The Local Calendar Still Says Challenge

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September 15, 2011 at 11:40 am

The Local Calendar still says Challenge.  The Green City Market Locavore Challenge continues, and the market showcases a few vendors normally not selling this Saturday.  In addition, on Saturday, our friends at Slow Food Chicago will be there doing their best to convince you that eating good for less than $5 is no challenge.  They’ve arranged with vendors to offer $5 meals, and they will be distributing great and tasty $5 recipes using the great produce from the Green City Market.  They’re also inviting you to bring make your own $5 lunch and join them in a picnic.

WHAT TO BUY NOW

As Eric May noted, even in a lackluster season, things have not been that shabby for mushroom foragers.  We are beginning to hear of reports of wild mushrooms in the markets, especially hen-of-the-woods.  As supply for these items are really un-predictable, we suggest you jump on any you see now.

We insist you fill up on the summer fruits still around: plums, peaches, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.  You’ll have plenty of time later for apples right?

WHAT TO BUY SOON (OR LOOK FOR KEENLY)

The exotica of Midwestern fruit are coming to market: persimmons and paw-paws.  (Paw-paw sightings reported already at the Andersonville Market.)

STORAGE NOTES

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

Find a farmer’s market near you with our market locator.

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 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 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 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.

New! – September 20 – Benefit dinner for the Land Connection at Vie – Chefs from Bristol, Vie, Old Town Social and C-House team up for a dinner to benefit Land Connection.  If that’s not enough to get you in the house, our friend, Jennifer Olvera, author of The Food Lovers Guide to Chicago, will provide guests with a signed copy of her book (one per couple) - Call (708) 246-2082 for reservations.

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.

New! – Very interesting meeting from Chicago Fair Trade.  Susan Kerrs, from Local First Chicago, will share strategies for maintaining healthy neighborhood based business communities and the ways our organizations can collaborate, and John Peck of the Family Farm Defenders will share efforts to develop a fair trade certification for small farmers in the U.S, supporting the very principles used in the international certification.  As they say, free and open to CFT members, the committed and curious. – 637 S. Dearborn, Chicago – 6 PM

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