We Look in All Directions for the Local Calendar
We might believe it a bit unfair to live in an area where it takes until nearly the end of June for fava beans to show on the Local Calendar. And if we wait in frustration for our fruits to show even as the rest of the country already has their peaches, should not we really scream during the months of endless apples? We seem in a zone far from ideal local eating. Still, we have one big thing in our favor. We live in the middle. Sure, every place is in the middle of something, yet most places are in the middle of the same. When you travel 100 or so miles from other places, you find mostly the same fruits and vegetables. When you travel around Chicago, you find an array of agricultural zones and seasons. It means our asparagus comes for a long period as it pops up in different areas. It means that as the strawberries of Illinois and Michigan are ending, the ones from Wisconsin are just coming. Because our markets contain farms from four states and many zones (Indiana too), we get items for longer periods. We might wait a while on our Local Calendar, but then it is a last Calendar.
WHAT TO BUY NOW
Well, finally, we can say, fava beans exist on the Local Calendar. Of course, only a few local farmers sell them, so you cannot expect to find them at every market. Cherries are coming in now, so your fruit selection should widen. Strawberries and raspberries also exist. We see the seasons earliest cucumbers. We also saw some new potatoes.
WHAT TO BUY SOON (OR LOOK FOR KEENLY)
WHERE TO FIND LOCAL FOODS
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 Larder in Noble Square, Chicago
WHAT TO DO NOW
July 6 – Meetup and Tour – The Talking Farm – Hang with our friend’s at the Talking Farm and learn about their activities – 615 – 745 PM – 3701 Howard, Skokie (at the Tot Learning Center Parking Lot)
July 10 – Slow Food Chicago Book Club – Alice Waters and Chez Panisse by Thomas McNamee – 2- 3 PM – First Slice Cafe, 4401 N. Ravenswood, Chicago – RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.