Weekly Harvest 3/1 Blogs Here and Yonder

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Posted: February 29, 2012 at 10:23 am

A lot going on in the blogosphere this week, particularly in regard to Monsanto, GMO’s and more…

Judge Dismisses Organic Farmers Case Against Monsanto Sad news Here is the link to the petition to tell Obama to cease FDA ties to Monsanto

Occupy Our Food Supply: Rain Forest Action Network

Making Cookie Dough Safer - National Pasteurized Eggs – Ina, the Breakfast Queen posted this on her Facebook page, not that you needed another reason to eat at Ina’s.

In Food Policy This Week: 5 News Bites – Serious Eats Leah Douglas of SE does a great job of putting food policy issues into small bites and you can help send her to the White House here but you need to vote by March 3.

Diane Osgood, of Osgood Sustainability Consulting has a post out on the issue of supplier codes of conduct used by grocery chains and restaurants in regard to the seafood industry and the use of indentured labor on New Zealand fishing vessels.

Getting back to some of my regular blogs, Nourishing Words has this post.

Ben Hewitt is here

Nourishing the Planet is full of constantly updated content in regard to innovations in agriculure and agricultural issues here and yond…

For some realistic food advice Stone Soup comments here, “Are You Making the Biggest Meal Planning Mistake

Serious Eats (NY,National) today just published a great piece on “A Beginner’s Guide to Canning” Thanks Marissa McClellan and thanks SE!

I appreciate any and all comments for blogs, posts, and mistakes….have a great week!!




RECYCLED – Financing From Farm to Fork

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Posted: February 29, 2012 at 8:35 am

Editor’s Note: Very soon, FamilyFarmed.org and a full panel of experts will present the 4th Financing Farm and Food Business conference at the UIC Forum.   A few years ago, Beetnik, Brad Moldofsky, did this profile of the conference.  We though you’d enjoy reading it again in anticipation of this year’s conference on March 15.  For more information on this year’s event, check out the schedule.  Expect more from us here too.

In one of his non-silent moments, President Coolidge famously uttered “The business of America is business,” to praise the consumer-driven industrial economy and profitable bull market he observed*.  But President Jefferson thought America’s business should be farming, respecting the slow, steady cycles of nature by growing food (and tobacco) from the vast and fertile soil that makes up our nation.

Are these two notions irreconcilable? Certainly farmers must run their operations like a business, acquiring capital to buy equipment, seed and land, and seeking out the best price for their harvest so they can pay expenses and save enough to plant next year. Conversely, so many food-related businesses—processors, grocery stores, distributors, as well as commodities exchanges—rely on the work of America’s farms. In between that, there are the banks, investors and government agencies who help fund the system, ultimately deciding what gets planted and where by picking and choosing where to place their money. Sometimes it’s a stormy relationship, but it doesn’t have to be. There is still common ground between the desires of capitalists and the needs of farmers and food and beverage firm. As locavores, we need to understand that if the goal is to make locally obtained food more available, there’s got to be funding for it.

“If we’re really going to bring this mainstream and increase the volume of local food reaching Chicago,” says entrepreneur Irv Cernauskas, “it’s going to take some capital investment.”

What the F!

The FamilyFarmed Expo’s Financing Farm to Fork Conference (and financing fair) is an opportunity for small to medium-sized farms as well as companies that sell food- or beverage-related services or products to make their case to potential investors on March 11 at the University of Illinois Chicago Forum.  The FFFFF event is part of the greater Expo being held from March 11 through March 13.

Patient capitalists and “angel” investors can find chances to invest in artisanal farmers, organic food craftspeople and startups who deliver local, organic food to meet the growing demand for healthier, conscientious alternatives to our industrialized food distribution channels.  Part of their incentive may be a matter of putting their money where their values are, but part may be because local and organic foods are a growing area.  Responsible investors need to know all they can about startups before putting down their money.  FamilyFarmed.org president, Jim Slama says investors may also see these opportunities from a “slow money” perspective.

And while farming or food processing may not have the glitz of an Internet startup, notes Cernauskas, “it’s relatively straightforward to value a plot of land or a herd of beef compared to the vaporware produced by a dot-com company.”  For those with money to invest food or farm companies could be a more conservative and potential investment than a lot of other opportunities.

Seeking Help to Buy the Farm

Much has been said about the relationship between American farms, banks and the middle men upon whom farmers rely to deliver their goods to market and then the dinner plate. Somewhere between the farm and the fork, a lot of money changes hands and lubricates the engine that brings the food from the ground and makes it palatable. How much the farmers ultimately pocket is a controversial subject, but an important one, since they, and companies seeking to sell organic food, very much need cash to organize and run their businesses in the initial years, and then again to grow or change direction to follow the public’s fickle tastes. Some farms turn to CSAs to earn cash directly from their customers while co-ops and farmers’ markets seek grants from non-profit organizations that must offer a portion of their funds to sustainable businesses. But farms are usually in rural regions and the big money is often in a skyscraper in metropolitan areas.

But the point is, there are many ways for food- and agriculture-related businesses to find money, and there are many places for investors to plant their money in anticipation of future growth. There’s got to be a better way to get these contingents in one place at the same time.

Bootstrapping as Financial Tool

One recent startup, and a member of the Farm to Fork advisory board, is Cernauskas, who founded Irv and Shelly’s Fresh Picks in Niles. When he and Shelly began their eponymous online grocery delivery service four years ago, they borrowed money and dipped into their savings accounts to “bootstrap” themselves into business. Since then, they’ve applied for USDA grants that have yet to appear, but there are other seldom tapped sources of money. Jim Slama points out that the conference will help entrepreneurs observe the full range of opportunities. At this forum, investors and business owners can meet and get to know one another, unlike in, say, a commodities pit where options traders buy and sell anonymous bushels of corn or sides of beef, having no knowledge of the farmers or businesses that grew them.

“Traditionally, farmers were pretty self reliant and didn’t want or need investors,” Cernauskas points out. “They might have gone to the bank, but they were reluctant to give up their sense of independence. So working with investors is a relatively new concept.”

New, trendy, and getting more media attention. A story on NPR’s All Things Considered last year cited a New York organic dairy farmer seeking to raise $700,000 by appealing to his customers with the promise of 6% interest on a $1,000 loan. CSAs are another great example of producers skipping the middle men and appealing to the consumers who believe in the product and have every desire to make the business succeed. While traditional loans have their place, this model doesn’t work for every business.

“Some people don’t want to finance through banks,” says Slama. And for those of us who have ridden the roller coaster of Wall Street investing, enduring the nauseating plummets as well as the exciting jolt of accelerating rises, the notion of slow money—of modest but sustainable growth—has its charms.

Also, most banks are familiar with the cyclical ritual of, for example, a soybean farmer’s sequence of acquiring money, buying or repairing equipment, purchasing seed and petroleum, buying and applying fertilizer and pesticides, paying for labor, praying for good weather, harvesting and selling their commodity crop before repaying the loan. It’s a well-documented process and banks understand the security and risk of a given farm on a given plot of land in a given area, says Cernauskas. Small organic vegetable farms, on the other hand, may befuddle a typical banker, who lacks the mountain of experience in studying this sort of food model.

Oh the Farmer and the Broker Should be Friends

All this will be discussed at the conference, which also includes workshops by successful food entrepreneurs as well as investors looking for opportunities in local foods. Slow Money author Woody Tasch will be there, as well newsman/rancher Bill Kurtis and Eli’s Cheesecake CEO Marc Shulman. The Expo will present an array of options.  Venture capitalists including Maroon Capital and Hopewell Ventures will be there to explain to hopeful business owners what food financiers are looking for when considering their investments. Jim Schultz will be on hand representing Open Prairie Ventures, which invests in “early and growth-stage Midwest-based companies in the ag-tech and life science sectors.” Also speaking will be Andy Whitman, formerly of General Foods and Kraft, but now running 2x Management, which, along with other companies, has helped fund the natural pet food maker, Wellness/Old Mother Hubbard, and Eagle snacks.

