How Will You Market with This Spring Local Calendar

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April 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm

We really could repeat, repeat, repeat our Spring rants with each April Local Calendar.  The story mostly remains the same.  Where can we get actual local food.  Now.  See, there is food in the Spring.  In the Upper Midwest.  Let’s say you happened to find yourself in Madison, Wisconsin this weekend (and God, we wished that’s where we could find ourselves).  You would find a market full with products.  There would be a bit of cold storage.  Those very last celery roots and sunchokes and burdock roots save for the most committed to local eating.  There would also be the fresh, the new, the recent: ramps and morels and sorrel and nettles and watercress and various other short season items.  And there remains products coaxed forward by farmers with the foresight, for instance, to leave carrots or parsnips in the ground for a spring crop, or others using hoop house low tech to get spinach and rocket and lettuces to a market in April. 

Want to schlep, but not all the way to Madison?  The Grayslake market started on April 2.  Here’s a list of their Spring vendors.  We know that one of the vendors, Geneva Lakes Produce, has a robust indoor production, so you might be pleasantly surprised with the produce available now.

WHAT TO BUY NOW

You just might start seeing  the first Spring  crops: radishes, watercress, ramps, sorrel, fiddle-head ferns, nettles, and green garlic.  There may probably be more  indoor grown vegetables: lettuces, spinach, micro-greens, mushrooms, cucumbers, herbs, rocket even turnips and beets if you have a good CSA;  whats left in storage crops will be onions, potatoes, celery root, beets and apples.

Do continue to 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.  The Downtown Farmstand sells Three Sisters Garden dried beans.  Use the local.

WHAT TO BUY SOON (OR LOOK KEENLY)

Asparagus!  Green Onions

WHERE TO FIND LOCAL FOODS

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.

New! We learned of an Indiana farm growing lettuces, basil and rocket (a/k/a arugula) indoors called Eden Farms.  They sell mostly now in Indiana, but they also sell to the Sunset Foods stores on the North Shore. 

We are still seeing Michigan apples at Caputo’s.  We’ve also espied storage beets from Midwestern farms.

WHAT TO DO NOW

Saturday - April 16

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

Grayslake – Spring Farmer’s Market – Downtown Grayslake – 10 AM – 2 PM

Green Metropolis FairMindful Metropolis and the Green Parent’s Network deliver a day focused on celebrating Spring, wellness and sustainable living.  Free entry! (non-perishable food donation requested).  Presentations on car-sharing, gardening, composting, CSAs, and more. Irish American Heritage Center - 4626 N. Knox, Chicago IL – 10 AM – 4 PM

Sunday – April 17

Slow Food Chicago Book Club – Come discuss a History of the World in 6 Glasses – First Slice Cafe – 4401 N. Ravenswood, Chicago – 2 PM – See the Slow Food Chicago calendar for additional details.

Monday – April 18

Our friend Jon-David, the Mafia Hairdresser, made us aware of  GREEN CHICAGO @ Joseph Michael’s Salon & Spa..
GREEN CHICAGO is an Earthday Celebration where “Social Media Royalty meet Chicagoland Green Groups” to mingle, have fun & learn about each other. Your ticket includes munchies, fabulous beverages & a special “Mafia-Mojito” made by jon-david.  Pepsi Refresh Challenge winner, Alicia Ontiveros, will be screening a portion of Meet the Gulf, her documentary about the people in the Gulf of Mexico affected by the BP Oil Spill.  All ticket and raffle purchasers go into weekly raffles leading up to the event and 1 lucky Ticket Event attendee will win a Hair Make-Over at Joseph Michael’s Salon & Spa.  Mother Nature herself will be your special guest ambassador and show you how a salon can turn into a GREEN CHICAGO tradeshow and how a spa can turn into a screening room.  At this event green-guy/writer/hairdresser jon-david will be launching & signing his book, Mafia Hairdresser, and all proceeds will go to Climate Cycle, the May 22nd Chicago fun bike ride which put solar power in Chicago schools. You will also be able to sign up for Climate Cycle. Pre-Purchase your book and pick it up at Green Chicago, 1313 Ritchie Ct. anytime after March 31.  TICKETS now on sale VIA EVENTBRITE .  See also the Mafia Hairdresser site for more information.

Wednesday – April 20

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

WHAT TO DO SOON

April 23 - Chicago – Green City Market – 8 AM – 1 PM – Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

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

SAVE THE DATE!

June 7 – Taste the Great Lakes – Freshwater fish dinner at Dirks with Slow Food Chicago

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2 Comments

  1. Arvis Johnston says:

    Chicago’d Downtown Farmers Market was one of 18 that received the Golden Beet award last Thursday from The Illinois Stewardship Alliance.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-04-14/features/chi-golden-beet-winners–20110414_1_winners-jim-slama-rick-bayless

  2. Robin Schirmer says:

    The outdoor season cometh!

    As far as I know, Frankfort Country Market, http://www.frankfortcountrymarket.org, is the first market in the area to go outdoors, starting Sunday, May 1, 10am to 2pm.

    Green City Market opens in Lincoln Park (the south end this year) on Wednesday, May 4, 7am to 1pm. Not far behind are Evanston, Palatine, Homer Glen, and Saturday Green City Market on Saturday, May 7.

    And they start rolling out more each week after that….

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