This Local Calendar Takes More Work
This week begins our annual, seasonal switch-over in Local Calendars. And we switch-over so you don’t have to switch-over. See, with the shortening of days and ending of farmer’s markets, some of you may think the era of local eating is over. We say no. We say look at the Local Calendar. We say look at the markets available for you this week and in weeks ahead. We say look at what’s still available in local fruits and vegetables. We say we’re doing the work, so continue to eat local.
With markets still around, please continue to stock up. Use our resources for guidance. A stocking up list can be found here. Then, need a place to keep what you’ve bought?, go here for ideas on making your own root cellar. Need inspiration on putting it away, see what Beetnik David Hammond is doing, converting an un-used darkroom into a suburban root cellar. You can read his first three diary installments here, and here, and here.
In addition to our listing of markets below, you can still use our Farmer’s Market Locator to find a market near you, or you can check with our master list of Chicago area winter markets (we will have up soon, a big list of winter markets around the midwest for those who want to travel for local food).
WHAT TO BUY NOW
The good news, for now, if you can find a farmer’s market, you will mostly find in it the same things you have been seeing for the last several weeks. That is you can find on end of the seasonal spectrum, grapes, pears, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers, and on the other end, you will find all of those keepers like beets, potatoes, and onions. In between, you will find the crops that are doing just fine in our fall weather like lettuces, spinach, cilantro, rocket, broccoli, brussel spouts, cabbage and cauliflower.
Even though there is enough seasonal bounty, we continue to think it pays to grab at items you may not find later. For instance, there will also be winter squash, but will there be the blue hubbards or other cool varieties? Get those now. Same for apples, you get your red delicious months from now, but those odd, heirloom kinds, the winesap and roxbury russet, will you see those? Also, it helps to stock up on garlic because farmers usually run out.
We still think there will be tomatoes. 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
Evanston – The great big Evanston market, one of the best in the Chicago area, meets one last time. Stock up on Tomato Mountain products being sold by the Other Cookbook Addict. – Intersection of University Place and Oak Ave. (just east of East Railroad Ave.) – 730 AM – 1 PM
Chicago – Green City Market – You will now find the market in its cold weather home, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Beth of Green Acres Farm says she still has much including kales (italian, russian, siberian white & curly), chards (white, red, & yellow), assorted mustard greens, sweet potatoes (5 kinds and our ever popular Japanese variety), squash, adishes (beauty heart, black spanish, red & pink), turnips (scarlet & purple top), and much more 8 AM – 1 PM
Chicago – 61st St/Experimental Station – 6100 S. Blackstone – 9AM – 2 PM
Elgin – Winter Market at “the Haight” 166 Symphony Way (right across the street from Centre -Kimball/Douglas) – 8 AM – 2 PM
Geneva – Geneva Community Winter Market – 11 N 5th – 9 AM – 1 PM
Grayslake – This market in the far north suburb starts early and ends late. Dress warm as it’s outdoors – Whitney and Center Streets 10 AM – 2 PM
Woodstock – This large suburban market moves indoor this weekend to the McHenry County Farm Bureau building at 1102 McConnell Rd. in Woodstock, just off Route 47 – 8 AM – 1 PM
Chicago – Logan Square Farmer’s Market – This market moves indoor to the Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee. Randy Brockway says his Brockway Farms will still have many local vegetables including baby spinach and cauliflower – 10 AM – 2 PM
Chicago – Dose Market – Get dosed at this regularly scheduled, dynamic indoor market. Some may go for the vintage clothes and assorted jewelry, but our friends go for the food. Dose features all sorts of FOB, friend of Beet, including Green Grocer Chicago, Chicago Honey Coop, and Scrumptious Pantry. Eat up and eat local. The market is located at the River East Arts Center, 435 E. Illinois – 10 AM – 4 PM
Glencoe – Chicago Botanic Gardens – Indoor market featuring Windy City Harvest, a unit of the Botanic Gardens. Windy City Harvest is one of the best source for cold weather vegetables.
Chicago – Sixth Annual Logan Square Chamber of Commerce Harvest Dinner – Tickets available at the door or here – Logan Square Auditorium – 6 PM
Chicago – The Modern Midwestern Table at North Pond – Remember we told you about an extravagant meal orchestrated by our friend Steve Plotnicki at North Pond. Well, did we ever tell you that the date got moved. Sorry about that. If you can (and can afford it), this event will allow you to sample from some of the most interesting chefs in the Midwest. We really want to see local cuisine develop alongside local eating, and these chefs may just do that. Dinner details can be found at the North Pond web site.
Chicago – Lincoln Square Farmer’s Market – City Parking Lot adjacent to Brown Line Station, 4700 N. Lincoln - 7 AM – 1 PM
Warrenville – Slow Food City’s Edge Harvest Dinner at Two Brothers Taphouse – 30w315 Calumet Ave - Brewery Tour @ 4:30pm and dinner following – Space is extremely limited, reserve now at (630) 393-2337
Chicago – Fall canning workshop with Slow Food Chicago – Lis David and Zvi Bar-Chaim (owners of Scratch Homemade) will teach you how to take apples from off the tree to in the jar. You will participate in every step as the group makes delicious and unique Curry Apple Chutney. These events have sold out in the past, so get your tickets now.
November 19 & 20
St. Nicholas Cathedral is hosting the Ukrainian Village Winter Market & Artisan Fair from 10 to 3. Vendors include Peasant’s Plot, River Valley Ranch & Kitchens, Black Dog Gelato, and features Ukrainian embroidery for the holidays. More information here.