The three main tracks of seminars include business, farming and community food and topics include “adding value on and off the farm,” “taking food & beverage businesses to scale” and “innovative organization forms for sustainable food businesses.”

Running a business or operating a farm (same thing, remember?) as well as finding quality local food require dedication and passion. Making both those endeavors easier requires a flow of money that is often overlooked in the discussion about bringing producers and consumers together.

“There’s all kinds of people who have interests in investing for all kinds of reasons,” says Cernauskas. “My sense is that investors may care a lot about what we’re trying to achieve and are driven by values, while others are just looking for business opportunities and see organic and local foods a healthy growth sector and can see opportunities to make money at it.”

In mid-March, we’ll see if the confluence of capital, consumer and entrepreneur can come to terms and make a small change in the way we grow, find and buy our food.

The FamilyFarmed Expo, including the Farm to Fork Financing Day runs from March 11 through March 13.  Each day will go from appximately 8 AM to 5 PM, with a Financing Fair and reception afterwards on March 11 and FamilyFarmed’s signature event, Localicious on March 12.  The Expo is being held at the UIC Forum at the corner of Roosevelt and Halsted (directions here).

*Shortly after, the nation and the world plunged into a decade of Depression followed by a vicious war that killed tens of millions, ending with two nuclear blasts. But we can’t lay all that on Cal.




Mama Meichulim Would Be Happy

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Posted: February 28, 2012 at 11:30 am

Way back in the olden days of the Local Family, I introduced you to a good family friend, Mama Meichulim.  Not one of the many great aunts of mine, from even older olden day, Mama Meichulim wrote cookbooks, or at least a cookbook, in the olden days.  Her Mama’s Meichulim: Traditional Jewish Cooking Made Easy helped our Bubbie’s manage their cooking.  Mama Meichulim provided not just recipes but advice on how to manage one’s kitchen affairs, and it was the management that appealed to me when I first blogged about her.  Her kitchen management had me thinking about her this week.  See, we just ate the last whiffs of two organic chickens in a frittata.  Mama Meichulim would be proud.

Mama Meichulim knew what we know at the Local Beet, the obstacles to eating better food stem much from issues like lack of time.  Even in Mama Meichulim’s day, Bubbie’s did not have all the time they needed to prepare hearty, delicious meals for their bubala’s daily.  So, Mama Meichulim recommended they tackle a few eat projects each week.  Spend one day making a big old hen, and you could have dinner for nights to come.  Man, does this remain true.  We can address certain hurdles of eating local by doing things her way.  We did.

First, we took advantage of that once a week, one time, good deal offered by Whole Foods.  For this week, it was the high quality, organic, local chickens on sale.  Instead of making a big, fat hen like Mama M would, we made two skinny fryers.  Still, it was a hammish recipe where we pot roasted the chickens with root cellar root vegetables and root cellar potatoes (although don’t tell Mama that our recipe also included traify bacon).  The rendered schmatz from the chicken make something like a semi-confit, and leftovers a few days later were more succulent and more delicious for it.  We did not, however, end on the second helping.

With all the vegetables gone, we moved on to a new way to handle old chicken.  If it was summer, and we had lots of local salad greens and things like that, there would have been big salad for sure.  Winter, there’s always indoor grown Illinois rocket and a jar of mayo, and we ate chicken salad.  We were still left with meat.  Leaving the pot out in the cold helped move things along.  The cold brought all that schmaltz to the surface, which I should have saved that for better use but instead fed it to the dog (“helps her coat!”).  The cold made the broth gooey, and that made it easy to pick all the last bits of meat from the bones.  I ended up with a good pile of odd bits, blanched some spinach, cooked some spaghetti, and fixed the whole thing in an approximation of a recipe from Mama Meichulim’s era, although one she would not have touched as it mixed cream and cheese with our leftover chicken, tetrazinni.  It made for a satisfying, heavy lunch the other day.  So filling that stuff remained.  Enough that it could be stretched with eggs into a “pasta pancake” or frittata for one last meal from our two chickens.

Listen, it is not always easy to put good food on the table.  The pressures of work, school, activities cut into our kitchen life.  It’s so easy to run to Culvers, especially when kids of all ages can get the Team Scoopie meal (guilty).  The way around the ways of the week is to follow Mama Meichulim’s advice.  Tackle a few cooking projects a week, and then coax the most out of that project.  Pot roast a couple of chickens bought on sale, and you can eat local for at least a week.




Leap into Local Foods at the Markets! Local calendar 2/29!!

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Posted: February 28, 2012 at 10:14 am

Fennel Microgreens It is getting greener at the markets. To the left is a picture of beautiful fennel microgreens at the Tiny Greens booth at Green City Market this past Saturday. The fennel seeds were there own natural licorice candy. More and more greens are starting to make their way onto the tables of the markets but they go quick!!! The early bird does get the greens!

Using the The Land Connection 2012 calendar as a guide, March is a busy month for Henry of Henry’s Farm.  The “To Do” for March 1st is “get the last of the root vegetables out of the storage pit”. Friday March 2nd is the last day of wood chopping for the season.  Beehives, chickens, vegetables, hoop houses, a farmers work is never done, so get yourself to the winter markets and buy local!!!

WHERE TO FIND LOCAL FOODS

These stores specialize in local foods:

Butcher and Larder 1026 North Milwaukee in Noble Square, Chicago

City Provisions Deli 1818 West Wilson in Ravenswood, Chicago

Dill Pickle Food Co-op – 3039 West Fullerton, Chicago

Downtown Farmstand 66 East Randolph in the Loop, Chicago

Green Grocer 1402 West Grand Ave in West Town, Chicago

Marion Street Cheese Market 100 South Marion St. Oak Park

Publican Quality Meats – 835 W. Fulton, Chicago

Southport Grocery and Cafe 3552 N. Southport, Chicago

WHAT TO DO NOW

Ongoing through June 10th Chicago – Feast:Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art Smart Museum University of Chicago Go here for all the projects associated with it. And more soon on the Local Beet!

New! Registration is now open for Openlands HomeGrown Chicago Community Food Garden Network Training class starting March 24th

February 29

Chicago - Culinary Conversation, “Sweet Chicago” – Chicago’s Downstand Farmstand 66 E. Randolph 6-8:30pm Celebrate Chicago’s 175th Birthday by learning all abou lore t the origins, legends and of the city’s sweet history. Cultural Historian Tim Samuelson and Art Historian Rolf Achilles join Chef Jenny Lewis, author of the the new book, Midwest Sweet Baking History, for a fast-paced conversation filled with fascinating facts and fun tidbits of past and present. Admission is FREE, but reservations are required. Please contact the Ticket Office 312-742-TIXS (8492) to reserve your space.

Chicago - Edible Chicago and Brooklyn Breweries present the Quarterly Carousal “A Celebration of Beer, Food, and Stories” 7-9pm. Sheffields 3258 N. Sheffield Ave. Pick up the winter 2012 issue of Edible Chicago magazine and try Brooklyn Breweries latest beer, Mary’s Maple Porter while noshing on some local food goodies. RSVP to events@ediblechicago.com with “Quarterly Carousal #1″ in the subject line.

March 2

Chicago – Starts – Logan Square Kitchen is hosting Bee Movie Weekend to benefit Chicago Honey Co-op’s efforts to relocate its hives before Spring. (Chicago Honey Co-op lost its land earlier this winter.) They will be screening “The Vanishing of the Bees,” narrated by Ellen Page. Concessions provided by Jason Hammel of Lula Cafe and Matthias Merges of Yusho. $20. Tickets and more information here.

