farm also has grass fed beef and pasture raised organic pork and chicken – Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee – 10 AM – 2 PM

Chicago – Winter market associated with Faith in Place at Ebenezer Lutheran Church – 1650 W. Foster Ave. – 9A – 1 PM

Tuesday – February 22

Chicago – Logan Square Kitchen hosts the Chicago debut of the new documentary, Ingredients.  In addition to the film screening (approximately 70 min), the event includes networking with other locavores, food provided by Chef Matt Maroni of gaztro-wagon and a closing panel session featuring farmers and chefs.  Chef Matt Maroni will be preparing a sampler of his locally-famous naanwiches with locally-sourced ingredients. - $25 per person (includes seat and food from gastro-wagon); a cash bar will offer selected brews from Chicago’s own Revolution and Haymarket breweries.  You must purchase tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets - 2333 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago – 630 PM

Chicago – Our friend, Ann Flood, Editor of Edible Chicago, mans the bar at Prairie Fire, mixing up treats including the locavore tinged “maple-tini”.  Your tips support the Peterson Garden Project – 215 N. Clinton

Wednesday – February 23

Chicago – Soup and Bread at the Hideout benefiting local food pantries – 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago – 530 PM – 730 PM


Saturday – February 26

Chicago – Green City Market – Theme: Meat & Potatoes – 8 AM – 1 PM – Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Tuesday – March 1

Chicago – Slow Food Chicago Breadmaking Workshop – Guests will learn about ciabatta and its many uses, as well as Sardinian semolina crackers and various toppings for ciabatta dough. The instructor will be Anne Kostroski, an alum of the Culinary Institute of America and a veteran of such esteemed kitchens as Tra Vigne in California and Citronelle in Washington, D.C. In 2009, she founded Crumb baking company. – Whole Foods Lincoln Park, 1550 N. Kingsbury St., Chicago

Saturday – March 5

Chicago - Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse presents a Gardening Exchange Event – The opportunity to take basic organic gardening classes (a mix of free classes and class @ $5), purchase compost and seeds, and find gently used gardening and cooking tools at bargain prices - Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse – 3501 N. Kilbourn, Chicago – 1 PM – 4 PM

Chicago – Winter market associated with Faith in Place at Bethany Evangelical Lutheran Church – 9147 S. Jeffery Blvd - 10 AM – 2 PM

Saturday – March 12

Oak Park – Winter market associated with Faith in Place at Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church - 405 Euclid Ave – 9 AM - 1 PM


March 13 – Slow Food Chicago Book Club – Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Vegetable Miracle – at First Slice Pie Cafe (4401 N. Ravenswood Ave.) at 2:00 p.m.  To learn more, or to purchase the book, visit here.  RSVP for the event by emailing

March 17 – 19 – Expo including Financing Farm to Fork, Chicago Food Policy Summit, Localicious Party and Consumer Day.

March 19 – Equinox Farm Dinner – Heritage Prairie Farm – Elburn

April 30 – GreenNet’s 19th Annual Green & Growing Urban Gardening Fair – Garfield Park, Chicago

Now Available: Bike Delivery For Your CSA Box

Posted: February 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Now that we have more choices for a CSA than ever (stay tuned for The Local Beet’s 2011 Guide), a company is offering bike delivery of your CSA box to your home from the farm’s dropsite point (check out the picture of the cool bike trailer on their website).  This service, called Loaded Bikes, is available throughout the year, and would be ideal for those seeking home delivery of a CSA that only offers generalized dropsites, or for those who cannot fit a dropsite pickup into their busy schedules.  Beginning at $6/week (full-season rate), Loaded Bikes will deliver your CSA box to your house, and for a surcharge of $2 (depending on advanced notice), will deliver it on an ad-hoc weekly basis.  And for $3 more per week or every other week, Loaded Bikes will pick up your compostable scraps, and deliver them to community gardens throughout the city.

For more information, please contact Margot Considine ( or visit their website.

One Comment

Food Maven in Midst Offers Welcome

Posted: February 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm

If you have discovered the Local Beet via David “Hat” Hammond’s recent placement of me as a food maven in the midst of Oak Park, welcome.  If you have not seen the placement, go visit now. 

If you are just getting used to the the Local Beet and the Eat Local lifestyle, we suggest you start with our regularly updated Local Calendar (most recent version here). 

Although this page is a bit dated, it still contains good links for our RSS feeds, our Facebook page and some of our Twitter personae.  It’s another good place to know how to follow us.

Don’t forget to have a glass of local wine with your local food, and our wine expert Wendy Aeschlimann makes the case for local wine.  Read her arguments here as well several other pieces she has done for the Local Beet.

Keighty Alvarez teaches you how to make your own cheese and also writes, with love, about other cheesey topics.

Our latest expert in Mark Smrecek who covers home curing, sausage making and other meaty matters.  Mark wants you to know that the obvious course of action, when one finds a beef navel is to make pastrami.

