UPDATED! – Happy New Year, Let’s Start the Local Calendar for 2012

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January 4, 2012 at 9:49 am

A few more markets will be open this Saturday including Evanston, Glenwood Ave, and  Logan Square but we still are in somewhat of a winter break for markets.  For the rest of us folks, this means more than ever to support and utilize the stores in Chicago that maintain their pipelines of local produce and products during the winter.

WHAT’S IN SEASON

As we move away from the growing season, we must adjust our expectations as to what can be had in the local food arena.  Not the least, because of the unseasonable warmth of this winter, we should continue for a while to have farm food including root crops like radishes (especially bigger ones like black radishes and watermelon)beets, celery root, turnips, and rutabagas. We also expect to see the hardy winters like cabbage and kohlrabi.  And regardless of the climate, we expect that there will be potatoes and apples.  In addition to these keepers, we believe some farmers may be coaxing items out of their grounds using hoop houses, so you may also find Swiss chard, lettuces, spinach, kale, collards and similar.

While we love to make to with whatever fresh items we find, we also know this is the time of year to indulge in high quality preserved foods.  Resist the tyranny of the fresh!  Look for items like Tomato Mountain pureed tomatoes* or Seedling’s Fruit’s dried and frozen.  In addition to the canned, dried and frozen, think also how you can make do with what’s out there.  For instance, there’s great  sprouts, living pea tendrils and related.  There’s ample supplies of locally grown, organic mushrooms.  Surely, this is the time of year to indulge in meat, even if the meat you are indulging in is locally produced tofu.

WHERE TO FIND LOCAL FOODS

These stores specialize in local foods:

City Provisions Deli 1818 West Wilson in Ravenswood, Chicago

Downtown Farmstand 66 East Randolph in the Loop, Chicago

Green Grocer 1402 West Grand Ave in West Town, Chicago

Dill Pickle Coop 3039 West Fullerton in Logan Square, Chicago

Marion Street Cheese Market 100 South Marion St. Oak Park

Butcher and Larder 1026 North Milwaukee in Noble Square, Chicago

WHAT TO DO NOW

January 7th

Elgin - Elgin Winter Market – 166 Symphony Way (right across the street from Centre -Kimball/Douglas) – 8 AM – 2 PM

Evanston – The NEWLY MINTED Evanston Indoor Farmer’s Market, at the Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd at Bridge St., (there is a large parking lot across the street), thrown by the Friends of the Evanston Market – Expect many of the vendors found at the summer Evanston markets, see here for a list of vendors and other information on the market – 2024 McCormick – 9 AM – 1 PM

Geneva - Geneva Green Market – 27 N. Bennett (Geneva Place) – 9 AM – 1 PM

La Fox – Heritage Prairie Farmers Market – 9-1pm 2N308 Brundage Road La Fox

January 8th

Chicago – The Glenwood Sunday Market – Glenwood Ave at Morse “Your Green Stop on the Red Line at Morse” 6962 N. Glenwood 9am – 2pm

Chicago – The Logan Square Farmers Market – 2135 N. Milwaukee at The Congress Theater 10am – 2pm

January 9

Chicago – “Working Chefs Dinner” Exec Chef Chris Curran of Blue13 brings together 4 chefs all of whom have been big supporters of the local produce provided by farmers, John Manion, Michael Noll(Elate), Mark Steuer(The Bedford) and Matt Troost(Three Aces) for 10 course prix-fixed meal. $120 at Blue13 416 West Ontario. Seatings will be between 6 and 9pm.

January 10

NEW! – Chicago – Advocates for Urban Agriculture Steering Committee meeting – 4pm -6pm Delta Institute 53 W. Jackson, Suite 230 This is an open meeting and all are welcome to attend. AUA is a coalition of organizations and individuals interested in learning about, advocating and networking about urban agriculture.

January 11

Chicago – Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm and Revolution Brewing 3 course Beer Tasting dinner Uncommon Ground Devon -6-8pm $20 Opportunity to meet the farmers behind this great meat and the brewers behind the beer. $10 of each ticket will go to the charity Uncommon Connection, a new non-profit in formation focused on creating an educational platform for all things green.

Chicago – Yeah! Soup and Bread Happens at The Hideout This is a free weekly soup dinner to benefit hunger relief efforts across Chicago. 5:30 pm to 7:30pm This week, Mana Food Bar, Peasants Plot Sustainable Farm, Eat My Words blogger Gillian McLennan, Stephanie Beyne, Soup & amp, Soup and Bread cookbook editor Alison True and a few other participate. The Hideout is located at 1354 W. Wabansia.

Evanston – Community Support Day Evanston Downtown Whole Foods Benefitting The Talking Farm - Your groceries can buy more than food, 5% of net sales for the day, at Whole Foods Market downtown Evanston (1640 Chicago Avenue) goes to The Talking Farm 8am – 10pm The Talking Farm is a nonprofit whose purpose is to provide local, fresh food, job training and educational opportunities for our community. They are partners in the ETHS Edible Acre Project in Evanston and in Skokie they are developing the Howard Street Farm, a two-acre educational, demonstration production farm.

Happy New Year 2012!

SAVE THE DATE!

January 13th

A Night of Food Justice and Urban Farming – 6-9pm Today’s complex food challenges can be solved. Visit Chicago’s urban farm Growing Power to get inspired, network, share, and support ideas and best practices for implementing local solutions to a global food system. At Growing Power’s Iron Street Farm 3333 S. Iron St.

January 22

Chicago – Winter Farm Wine Dinner at West Town Tavern – This is a midwinter celebration of local food, featuring the produce of Green Acres Farm out of Judson, IN and the cheeses of Hidden Springs Creamery in Westby, WI. A representative from both farms will be there to talk about their farms and philosophy. 6pm sharp at West Town Tavern Noble Square, 1329 West Chicago Avenue $75 per person.

January 29

Chicago – Woo hoo! It is their 4th Anniversary celebration at The Green Grocer - 10am – 7pm – 1402 West Grand Ave.

February 2

NEW! – Chicago - Slow Wine Guide - A walk-around wine tasting featuring over 100 wines from 45 Slow Wine Producers presented by Slow Food USA and Slow Food Chicago to celebrate the first ever publication in English of the Slow Wine Guide. Takes place at Spiaggia, 6-8:30pm 980 North Michigan Avenue $30 for Slow Food Chicago members $35 for general admission You can order tickets online here.

NEW!Chicago - Fresh Taste Open House - 5555 N. Sheridan Road Pool Terrace 4pm-7pm Join Fresh Taste as they celebrate local food, their new home and the hope that spring is around the corner!

March 15-17

Chicago Good Food Festival – More soon!

*Beet Editor Rob’s wife works for Tomato Mountain

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One Comment

  1. Don’t forget Soup and Bread night every Wednesday at the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia.
    Soup & Bread is a free weekly soup dinner to benefit hunger relief efforts across Chicago.

    Next Wednesday, January 11th:
    Soups from:
    Mana Food Bar, Peasants Plot Sustainable Farm, Eat My Words blogger Gillian McLennan, Stephanie Beyne, Soup & Bread Cookbook editor Alison True, and at least two others

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