March 3

Chicago - The Green City Market Held at the Peggy Notebaert Museum 2430 N. Cannon Drive 8am – 1pm Chef demonstration 10:30am Meg Colleran Sahs of Terzo Piano. Come visit me at Tiny Greens and join WG(wheat grass) nation!!!

Chicago - Faith in Place Indoor Market 9-1pm Vernon Park Church of God 9011 South Stony Island

Chicago – Bee Movie Weekend continues Logan Square Kitchen

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

Evanston –  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 — Read a report from the market from Beetnik, Peg Wolfe here.

Geneva - Geneva Green Market – 27 N. Bennett (Geneva Place) – 9 AM – 1 PM – Read a report from Beetnik Melissa Owens, who finds among other things, basil, at this market here.

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

Springfield - Illinois Products Expo A Food and Cooking Extravaganza Orr Building Illinois State Fairgrounds go to link for more info.

St. Charles – Farm Fresh Food Stuffs sponsors a market at St. Charles Place Steakhouse and Banquet -NEW MARKET(weather permitting)  in St Charles this Saturday. We will be on North Ave (route 64) on the east side of town between Kirk & Dunham Roads in the parking lot of St Charles Place. Open from 9am to 3pm.

March 4

Sunday is Seed Swap Day!

Chicago – Seed Swap – The Peterson Garden Project – 2-4pm Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Galter Pavillon 2nd Floor 5140 N. California. In addition to the seed exchange there will be opportunities to learn about planting, edible seeds, heirloom vegetables and more!

Chicago – Seed and Story Swap, Seed Sharing Workshops & Conversations 2-4pm Jane Addams Hull House Museum  800 S. Halsted Street Join us for city-wide seed and story swap where YOU will have an opportunity to exchange seeds, find new ones to grow this spring, check out a library card from the Hull-House Seed Library, share food and agricultural stories, and discover new ways to nourish a sustainable food system. Partners include
Advocates for Urban AgricultureSouth Side Seed Exchange , Chicago Honey Co-op

Chicago – Glenwood Sunday Market Third Annual Chili Festival – Noon-3pm Glenwood Bar 6962 N. Glenwood

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

Chicago – Pleasant Farms in Bridgeport is holding gardening classes on spring planting, seed starts, planter box care and spring bed refreshing to help get you started on your garden. For more information and to register, please call 773-523-7437 or email pleasantfarms@gmail.com. $20. Refreshments provided by Pleasant House Bakery.

Oak Park - Faith in Place Indoor market – St. Gile’s Parish  8:30-1pm 1025 Columbian Ave.

Springfield – Illinois Food Products Expo continues

March 5

Chicago - Chowdah Fest returns Columbia Yacht Club – 6:30-9pm Go to link for details and reservations $35

Chicago – Osteria Via Stato – Dinner with Slagel Family Farms and Great Lakes Brewing This multi-course meal will use Slagel’s farm-raised, hormone-free beef, pork, lamb and chicken in an Italian-inspired menu, with each course complemented with Great Lakes beers. With an opportunity to meet Louis John Slagel in person, as well as a Kevin Hack from Great Lakes, this dinner is priced at $65 per person (not including tax and gratuity). For reservations and menu call 312-642-8450

March 6

Chicago – Lincoln Square - C & D Family Farms selling their all natural free range meats from 7 to 11 am in the parking lot at Lincoln & Leland.

Chicago – Re-Thinking Soup – Jane Addams Hull House 800 South Halsted 12-1pm

Chicago – Andersonville – C & D Family Farms selling their all natural free range meats from 4pm to 7pm on Ashland at Berywn in front of the First Evangelical Free Church

Chicago – Quarterly Citrus Canning Workshop – Sponsored by Slow Food Chicago - Held at The Logan Square Kitchen – 6-9pm 2333 N. Milwaukee In this intimate, hands-on workshop Lis David and Zvi Bar-Chaim (owners of Scratch Homemade) will teach you how to enjoy home preserving, even in the dead of winter.  You will participate in every step as the group makes delicious and unique Lemon Ginger Marmalade. The class includes all tools and equipments.  Organic, domestically grown lemons will be purchased through Dill Pickle Coop. You’ll leave with the knowledge and confidence needed to can at home as well as a few jars of the chutney prepared during class.Order tickets here.

SAVE THE DATE!!!!

March 7

Chicago - Illinois Center for Urban Agricultural Education Open House10:00 am Held at Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences (CHSAS), 3807 W. 111th Street, in Chicago. We invite the public, and especially Chicago students, teachers, counselors, and employers to come learn about and take advantage of its resources,” said director Corey Flournoy.

March 8

Moonglo – Full moon (This content comes from Ina’s letter but thought it was appropriate for the LB calendar, thank you Ina!)Our next full moon will be on March 8th, and is most commonly referred to as the Full Worm Moon.   Daylight is paying more attention to us lately. As the ground begins to soften the earthworm casts reappear, heralding the return of the robins and their welcome chorus, particularly in the early morning hours.The more northern tribes referred to this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon because the snow becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night.  The Full Sap Moon marking the time of tapping maple trees is yet another variation. Moonglo, is ,also, the name of one of Prairie Fruit Farms Farmstead Cheeses.

(Psst…  Spring is right around the corner…March 20th …which means our beautiful sidewalk cafe will be ready for seating before you know it!)

March 9

Chicago - King of the River Casino Night- Benefit for Meals On Wheels Chicago – Chicago Cultural Center 6:30- 12:30am

March 10

Chicago - Farmer Forum Kendall College 2:30 – 7:30 pm On Saturday, March 10, 2012, Green City Market and Kendall College will host Chris Blanchard for two back-to-back presentations on growing and organizing your small farm business.  Join us at Kendall College, 900 N. Branch St. Chicago IL, for this unique educational event! Green City Market vendors can attend for free and $10 for other market vendors in the area.

Chicago – Piranha Club - The Last Last Meal 7pm Roots & Culture 1034 N. Milwaukee Ave. In September of last year, the state of Texas (which coincidentally is the state that puts the most prisoners to death) banned the millennia- old practice of serving a last meal to an inmate awaiting their execution. The last last meal was served to Lawrence Russell Brewer who, in protest, refused to eat the excessive spread of favorite foods that he requested. Email Eric May if interested, capacity 10 seats. Ericmay@gmail.com

Mineral Point, WI – King’s Hill Farm Prairie Burn Nature’s Fireworks 3pm -10pm After arriving on the farm you will receive a lesson on prairie burning, the history and the practical safety tips. Walk the land to view the layout of the burn. Eat a delicious meal and after dinner the fire works begin!

Springfield – Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network – Annual Meeting – 6-9pm Illinois Department of Agriculture Auditorium Chef Chris Pandel of The Bristol and Balena will be the keynote speaker.

March 11

Chicago – Common Threads Chef’s Charity Dinner at The James Hotel -6pm 55 East Ontario  Hosted by Gail Simmons, and feature some of Chicago’s best chefs teaming up with some of Common Threads’ brightest students to prepare a family-style course for a four course global meal. Individual tickets $250 VIP $500 Buy tickets here. This event is to support all the great programs that Common Threads is doing to support healthy eating for children. If you ever have a chance to observe or volunteer at one of their classes it is well worth it, to see the joy of cooking instilled in children.

Join us for the intimate VIP Cocktail hour with Gail Simmons, which includes a signed copy of her new book “Talking With My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater”.

