Not to Late for an Eggsellent Time at Green City Market with This Local Calendar

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April 22, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Did the last Local Calendar predict snow?  Was your first thought, like mine, when you saw the white, what about the pear trees.  Still, it’s hard to think ahead to fall fruit when the fields barely deliver any Spring fare.  The ability of Mother Nature to sprinkle some April snow on us just adds to our eat local frustrations.  Of course, we cannot have any local food yet.

Or can we.  The best of the local food coming in late April comes not from the storage sheds and not from hard fields but from the cozy hoop houses.  For farmers deep in plastic, this season produces bountiful crops of cold weather beauties.  Most of this food, however, goes to restaurants or CSA customers.  If you are a market shopper you may still feel frustrated.  We are hoping, however, to see enough on Saturday at Green City Market.  See below for our best guesses as to what’s in season now.

WHAT TO BUY NOW

You can find three types of items in season now in the Chicago area.  First, see  the first Spring  crops: radishes, watercress, ramps, sorrel, fiddle-head ferns, nettles, green onions, and green garlic.   Second, there is a robust crop of  indoor vegetables: lettuces, spinach, micro-greens, mushroomsherbs, rocket,  carrots, turnips and beets.  Finally, there’s what’s left in storage crops: onions, potatoes, celery root, beets and apples.

Do continue to resist the tyranny of the fresh for a few more weeks.  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!  

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 there.

WHAT TO DO NOW

Saturday - April 23

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

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

Wednesday – April 27

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

SAVE THE DATE!

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

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