Eating From the Market is Green with This Week’s Local Calendar

May 6, 2011 at 9:26 am

First, a note of usage on this week’s Local Calendar and the Local Calendar’s for the next several months (until the end of October or so).  With the markets going and the food supply filling, we will no longer list every area market.  Instead, we will point you each week to our Market Locator to find a farmer for you.  Also, we will not list each item “in season”; rather, we will highlight certain items to especially get now.  The Local Calendar remains your premier weekly resource to living the eat local life.  We just recognize that this time of year, your resource needs change.

Second, this week’s calendar theme: green.  One of our reoccurring motifs of market eating is market color.  At various points in the year, your farmer’s market will display a distinct hue.  It may be the vivid red of late summer or the waning browns of October markets.  There may be a time when it seems mostly blue with certain berries, and dark cherries dominating the stands.  And this time of year, early, Spring, predictably, green goes the market.  Nearly all of the first market offerings lean green.  I mean even the first seasonal fruit (really a veg), rhubarb shows a greenish tint.  Besides green lettuces, green spinach, green greens like turnips and kale, we get the green versions of certain products.  This time of year, we get green garlic and immature green onions.  Eating from the market is green, more so in May.


Want a good sense of what’s in season?  Mo pretty much covered it with this wrap-up of the first outdoor Green City Market of 2011.  Where should you focus your buying efforts?  We think three areas.  Sneeze and you’ll miss ‘em–this products have the slightest of season and most of their season is past already; grab these treats when you can: nettles, ramps, morels, sorrelWhat Spring tastes like–several factors effect seasonal eating, and one of the key ways Spring tastes different is from the ample use of the bright, sharp green garlic and green onions.  It’s that time of they year, local luxury: asparagus.


Rhubarb, strawberries


These stores specialize in local foods:

City Provisions Deli in Ravenswood, Chicago

Downtown Farmstand in the Loop, Chicago

Green Grocer in West Town, Chicago 

Dill Pickle Coop in Logan Square, Chicago

Marion Street Cheese Market in Oak Park

Butcher and the Larder in Noble Square, Chicago

C&D Pastured Pork, locations for purchase here.  Also follow on Facebook for information regarding whereabouts.

An Indiana farm growing lettuces, basil and rocket (a/k/a arugula) indoors called Eden Farms sells mostly now in Indiana, but they also sell to the Sunset Foods stores on the North Shore.

We are still seeing Michigan apples and Wisconsin potatoes here and there.

Whole Foods is the source for local ramps


Farmer’s Markets

Several area farmer’s markets open this weekend, while Glenwood holds the last indoor market.  We have listed them below.  For other markets active or soon to be active, see our newly minted Locator.

Saturday – May 7

Sunday – May 8

Morel Festivals

Wendy rounds up several area festivals dedicated to this spring treat.

Other Eat Local Activities

Saturday – May 7

 Purple Asparagus, Visit with best-selling author of World Without Fish, Mark Kuransky, to discuss the importance of marine conservation and what we do to make sure that we don’t live in a World Without Fish. Special guests include representatives from the Shedd Aquarium who will lead us through an interactive activity to show how interconnected we are with all of the world’s species. Demonstration by Dirk Fucik of Dirk’s Fish and Gourmet who’ll treat us to a delicious dish made with sustainable seafood. Free. Peggy Notebaert Museum, 2430 N. Canon Drive, Chicago. 11 am to 1 pm.

Bake sale to benefit Share Our Strength’s at Butcher and Larder  from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m put on by Roll Chicago.  Beet meat expert, Mark Smrecek’s making pork pies.  The Butcher and Larder is located at 1026 N. Milwaukee. For additional information go here.   


May 19 – Slow Food Chicago, Farm-to-Table Series, Big Jones, Chicago, 5-course menu featuring local farms. $49 includes tax, gratuity, and a $10 donation to Slow Food Chicago. Optional beverage pairings: $25. More information here.

May 22 - Our friend Jim Javenkoski throws his next Locavore Dinner, which includes a screening of the new documentary, Ingredients, at Kitchen Chicago.  The dinner will include a 4-course dinner menu designed by Chef Derrick Wcislak of Pure Kitchen Catering.  More details and tickets ($65/$75) are available here.

May 25 – Savor the Seasons Tasting Festivals: Lettuce, Green City Market, Chicago, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. June 7 – Taste the Great Lakes Dinner – Freshwater fish dinner at Dirk’s Fish with Slow Food Chicago. More information here.

August 3 — Outstanding in the Field with Paul Virant of Vie and Bare Knuckle Farm, Northport, MI.  There are a lot of great farm dinners with local farms this summer with Outstanding in the Field, but join The Local Beet in making the trek north for this one, as it promises to be special as anyone who has tasted Bare Knuckle’s pork belly from Duroc Cross hogs can attest.  More information here.