March 12

Chicago – City Provisions Supper Club “Breakfast for Dinner” 1818 W. Wilson 6pm Join us for the 4th annual “Breakfast for Dinner” with special guests North Shore Distillery. Cleetus will create a unique, mulit-course dinner of breakfast foods and be paired with wild cocktails by Sonja & Derek Kassebaum $65 Cal 773-293-2489 to reserve.

March 15

Chicago - Good Food Festival Financing Farm and Food BusinessSchedule here....UIC Pavillon 8:30-5:45pm

March 16

New! Chicago – Good Food Festival Trade Show, School Food and Food Policy Summit Schedule here.…9-6:45pm UIC Pavillon

March 17

Caledonia – Angelic Organics Learning Workshop for Prospective Chicken Keepers - Count Your Chickens 9am – 12pm 1547 Rockton Rd. Focus on small flocks

Chicago - Good Food Festival Consumer and Workshop Day. Go here for a list of all the great workshops. Farmers, food, tons of exhibitors 9-5:45pm UIC Pavillon

La Fox- Heritage Prairie Farm St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Farm Dinner 6pm 2N308 Brundage Road When the parade is over and the river loses it emerald luster, polish off your shamrocks and celebrate the holiday at Heritage Prairie Farm. That evening Chef Jeremy will prepare a blend of traditional and contemporary Irish dishes served family style at our farm tables while the pints of beer are flowing. Erin Go Bragh!

March 18

Chicago – Pleasant Farms in Bridgeport is holding gardening classes on spring planting, seed starts, planter box care and spring bed refreshing to help get you started on your garden. For more information and to register, please call 773-523-7437 or email pleasantfarms@gmail.com. $20. Refreshments provided by Pleasant House Bakery.

March 19th

Chicago - Dinner at Floriole Cafe – Featuring the Butcher and Larder - 1220 West Webster Ave. 7-9pm $75 Buy tickets here. For our March dinner, we are working with Rob and Allie Levitt, owners of The Butcher and Larder. Each course will feature meats from their shop paired with Floriole products. Additionally, Sandra and Allie are collaborating to create a decadent cheese course and dessert

March 22/23

Decatur - Farm to Plate conference – Join Land Connection founder Terra Brockman and other community members at the Illinois meeting of the American Planning Association. Terra will be speaking on Building Health and Wealth Through Local Food with other members of the Edible Economy Project. Registration information is here.

March 23

Chicago – Whiskyfest sponsored by The Malt Advocate Hyatt Regency This incredibly popular event was sold out as of this post but go to the website for details.

March 24

Openlands Homegrown Chicago Community Food Garden Network Training Class starts 9:30 – 12:30pm

National Cash Mob Day – What is this all about go here. Want to participate in Chicago, follow on Twitter @cashmobchicago It is all about supporting locally owned, independent businesses.

Chicago – Basic Backyard Chicken Care – Angelic Organics Learning Workshop 10:00am – 1pm 1444 N. Sacramento Raising chickens as pets and for eggs is LEGAL in Chicago and part of our growing local food and urban agriculture scene. Learn how to keep you, your chickens, & your neighbors happy – from daily needs and year-round care to relevant city regulations. For anyone who has read the book, Farm City, chickens seem to be the next step for a lot of people, particularly some friends of mine who will go unmentioned (but you should go to this workshop!!) Angelics is trying to empower people with the information to follow through with this idea!!!!

New! Chicago – Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop - “What You Need to Know to Become a Backyard Orchardist” – 1-5pm Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – Sponsored by Slow Food Chicago Workshop includes information on the best choice of fruit trees and berry plants to grow organically in the Chicago area, how to graft a fruit tree that you are unable to find from an organic nursery and more. It will be lead by Orianna Kruskewski of Asian Pear Farm. $35, $25 for SFC members go here to make a reservation.

Westmont - Standard Market Open House -333 East Ogden Ave. 11-8pm Standard Market is committed to sourcing product within 250 miles of the store. Being a person that loves contests, not only is Standard Market having a chili-cookoff, they have a great contest going on, that involves food trivia, teams, prizes called the Standard Market Sweep Game Show later on in the day. Go to this link to get further information!

March 27

Chicago – What’s Brewing in Chicago? The Politics of Beer Haymarket Pub and Brewery 6:30pm – 8pm 7373 W. Randolph St. The Public Square presents a lively conversation on the politics of beer–past and present. Join us to take a look back in Chicago’s history as the beer capital of the world then fast forward to the rise of microbreweries today. Sponsored by the Illinois Humanities Council and is free but reserve a spot here.

March 28

Springfield - Local Foods Awareness Day 10:30am – 4pm at Illinois State Capital Complex Sponsored by the Illinois Stewardship Alliance Local food advocates, farmers, and citizens from across the state will come together in Springfield to encourage their legislators to support local food and farms. Go to link for further information.

April 4

Western Springs – Dinner at Vie to celebrate Paul Virant’s new book, Preservation Kitchen – $125. The first dinner sold out so this is a second chance, the ticket includes the meal using recipes from the book with wine pairings, a signed copy of the book and a jar of jam, yum! Proceeds go to DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund.Call 708-246-2082 to reserve a spot. Vie is a short walk right off the train and it takes 20 minutes at most from the city.

April 14

Chicago - BACONFEST – UIC Forum If you don’t know what Baconfest is, you should!!! Go to this link to find out more.

April 15

Chicago – Food Fight - 4th Annual Celebrity Chef Competition benefitting Sclerodema – Kendall College 4:30 – 8pm

May 1

New! Chicago - Growing Home’s 10th Birthday  - Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum 6-10pm Keynote by Steve James, Director of The Interrupters and Hoop Dreams. Buy tickets here and more information.

April 28

Chicago – Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival –  Chicago French Market 11-3pm This cheesy festival is back stay tuned for more details.


ONE COMMENT

  1. Terri says:

    Please note: this event is Thursday, Feb. 23, not Feb. 24.

    Chicago – A Spirited Dinner – Nana Organic 3267 S. Halsted 7-9pm Chef Guy Meikle prepares a three-course prix-fixe meal featuring produce from Seedling (South Haven, Michigan) and beer pairings from 5 Rabbit Brewery (Chicago, Illinois). Peter Klein from Seedling and Isaac Showaki, Andres Araya and Randy Mosher from 5 Rabbit will be on-hand for discussion and questions during the meal. Buy tickets here.

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The Local Beet Farm Dinner



2012 CSA Guide

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Posted: February 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm

WHAT’S NEW FOR 2012: The Local Beet is pleased to provide this CSA Guide as a service to farms and consumers. With almost 90 farms listed, we believe it is the most comprehensive CSA Guide for Chicagoland. In 2012, we have begun the process of expanding the Guide to include farms in Illinois outside of Chicagoland, as well as in Southeast Wisconsin, Northern Indiana, and Southwest Michigan.

To assist users with the size and breadth of this Guide, we have made it completely searchable and sortable. The search box in the upper right-hand corner of the Guide may be used to narrow down the farms by typing in key words.  For example, by entering the name of a specific town, nearby towns, or Chicago neighborhood, the Guide will list only farms delivering to those areas. Be on the lookout for honest-to-goodness urban farms — in 2012, we have more farms than ever actually located within the city limits of Chicago.

The search box may also be used to find farms offering unique services or goods (such as, “certified organic”, “eggs”, “poultry”, etc.).  Each column may be sorted alphabetically by clicking the arrows in the header of each column. Finally, we have denoted new farms that are making their debut in our Guide.