To dive into our rich history, scroll to the bottom of this page and engage our robust search engine

Any questions, let us know via comments or by using our contact us page.

If you want to follow us using RSS feeds, Twitter or Facebook, you can find a partially dated list of our various feeds and such here.

Grow Your Business with the 2011 FamilyFarmed Expo – March 17, 18 & 19

Posted: February 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm


For the third year, the Local Beet is a part of FamilyFarmed’s three day celebration of local food.   More than a celebration, the Expo is a premier way to place yourself in the local food scene and learn how to expand your business.  Expect to hear much more from us about the forthcoming event.  And make sure to come see the Local Beet at the Expo.  On March 18 and 19, we will have a table at the Expo to address your questions about eating local as well as to provide you information to help you choose your CSA for 2011.  Also, on 2011, we are proud to participate in a panel on eating local year round.  The session, “Yes We Can” features such notables as Paul Virant from Vie and Terra Brockman, author of The Seasons at Henry’s Farm.  Finally, the host of the Local Beet’s Cheesey Conversations, Keighty Alvarez, leads a panel on March 20th on home cheese making.  Scroll down for more of what’s in store for the Expo and keep your eyes on the Beet for additional details.

Farmers and Producers: Grow Your Business by learning about financing and meeting investors on March 17. On March 18, meet those in the trade like school food service administrators, grocery buyers and distributors, chefs, and more! On March 19, meet thousands of direct consumers and build relationships to last throughout the year!

Trade Buyers, Investors, Bankers, Chefs, Food Service Administrators: Grow Your Business on March 17 by connecting with farmers and producers looking to start and expand their businesses. On March 18, meet and develop relationships with dozens of farmers and producers looking to sell wholesale.  On March 19, check out the Good Food Festival to discover some of the best in the good food movement!

 Thursday March 17

Financing Farm to Fork Conference:
The Financing Farm to Fork Conference supports the local food movement by encouraging investment in farm and food production, processing, and distribution businesses. The event is being produced by and sponsored by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.  The conference features a Financing Fair and Business Plan Competition. Keynote speakers include Gary Hirshberg, CEO of Stonyfield Farm and Will Allen, CEO of Growing Power.

Friday March 18
FamilyFarmed Trade Show:

This day-long event is the leading Midwest trade show connecting farmers and food producers with trade buyers.  It also offers programming and technical assistance to support farmers, trade buyers, and other stakeholders to grow their business and the local food movement.  The day will conclude with a Meet the Buyers Reception where farmers and food companies can meet leading buyers interested in local food.

Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council Summit:  

Leaders in food access, urban agriculture, and food policy meet to advocate for a sustainable and fair food system serving the city of Chicago and its suburbs.

What’s Working in School Food:

On Friday, March 18, with support from Healthy Schools Campaign and Illinois Farm to School Network, School Food Focus will lead a day of programming focused on moving school food procurement towards more healthful, regionally-sourced and sustainably-produced options.

 Meet the Buyers:

Meet some of Chicagoland’s largest buyers of local foods! This event is meant to play matchmaker between farmers and food producers and a wide range of buyers from supermarkets, distributors, restaurants, and institutions. It’s a reverse trade show in which the buyers have a table and meet farmers and food producers.  

 Localicious Party: 

Localicious is the food event of the season! Join us for fabulous food and drinks, live music provided by Liquid Soul, and an opportunity to connect with other good food enthusiasts. The party pairs family farms with chef-driven restaurants for a sampling of the freshest ingredients and flavors of the season.  Whether you’re a foodie, locavore, or just someone who loves good food, you don’t want to miss it!

 Saturday, March 19
Sally Fallon leads our fun and engaging workshop lineup. Learn about growing your own food, canning, food activism, making cheese, vertical farming, shopping local on a budget, using the whole animal, and raising chickens in your backyard!

Good Food Festival:
Stephanie Izard leads our 2011 all-star line-up of celebrity chefs, food artisans and of course family farmers!  You can meet farme rs, sign up for a CSA and learn how to eat local year-round, sample and purchase local produce, cheese, meats, honey, wool, soaps, and other great products. Also check out the Kids Corner, Local Food Court, bookstore, and more!

More Straight Meat Talk: Francis Lam Breaks Down Chicken Saturday, February 12th, 2011
UPDATED – Make a Salad with This Filled Up Local Calendar Friday, February 11th, 2011
Making Local Beef Navel Pastrami at Home Friday, February 11th, 2011
Paul Fehribach Of Big Jones Talks Straight About Sourcing Local Meat Thursday, February 10th, 2011
I Cannot Believe I Ate the Whole Cow Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
Will New FDA Guidelines Affect Our Cheese? Saturday, February 5th, 2011
Shopping for local food before a blizzard reminds us of generations past Friday, February 4th, 2011
Again, You Can Find Local Food with This Local Calendar Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
Contemplating Cheese Seasons While Waiting Out a Snow Storm Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
Advocates for Urban Agriculture Winter Meeting – CANCELLED Tuesday, February 1st, 2011