Accept the Challenges with This Local Calendar
Our friends and collegues at Slow Food Chicago and Green City Market ask that all of us take some challenges. Challenge yourself to eat even more local over the next two weeks and challenge yourself to eat for $5 or less. Towards those challenges, they offer you in return, a host of resources and celebrations. This Saturday, September 10, the Local Beet and other organizations camp out at Green City Market to provide you information to meet these challenges. This Sunday, September 11, Slow Food Chicago, Goose Island and a team of top chefs offers you a pig roast, music and beer. A week from Saturday, Slow Food and Green City Market say, throw down some blankets and make a $5 lunch.
WHAT TO BUY NOW
This is the time of year that the market is most red. Of course red tomatoes that have been around for a while, but especially the now fully ripe red peppers. Market shoppers know that as in so much there, they can choose a range of shapes, sizes and varieties when it comes to red peppers. Don’t just thing bell; with have seen glamourus “lipstick” reds and round cherry, the kind you seldom otherwise see raw. The red peppers on offer start in the negatives on the Scoville scale, really sweet, and go all the way up to the why would anyone eat them range. Try ‘em all anyways.
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.
Most of the onions now in the market have been dried and “cured”, allowing for long term-storage. On the other hand, we see a mix still of potatoes. There are older potatoes, that is those more than a few weeks old and there are freshly dug potatoes. The new potatoes are not meant for storage. If in doubt, ask the farmer. Also with the apples, if in doubt on a particular variety, ask the farmer if it keeps.
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
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
September 18 – Harvest Celebration in our State’s Capital to benefit Illinois Stewardship Alliance – This local food gala features six fabulous local chefs who will prepare tasting plates featuring fresh, seasonal locally produced foods for another good cause. Diners can peruse a silent auction, enjoy hearing from our compelling guest speakers and sip on Illinois Wine or Springfield’s Rolling Meadows Brewery. Additional information and ticket information here.
September 17 – Yes you can eat local, good, organic food for less than you think. Slow Food set the bar at $5 a person, and we think that’s a bar easily met. On this day, a bunch of people like us who believe in the ability to eat well, without spending much, will gather at the Green City Market. Look forward to additional details soon.
September 18 – Harvest dinner – Hazzard Free Farms – Our friend Lee Greene works with Midwestern farmers to create tasty, value added products at Scrumptious Pantry. Before she became interested in what it tastes like around here, she was wading in the tastes of Italy, spending her formative years in Tuscany. She shares her Tuscan heritage with this multi-course menu, featuring local produce. The day also includes yoga instruction from SKo-Fit and bluegrass music from the Kodiak Farm Boys. Tickets and additional information here.
September 21 – Locavore Picnic and Celebration - Share your success in the Locavore Challenge with Green City Market’s Annual Challenge Completion Party – Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – 6 – 8 PM – Details and ticket information here.
September 24 – Tomatofest Potluck at the Chicago Honey Co-op – Share in the bounty of local, heirloom tomatoes, see the interesting things being done at the Chicago Honey Co-op and even get your hands dirty picking beans at the preSERVE Garden. Don’t forget wines donated by Candid and beer from Goose Island. A great way to take in some of the last nice weather of 2011. Additional information and tickets here.