[Scroll down for Guide]

2012 CSA Listings

Name/Location/WebsiteType of CSAType of Farm or FarmingType of Shares & CostDelivery or Pickup?How often?Length of SeasonExtra Products/InformationSold out or close to sold out
Angelic Organics
Caledonia, IL
web site
Vegetable & some fruit (Balanced selection of 12-16 vegetables per week & melons)Biodynamic approach to organic farming20-week $680
12-week $430
1/2 share (every other week) $360

All shares 3/4 bushel
Pickup @ farm, or in Rockford, Elgin, Arlington Heights, Deerfield, Downer's Grove, Geneva, Highland Park, Wheaton, Westmont, Wilmette, Winnetka, Oak Park (2 sites), Edison Park/Park Ridge, Elmhurst, LaGrange, Evanston (2 sites), and in Chicago, Rogers Park, Andersonville/Edgewater, Uptown/Ravenswood, Ravenswood Manor, Irving Park, St. Benedict's, Logan Square, Bucktown, Wicker Park, Hyde Park (2 sites), Lincoln Park & LakeviewWeekly (20 or 12-week shares)

Bi-weekly (1/2 share)
Mid-June through mid-Oct. (for 20 week or 1/2 shares); mid-Aug. – mid-Oct. (for 12 week share)Fruit shares extra; Winter CSA extraClose to selling out
Beaver Creek Gardens
Poplar Grove, IL
web site
Fruits & vegetables

Eggs
Mission is to reduce carbon footprint; harvests own seeds, grows own inputs, and cycles according to nature20-week $595

10-week $320
(3/4 bushel)
Pickup @ farm or in Crystal LakeWeekly (20-week)

Bi-weekly (10-week)
Jun-OctEgg CSA extra (year-round)

Flower CSA available
Available (100 shares maximum)
Big Head Farm
South Haven, MI
web site
Vegetables, herbs & flowers, *NEW FOR 2011: Fruit shares, Egg sharesFormer Chicagoans growing organic produce on property previously used only for huntingFull $500 (bushel)

Half $275 (1/2 bushel)

Solo $150 (1/4 bushel)

Pickup in Chicago (Lakeview/Southport Farmer's Market) & South Haven, MI

Home delivery available
WeeklyJune-OctFruit: Full share $162.50/year; Half share $81.25/year, includes 10# (full) or 5# (half) tree fruits from area growers every other week

Egg: Full share $110/yr, Half share $55/year, includes 1 doz eggs either weekly (full) or biweekly (half)
Available
Black Earth Meats
Black Earth, WI
website
Offers USDA Certified Organic, grass-fed beef & porkUSDA-certified processing facility with 3rd-party certification for humane handling Buyer's Club has 3 options:

Grandpa's Way (non-CAFO raised, no sub-therapeutic antibiotics, no animal by-products in feed, grain or corn finished), grass-fed, or organic

$50 or $75 monthly; 3-month commitment
Pickup Middleton, Fitchburg, Madison, Horeb, WIMonthlyYear-roundOffers online retail productsAvailable
*New!* Blackberry Creek Farm
Sugar Grove, IL
Local Harvest page
Vegetables2012 is first full season. Rebirth of the Conrad Family Farm in Fox Valley. Practicing sustainability, proper practices, free of synthetic herbicides and pesticides.Averages $30/week. Contact farm for more details.Contact farm for more details.WeeklyContact farm for more details.Contact farm for more details.150 shares available.
Bob's Fresh and Local
St. Charles, IL
web site
Vegetables and herbs Produce grown using organic practices, including only organic fertilizer and pesticides20-week $640 ($615 before 3/1) -- feeds 4+ people

18-week $580 ($560 before 3/1) --feeds 4+ people

10-week (biweekly) $405 ($385 before 3/1) -- feeds 1-2 people
Pickup likely to be at farm, Wheaton, Elmhurst and North Aurora. Contact farm for more details.Weekly (20- or 18-weeks)

Biweekly (10-week)
June-Oct.Fruit share or Holiday shares availableAvailable
*New!* Bountiful Blessings
Hinckley, IL
Local Harvest page
VegetablesSubscription vegetable program delivers to your home & includes a wide variety of vegetables.20 weeks $900 (feeds family of four)

1/2 basket $450 (feeds 2 people)
Home delivery to Hinckley, Big Rock, Waterman, & ShabbonaWeekly20 weeks (June-Oct.)NoneSome shares still available
Broad Branch Farm
Wyoming, IL
web site
Separate vegetable, meat, egg and fall sharesOrganicFull $556

Half $307

Pickup @ the farm or in Peoria, Peoria Heights & NapervilleFull share is 22 weeks

Half-share is biweekly for 11 weeks
June-Oct.

Egg & Meat shares available

Fall shares also available for 2 weeks in Nov.
Available
Bumblebee Acres Farm
Harvard, IL
web site
Fruit & vegetables, Wool/Yarn No chemical pesticides or commercial fertilizers10 weeks $200

1/2 shares available
Pickup @ Woodstock Farmer’s Market by "shopping" their booth & selecting what you'd likeWeekly June - Aug.Wood/yarn CSA extraSmall farm - only 12 shares available
C&D Family Farms
Indiana
web site
Meat (Pork)

Partners with other farms for beef, poultry and eggs
Raises hogs in their natural environment on pasture and in wooded areas where they graze on pasture or eat leaves, weeds, berries and acorns from their large wooded pens. Hogs are very social animals and are kept in droves so they can socialize and prosper. Four options based on 3 or 6 month shares ranging in price from $210 to $900, depeding upon the quantity & variety of meatPickup in Lincoln Square, Andersonville, Hyde Park, Division St./Gold Coast, Evanston, Beverly & North CenterMonthly3 or 6 monthsContact farm for additional meat productsAvailable year-round
Cedar Valley Farm
Ottawa, IL
web site
Meat & eggs (Various cuts of beef, pork & chicken + 2 dozen eggs)Raising animals without hormones or drugs in sustainable environment3 months $285
6 months $550
Full year $1080
Pickup @ several north side locations, Naperville, Oak Park & Oak LawnMonthly or bimonthly for small householdsYear-roundNoneAvailable
City Farm
Chicago, IL
web site
Vegetables; frozen baby food share available Located at Clybourn & Division, City Farm is an urban farm project of the Resource Center, a Chicago non-profit dedicated to resuse and recyclingFull share (grocery bag) -- feeds small family or 2-3 adults $550

"Peak season" share (Every week for 12 weeks) $300
Pickup at Farm in Chicago (Diversey/Clybourn)Full share is 22 weeks

Peak season share is weekly for 12 weeks
Mid-May through end of October (full share)

July-mid-Sept. (Peak season share -- includes lots of peppers & tomatoes)
Frozen baby food share availableAvailable
City Provisions (A)
Chicago, IL
web site
Meat Local butcher/specialty delicatessen in Ravenswood neighborhood that works directly with local farmsTen weeks ( 5 deliveries biweekly) $1000+tax includes variety of Dietzler steaks, house-cured bacon, lamb chops, Cook's bison ribeyes, homemade sausages, pâtés, terrines and deli meatsPickup at the storeBiweekly10 weeks beginning March 18th through May 20, 2011NoneAvailable immediately
*New!* Common Roots Sustainable Farm
Burlington, WI
website
Vegetables

Compost Program! Will pick up your food scraps to be composted on the farm.
Small, sustainable farm operating on 2 acres by husband-wife teamFamily $500 (about 10 different vegetables)

Foodie $650 (about 14 different vegetables)

Fun $250 (about 5 vegetables; good for single eaters)
Pickup in Evanston or Burlington, WIWeekly20 weeks (June-Oct.)NoneEVANSTON CSA IS SOLD OUT
Crème de la Crop
Porter, IN
web site
Vegetables, herbs & edible flowers

Certified Organic (200 types of unique heirloom varieties);
“Standard Market” plan gets more common market vegetables
“Epicurean” gets everything they grow
Standard $645 (Full) $330 (Half)

Epicurean -- includes more "exotic" produce $810 (Full) $415 (Half)

