Say Muskmelons with This Local Calendar

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August 25, 2011 at 9:50 am

Are you still wondering why the Green City Market needed to move aside for the Air & Water Show.  Given the awful weather last Saturday, it seems an especially good decision in retrospect, huh?  Well, this week you can safely visit the market by Lincoln Park.  We hope the forced closure helped show you the many other fine markets around town but also showed you some of the things that make GCM special and unique.  Whether you want to re-visit Green City or find a new market, Use our searchable, sortable, Market Locator to find a market near you.

We’ve been on you for a while to make plans to attend the Cork and Crayons benefit for Purple Asparagus.  You only have a few more days to get your tickets.  If you cannot attend, you have the chance to participate via their online silent auction.  After that, there are many other good things to do on the Calendar.

WHAT TO BUY NOW

We feel like we can, and should, tell you to keep on buying tomatoes, but we know we should move on to other items.  So, this week, we say get melons.  After all, the season for local melons is not that long.  If you always thought a watermelon tasted best when trucked in from the south, try one from the farmer’s market to make sure.  Here’s another thing, want to sound like you know what you are talking about, say muskmelon not cantaloupe, because what you will nearly always find at farmer’s markets are muskmelons, not cantaloupe.  Of course, muskmelon or not, there are all sorts of heirloom and speciality ones at the markets.  Peter Klein of Seedlings likes to grow fancy European varieties like cantaloupes.  Besides muskmelons and watermelons, you can find other types of melons around.  Nichol’s Farm may be the best for exotic melons, but Henry’s Farm in Evanston usually has some Asian varieties this time of year.

This is peak peach season.  Gorge.

WHAT TO BUY SOON (OR LOOK FOR KEENLY)

Each week will bring in new and different varieties of apples.  Keep an eye out for your favorite.  Same with pears.

STORAGE NOTES

Please remember that the seasonal apples, onions and potatoes in the market now are not meant for long term cellaring.  In fact, the need to be kept in the fridge or they will spoil easily.

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

Pay attention, the local supermarkets continue to advertise local foods.

WHAT TO DO NOW

August 25 – Beer at City Provisions Deli – You know we think highly of Cleetus Friedman and his City Provisions Deli.  We also like that he’s always doing new things just to impress us.  For instance, now he’s working with local brewers to produce new and interesting beers.  He unveils his first collaboration on Thursday, August 25, Kirsch Von Blücher (a sweet cherry dunkel weiss beer), made with Flossmoor Station Brewery.  Tasting and schmoozing from 6 to 8 PM.  Our beer guy, Tom, is hoping to hop by for a sample (or two).

Kirsch Von
Blücher(a sweet cherry dunkel weiss beer), his
collaboration with Flossmoor Station Brewery

August 26 -Farmageddon opens at the Gene Siskel Film Center.  Additional information here.

August 27 – Crop Mob – Join the Green City Market Junior Mob, I mean Board, for a Crop Mob at Radical Root Farms.  Expect a bit of hard work followed by a nice lunch as well as tons of intangible rewards.  Well worth the daytrip.  Details here.

August 28 - Cork & Crayons Benefit for Purple Asparagus at UnCommon Ground – The family-friendly event brings foodies old and young together to celebrate the joys of family meals and healthy eating all for and to support the good works of our friends at Purple Asparagus.   The event will include a mini farmers’ market sponsored by Harvest Moon Organics farm, music from Old Town School of Folk Music artists, a raffle, and a silent auction for bidding on gourmet treats, getaways, and more. Guests will enjoy selections from Uncommon Ground’s kitchen and Candid Wines. Attendees will also be able to tour the certified-organic green roof atop Uncommon Ground where the restaurant grows some of the produce on its menu.  $60 for adults ($65 at the door), $15 for ages 5-20 ($20 at the door). Kids under 5 are free.  Tickets can be purchased via credit card at www.brownpapertickets.com or by check payable to Purple Asparagus sent in care of Melissa Graham, 1824 W Newport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657 - Uncommon Ground, 1401 W. Devon Ave., Chicago

August 28 – Head straight from Cork and Crayons to another good cause.  Local ice cream maker Kris Swanberg came to the attention of the State food police who want her to switch from fresh fruits to syrups and packaged “milk” from good, local milk.  Her friends at Revolution Brewery have offered their space and their beers to help raise funds and awarenessfor the plight of Kris and others in her similar situations.  5 PM to 8 PM at Revolution Brewing, 2323 N. Milwaukee, Chicago.  Additional information and ticket information can be found here.

September 9 – Spence Farm Foundation Benefit Dinner — White Oak Gourmet will cater a 5-course menu featuring local products from Spence Farm, Sabeno Farm, and Faith’s Farm. All proceeds from the dinner will benefit the educational programs of the Spence Farm Foundation.  For more information, see here.

September 11 – Slow Food Chicago Presents 3rd Annual Pig Roast at Goose Island – Simply, local chef’s serve local pig.  Five area chefs have their way with hogs from Illinois’s Slagel Farm for the benefit of Slow Food Chicago.  2 – 5 PM at Goose Island, 1800 W. Fulton Street, Chicago.  Go here for details and tickets.

September 11 – County Fair – Cook is a county too.  A county fair will be held to celebrate the agricultural traditions and possibilities on the West Side of Chicago.  11am – 4pm - Garfield Park Conservatory

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