The Markets are Ending on the Local Calendar

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October 14, 2011 at 9:39 am

For the first time in a while, it feels like fall on the Local Calendar, and with this chill in the air, it lets us know, reluctantly that markets are ending.  Or ended, a good amount of Chicago area farmer’s markets have put down their tents for the year.  On the other hand, there are over thirty local farmer’s markets still going this week.  It won’t be until November that we real see markets a-die.  The Local Beet Farmer’s Market Locator sorts by end date, allowing you too see what markets are open.  You can find a place to find local food.

WHAT TO BUY NOW

And when you find a market, you will find plenty of local foods.  You know us, we cling like little small kids to their blankie’s, to the remaining tomatoes and summer squash, but alas that cannot last much longer.  Likewise, we still want late harvest items like green beans and shelling beans.  If we were not so stubborn, we would see an array of cold weather items from radishes three ways; greens like chard, mustard and rocket; cauliflower and broccoli, and all the types of hard (winter) squash.  Or we can subside on peppers and the last sweet corn.

WHAT TO BUY SOON (OR LOOK FOR KEENLY)

As much as we dug the warm spell, we’re bristling a bit over not being able to put away enough yet.  If and when it stays cooler, we will make more of an effort to get the things that keep well like potatoes, apples, beets, celery root and rutabagas.

STORAGE NOTES

As we noted above, there should be tomatoes in the markets still.  At this time of year, you will have two choices in tomatoes.  There will be tomatoes wholly green and there will be tomatoes leaving green.  You can make culinary use of green tomatoes, for instance in Melissa’s recipe here.  My wife makes a great pasta dish combining raw and cooked green tomatoes.  Still, if you see a glimmer of blush in your tomato and you can exercise some patience, you will find they eventually will ripen.  It’s not the great tomato of summer, but it is a much, much better tomato than the “vine-ripened” ones at grocery stores.

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

We always look for local foods at neighborhood grocery stores like Caputo’s, and we do see local things like squash and, especially, apples.

WHAT TO DO NOW

October 16 – SOLD OUT! – Crop Mob at Spence Farm – You need to register and purchase tickets here.  A report from last year’s crop mob here.

October 16 – Great Wisconsin Cheese and the Beverages That Love Them – 4:30 p.m – Kendall College, 900 North Branch Street, Chicago- Celebrate the first ever national American Cheese Month with a Wisconsin artisan cheese and beverage pairing event to benefit the American Cheese Education Foundation (ACEF). Hosted by Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) and Marion Street Cheese Market, the festivities include a guided tasting featuring cocktails by Death’s Door Spirits, beers by Goose Island Brewery and Wisconsin artisan cheeses such as the award-winning Pleasant Ridge Reserve (Uplands Cheese Company), Bandaged Cheddar (Bleu Mont Dairy), Casa Bolo Mellage (Carr Valley), Dunbarton Blue (Roelli Cheese Haus) and Tilston Point Blue (Hook’s Cheese Company).  For ticket information, contact Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, pastoralartisan.com or 773-472-4781.

October 29 - Little Bee, Big Mystery Part 3: Chemistry of Honey – Once again, Slow Food Chicago and the Illinois Science Foundation team up to talk about the wonderful things bees do for us. This sweet program will delight and enlighten you with what bees actually do to make honey, how it’s harvested and other fun facts. Tickets are $15 (includes Nature Museum admission) and are available here.

November 2 – For a few years now, food writer, Martha Bayne, has organized soup nights at local club, the Hide-Out to benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository.  And for the second time, Martha has organized the results of these events into a cookbook.  Sales of the cookbook will, of course, also benefit the Food Depository.  Be the first to get the new cookbook at a release party this night at the Hideout – 7 to 9 PM, 1354 W. Wabansia

November 7 – Sixth Annual Logan Square Chamber of Commerce Harvest Dinner – Logan Square Auditorium – 6 PM

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