Pickup @ Farm, or locations in Valparaiso, Merrillville, & Chesterton, INWeekly18 weeks (end of June-Oct.)Fruit CSA available

Winter vegetable & fruit CSA shares available
Available
Dea Dia Organics
Grayslake, IL
web site
**Partnering with Sandhill Organics. See Sandhill Organic's entry for more information.
Earth and Skye Farm
Manhattan, IL
Local Harvest page
Vegetables & herbsEnvironmentally and sustainable methods of farming$375 (contains 5-10 items)Pickup @ the farm or in Orland ParkWeekly for 20 weeks June – Oct.Request that you volunteer 6 hours minimum to working on farm per seasonAvailable -- limited to 30 members
Earth First Farms
Berrien Center, MI
web site
ApplesCertified organic farming on 60 acres encompassing 4500 fruit-bearing apple trees 10-lb. bag (1 peck) apples (Nov. share includes cider) $85Pickup @ farm or in Chicago @ the following markets: Edgewater, Green City, Logan Square, Glenwood, Lincoln Square, Hideout, or in Palatine, Lake Bluff, Woodridge, South Bend, IN or Berrien Springs, MIBiweekly (6 shares)Mid-August-Halloween & one November pickup that includes cider & baking applesDiscounted rates on cider or apple butterAvailable
Earth Harvest Farm *2012 information not yet available*
Lake Geneva, WI
web site
VegetablesCertified Naturally GrownFull weekly share $480

Every other week $240
Pickup @ farm or Mundelein Weekly18 weeks beginning in mid-JunePasture-raised beef and Michigan fruit extraAvailable
Edible Alchemy Foods Co-op (A)
Chicago, IL
web site
Fruits & vegetablesFood Co-op that organizes an all-organic or sustainably-grown produce share every other weekNo commitment

$20 Produce share (2 eaters/paper grocery bag)

$10 Fruit share

$33 Hive share
Pickup in Pilsen, Lakeview, River North/Gold Coast or Logan Square or Delivery for $5 Bi-WeeklyShares begin in MayNoneAvailable
Erehwon Farm
Elburn, IL
web site
Vegetables (6-10 kinds)

2-week trial available
No chemical herbicides or pesticides; sustainable growing practices.Full (1/2-3/4 bushel) $600 ($575 before 3/1) --feeds 3-4 moderate vegetable eatersPickup @ Wheaton, Elgin, Bartlett, Lombard & Logan SquareWeekly20 weeks (mid-June – mid-Oct.)Spring & fall shares available Available
Elizabeth & Mary's Potting Bench *2012 information not yet available*
Crystal Lake, IL
web site
Vegetables, small fruit, cut flowers & herbsUses intensive planting techniques, square-foot gardening & greenhouses to grow in smaller spacesFull $200

Half $100
Pickup @ Woodstock Farmer's MarketWeeklyEnd of June-early Sept.NoneAvailable
Esther's Place/Lamb of God Farm
Big Rock, IL
Local Harvest page
Vegetables and fruit

Wool, soaps, lotions and balms
Embraces Christian principles in the spirit, character and depth of agrarian living$45/week for 20 wekks

$45/week for 10 weeks includes "value added products" such as naturally raised meat, dairy, cheese, eggs, flowers, balms, soaps, fibers, canned items, flour, & bread from local farms and businesses they support

Half share (1/2 box) $500 for 20 weeks
Pickup in Wheaton, Big Rock, Aurora, St. Charles and Oswego Weekly June-Oct.Wool, soaps, lotions and balms extra40 shares available
Fair Share *2012 information not yet available*
Harvard, IL
web site
VegetablesSmall, sustainable farm$395 for share (grocery bag)Pickup in Cary, Barrington, Arlington Heights, Palatine, Mount Prospect, Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, and in Chicago, Elston/Central, Loyola and Jefferson Park, and Illinois Tollway Oases in Lake Forest, O'Hare, and Des PlainesWeeklyJune-Oct.NoneAvailable
Farmer Tom's CSA (A)
web site
Vegetables & FruitPurchases produce from several growers that use organic methods.

Operates differently than traditional CSA - you pay upfront membership fee and then order produce when you want -- no commitment
$70 upfront membership fee & produce is paid for weekly (skipping weeks is permitted).

$37/week for 1-1/9th bushel (2 large grocery bags)

$27/week for 5/9-3/4 bushel (about 1 large grocery bag)
Pickup in Edgewater, Oak Park, Lombard, Woodlawn, Lakeview/Southport, Logan Square, Gold Coast, Evanston, Bucktown, Pilsen, Wicker Park, South Loop, River North, North Park & Lincoln Park

Home delivery available to some areas
WeeklyYear-round (July-Oct, produce is local; from Nov-June, produce is selected from other nonlocal growers)Fruit share is additional $22/order Available
Fat Blossom Farm
Allegan, MI
web site
VegetablesCertified USDA OrganicLarge $550
Small $300

Pickup @ locations in Chicago (Beverly, Rogers Park & South Loop) & Southwest Michigan (Allegan, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids & Holland)Weekly20 weeks (Jun-Oct)Certified organic flowers availableAvailable
Four Friends Farm
Hebron, IL
web site
VegetablesUses only organically-approved seeds, farms sustainably without the use of synthetic chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers (not organic)Full (1 bushel) $630

Half (2 people) $390

Single (peck) $240

Community (donates to food pantry) $100

Worker share -- call for details

Pickup @ farm in Woodstock, or in Batavia, Buffalo Grove, Crystal Lake or Rogers Park Weekly20 weeks (Jun-Oct)NoneAvailable
Freedom Organix
Harvard, IL
web site
Vegetables, herbs & flowers, eggs

Less expensive U-pick option available
Sustainable farm growing vegetables and raising chickens, geese and cowsSpring $125

U-Pick on farm $425 (w/eggs, $515)

Full Vegetable share $560 (w/eggs $670)

Half Vegetable share $340 (w/eggs, $395)

Harvest $110 (w/eggs, $135)
Pick up box @ farm in Harvard, or in Cary, Lake Geneva/Delavan, WI, Woodstock, Barrington, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake Zurich, Libertyville, Deerfield, Lake Forest, Chicago North (Elston/Central), Rogers Park, & Irving ParkSpring & Full shares -- weekly

Half -- Biweekly

Harvest -- 2 deliveries
Spring share is 4 weeks beginning in May, Full share is 18 weeks beginning in JuneEggs, chickens, & heritage turkeys available; option to purchase grass-fed beefAvailable
Genesis Growers
St. Anne, IL
web site
Vegetables, eggs, fruits & herbsUses natural methods, no pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizer.

