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

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