Available yearly or by season

Shares available: Medium (20% larger than paper grocery bag) & Large (60% more than paper grocery bag)
Spring $125 (medium); $225 (large)

Summer $650 (medium); $1200 (large)

Fall $200 (medium); $350 (large)

Medium 3-season share $887

Large 3-season share $1600
Pickup @ Green City Market or in Chicago - downtown (Chicago Farmstand), Andersonville, Edison Park, Old Irving Park, West Town, West Rogers Park, North Center, Bridgeport & Hyde Park, or in Burbank, Downer's Grove, Evanston, Evergreen Park, Forest Park, Highland Park, Homewood, Joliet, Lake Bluff, Lake Zurich, Mokena, Naperville, Oak Park, Palatine/Arlington Heights, Riverside, Skokie, St. Anne, & Wheaton

Northwest Suburbs: Contact farm for home delivery $5.00
Weekly9 months (Apr. – Dec.) or by season: Apr. & May (Spring); June-Oct (Summer); Oct-Dec. (Fall) Egg & chicken shares available for extraAvailable
Gentleman Farmer
Barrington, IL
web site
Vegetables

Eggs
Practices organic methods (no pesitcides or herbicides)Weekly $595 (6-10 vegetables for families)

Biweekly $325
Pickup @ farm in Barrington, Norton's USA in Barrington Village, and Logan Square Farmer's MarketWeekly or biweekly20 weeks (Jun-Oct) for full share

10 weeks for half share
Eggs extraAvailable
Gibbs Family Garden *2012 information not yet available*
Plymouth, WI
website
Vegetable“Certified Naturally Grown” organic (no synthetic pesticides or chemicals)Biweekly share (approx. 3/4 bushel) $425/IL residents; $390/WI residents

1 doz. eggs biweekly $44
Pickup @ Good Earth Greenhouse in River Forest, IL *Seeking residential dropsites in River Forest, Oak Park, LaGrange, Riverside, and Elmhurst*BiweeklyJune through NovemberEggs available for extraAvailable
Granor Farms
Three Oaks, MI

website
Vegetables and fruitProduces over 42 varieties of produce & draws on historical and modern practices to enhance land’s ecology Full $700 (weekly)

Half $360 (biweekly)
Pick up in Lincoln Park, Green City Market, Lincoln Square, Logan Square and North Shore (TBD); Hobart & South Bend, IN; Three Oaks & New Buffalo, MIWeekly or biweekly 20 weeks (June -Oct.)NoneAvailable
Grass Is Greener Gardens (A)
Beloit, WI
website
Meat & Poultry

Produce
Aggregating 4 different producers in Southwest that raise free range, grass & grain fed meat & poultry

Also offers a produce CSA with USDA Certified Organic produce, wild crops and greenhouse stock (GIGG produces about 75% for their produce CSA; remainder is from partner farms that grow according to organic standards, but are not certified)
Produce -- 15% discount before 3/1:
Small $320 (feeds 1-2 people, fills about 3/4 of milk crate)

Large $490 (feeds 2+, fills milk crate)

Storage share (1 delivery) $120

Meat & Poultry:

Small $495 (3/4 paper grocery bag)

Medium $625 (paper grocery bag)

Large $785 (1-1/2 grocery bag)

Poultry only $390
Pickup, Produce: Lakeview, Green City Market, Pilsen, Evanston, Northbrook & Oak Park. Pickups in Beloit & Monroe, WI receive 10% discount.

Pickup, Meat: Beloit, Bridgeport, Lakeview, Evanston, Hyde Park, Oak Park, & Beloit, WI.
Meat: Monthly

Produce: Weekly
Year round for meat

June-Oct. for produce
Pickle, jam and egg shares extraAvailable
Grassroots Farm
Monroe, WI
website
Vegetables, fruit & cut flowers

Bread
USDA Certified Organic

Mother-daughter operation using minimal machinery to farm 40 acres as it would be done 100 years ago.
Spring $150; w/bread

Summer $540 (5/9th bushel)

Fall $204

**Prices vary for Madison & Monroe, WI contact farm for details
Pickup in Andersonville, Loop, Northwest Suburbs (TBD) or Madison or Monroe, WIWeeklySpring -- 5 weeks

Summer -- 18 weeks

Fall -- 6 weeks
Bread add-on availableOnly 40 shares available
*New!* Great River
Quincy, IL
website
Vegetables

Eggs

Chickens
Great River is a conglomeration of Terripin Farm, Feiner Gardens, and Grassy Hill Farm.Full Vegetable $450 (feeds family of 4)

Half Vegetable $340

Summer Chicken $8.75/chicken every other week

Summer Egg $54/18 dozen eggs

Winter Chicken $99/2 chickens per month
Pickup in Quincy, ILWeekly for Vegetable

Biweekly for Egg & Chicken shares
18 weeks (June-Sept.)Turkeys available near ThanksgivingAvailable
Green Acres Farm *2012 information not yet available*
North Judson, IN
website
Vegetables70-year old family farm started by Japanese immigrants in its third generation and growing Certified Naturally Grown organic vegetables2-person $550

Family $990
Pickup @ Green City Market & Evanston Farmer's MarketWeekly22 weeks beginning June 1stNoneAvailable
Green Earth Farm
Richmond, IL
website
Vegetables (100 different varieties)

Chickens, eggs, turkeys, geese & ducks
“Certified Naturally Grown” organicFull $475 (box --feeds family of 4)

Half $300 (1/2 box --feeds 2)
Pickup @ farm in Richmond, IL. Weekly16 weeks (June-Oct.)Free range eggs & poultry available for extra

Turkeys available in Nov. & Dec.
Available
Green Earth Institute
South Naperville, IL
website
Vegetable & herbUSDA certified organic, nonprofit operated by The Conservation Foundation, promoting health & environmental sustainabilitySpring: SOLD OUT!

Main Season: Weekly, $681.73 (3/4 bushel); Biweekly, $366.30 (3/4 bushel)

Late Fall $142.45
Pickup @ farm in South Naperville, IL onlyWeekly or BiweeklySpring (4 weeks)

Main (20 weeks – Jun-Nov.)

Late Fall (4 weeks – Nov.)
NoneSummer & Late Fall shares available
Green Grocer (A)
Chicago, IL (West Town)
website
Vegetables and some specialty itemsSmall store specializing in local and organic food sources that puts together a weekly box of organic and/or local foods (not all foods are local) $17/week for single share

$29/week for double share
Pickup at store, home delivery available in a limited areaWeeklyYear-roundNoneAvailable
Growing Home
Chicago, IL
website
Vegetables & herbs

Shares suited to smaller households
USDA certified organic. CSA shares of urban Chicago Farms support nonprofit transitional job programSpring (5/9th bushel) Prices vary between $150-160 depending on pickup location)

Summer: Full $460-500 (5/9th bushel) or Individual $270-310 (tote bag) Prices vary depending upon pickup location

Fall: Full $160-170 (5/9th bushel) or Individual $90-100 (tote bag) Prices vary depending on pickup location

Spring Pickup @ Joliet, Marseilles, Green City Market, Logan Square Market

Summer Pickup @ Bucktown, Edgewater, Evanston, Green City Market, Marseilles, Logan Square, Joliet, Lakeview

Fall Pickup @ Green City Market, Logan Square, Joliet & Marseilles
WeeklySpring (5 weeks May-June)

Summer (15 weeks June-Sept.)

Fall (5 weeks from mid-Sept.-Nov.)
Eggs extra -- SPRING & SUMMER EGG SHARES ARE SOLD OUT.Available
Growing Power (A)
Farm Co-op in Wisconsin
website
Vegetables, Fruit* (*During colder months, non-local produce will be sourced from small wholesalers like Goodness Greeness)Part of a cooperative that includes farms in Milwaukee region and urban farms in ChicagoMarket Basket Program is a cross between a mobile grocery store & CSA.

Place order weekly
Regular $17
Junior $9
Sustainable $28
Fruit $17
Pickup in Beverly, Bridgeport, downtown Chicago, Englewood, West Garfield Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Oak Park, & Wicker Park Weekly Spring, summer & fallSome meat available for extraAvailable
*New!* Harrison Market Gardens
Winnebago, IL
website
VegetablesCertified Naturally Grown produce.Full $595 (feeds 3-4)

Biweekly $325 (feeds 1-2)

Bonus monthly U-pick of popular crops
Pickup @ farm in Winnebago, Rockton, or Machesney ParkWeekly or BiweeklySummerNoneAvailable
Harvest Moon Farms
West Central Wisconsin
website
Vegetables & fruit or meat (seasonal, organic, and heirloom vegetables along with available herbs and fruit), eggsCertified OrganicRegular (feeds 1-2 people) $593.05

Double (feeds 2-4 people) $915.14

10-week $383.44
Pickup in Palatine, Glenview, South Loop/UIC, Downtown/Loop, Wicker Park, West Town, Roscoe Village, Wrigleyville, Lincoln Square & EdgewaterWeekly or Biweely for the 10 week share20 weeks (Mid-June – mid-Oct.) or 10 weeks for the 10-week shareCheese and Winter CSA extra

Eggs $112.48/doz. per week; $56.24/half doz. per week

Juicer share (weekly bag of bent & dent vegetables) $306.75
Available
Healthy Food Hub (A)
Chicago, IL
website
Vegetables"Consumer-operated," holistically-focused cooperative run through the Holistic Family Medicine Healthy Lifestyle & Prevention Chicago that uses collective buying power to purchase organic produce$25 annual membership fee, pre-pay orders for produceContact collective for more detailsContact collective for more detailsContact collective for more detailsContact collective for more detailsAvailable
Heritage Prairie Farm
Elburn, IL
web site
VegetablesDedicated to "Four Season Farming," in which the farm produces food during all four seasons through use of hoophousesFull: $825 for dropoff sites or $775 for farm pickup

Half $475 for dropoff sites or $450 for farm pickup
Pickup @ farm in Elburn or Green City Market, Naperville

Home delivery available
Weekly (Full) or Biweekly (Half)25 weeks (June-Nov. + 2 holiday boxes)Farm-produced honey & honey bee products extraAvailable
*New!* Holloman Produce Farm
Hanover, IL
website
VegetablesDedicated to farming with organic methodsHarvest share $330

Standard share minus 1 box opt-out $297
Pickup @ farm in Hanover, Mount Prospect, Freeport, Hoffman EstatesBiweekly 10 weeks (June-Oct.)NoneOnly 20 shares available
Iron Creek Farm
LaPorte, IN
website
Vegetables & small fruits (over 100 varieties)Certified OrganicStandard $570 (one grocery bag)

Large Share $850 (box)

Small $380 (1/2 grocery bag)

Fall/Winter $280
Summer Pickup @ farm in Laporte, IN, or Green City Market (Chicago), Andersonville, downtown Chicago, Oak Park, Wicker Park, Logan Square, Evanston

Winter Pickup @ Green City Market, downtown Chicago, Logan Square or the farm in Laporte, IN
WeeklyStandard & Large shares run from Jun-Oct

Winter runs from Oct-Dec.
NoneLimited shares available
Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks (A)
Chicago, IL
web site
Vegetables, meat, dairy & eggsSources from local & organic Chicago-area farms.* (*During the winter, the box is supplemented with produce from outside the region.)Fresh Picks Box: Single ($18), Double ($25) or Family-sized ($40)Home delivery. ($5.50 shipping & handling fee.)Weekly or Bi-weeklyYear-round.Boxes contain produce but can be customized to include non-produce itemsAvailable
King’s Hill Farm
Mineral Point, WI
website
Vegetables, Duck & Hen EggsEmbraces ideology of Permaculture. Grows without pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or GMOs. “Crops are raised from the earth, naturally, in harmony with the seasons.”Full $400

Summer $240
Pickup @ Green City Market, downtown Chicago, Gold Coast, Independence Park, South Loop, Glencoe @ Chicago Botanic Garden, Lake Bluff, Rogers Park, Oak Park, Palatine, Wilmette & various locations in WisconsinWeekly Jun-Oct for Full season

Aug-Oct for Summer season
Duck eggs extraAvailable
Lake Breeze Organics
Benton Heights, MI
website
Vegetables & fruitCertified organic with emphasis on hard-to-find crops & Jersey blueberriesFull $550
Half $300
Pickup in Evanston & EdgewaterWeekly (full)

Biweekly (half)
June-SeptNoneLimited shares available
Linda's Organical Farm *2012 information not yet available*
Union, IL
web site
Vegetables, fruit & SpicesOrganically grown.

Customizable to your needs & wants. Delivery available on weekly, biweekly or monthly basis.
Full $250

Half $125

Optional custom packages available
Pickup @ farm

Delivery options avalalbe
Weekly or BiweeklyJune-OctFruit & nut trees availableAvailable
M’s Organic Farm
Woodstock, IL
web site
Vegetables, herbs, granola, eggsOrganic veggies, free-range eggsFull $450; With eggs $480

Half $260; With eggs $290
Pickup @ farm in WoodstockWeekly18 weeks (Jun-Oct)Eggs, plant-based soaps extraAlmost sold out
Majestic Nursery & Farm
Millbrook, IL
website
Vegetables, herbsSustainable and environmentally responsible homestead that grows Certified Naturally Grown produce, annuals and herbs5% discount before 2/29/2012!

3-season $704 (single) $1024 (double)

Spring $110 (single) $160 (double)

Summer $440 (single) $640 (double)

Fall $154 (single) $224 (double)

Single share is about 3/4 of paper grocery bag

Double is 1-1/2 of paper grocery bag
Pickup @ farm in Millbrook, IL, Green City Market, Logan Square Market, Plainfield, Naperville/Bolingbrook/OswegoWeekly3-season: May-Dec

Spring: May-June

Summer: June-Oct.

Fall: Oct.-Dec.
Also sells annuals, birdhouses and gourdcraftsAvailable
Marr's Valley/Country Haven Farms
Mineral Point, WI
website
Meat (angus beef, lamb, poultry, pork and eggs)Marr's Valley is a 580-acre Black Angus Beef Farm that has been in the Marr family since 1874, and works with Country Haven Farm, another family farm in Southeast WisconsinSmall (1/2 paper grocery bag) $480

Medium (3/4 paper grocery bag) $600

Large (full paper grocery bag) $780
Pickup @ farm, and in Franklin, Milwaukee West, River Hills, Shorewood, WiMonthly for 6 months

(Signup anytime-shares may be prorated)
6 months:

Winter - Nov. through April

Summer - May through Oct.
NoneAvailable year-round
Meadow Haven Farm
Sheffield, IL
website
Meat (Beef, pork, poultry), EggsCertified Organic Pastured Eggs and MeatsFull $630 includes a variety of ground beef, sausage, chicken, roast/stew meat/Soup Bones, steaks, shoulder meat, bacon, pork chops

Half $330 (option of having full share bimonthly or 1/2 the amount every month)

Eggs $24/share
Pickup @ farm, in Chicago at Green City Market, Lincoln Park, Arlington Heights, Bloomington-Normal, Downer's Grove, Elgin, Peoria, Quad CitiesMonthly or Bimonthly 2 seasons:

Spring/Summer (May-Oct)

Fall/Winter (Nov-Apr)


Pet food available Available
Midnight Sun Farm
Grayslake, IL
website
VegetablesCertified Organic 3 acre farm in Prairie Crossing neighborhood 20 week Full share $660 (5/9th bushel);
Half share $385 (1/2 paper grocery bag)

Spring: Full $145, Half $85

Summer: Full $420, Half $245

Fall: Full $240, Half $140
Pickup @ farm in Libertyville, Gurnee or Rogers ParkWeekly20 weeks (Jun.-Oct.) for Rogers Park subscribers

Spring (May-June), Summer (June-Sept,.) & Fall (Sept.-Nov.) for Lake County subscribers
Eggs and poultry availableAvailable
Mike & Clare’s Farm *2012 information not yet available*
Woodstock, IL
website
VegetablesOrganic$250 (5/9th bushel)Pickup @ farm, Logan SquareWeeklyJun-OctNoneAvailable
Mint Creek Farm
Stelle, IL
website
Grass-fed Meat (lamb, goat, beef, rose veal and more)Organic, pasture-raisedHalf Shares (5 lbs) for 3 months at $165 or 6 months at $295 and

Whole Shares (10 lbs) for 3 months at $295 or 6 months at $560
Green City Market, 61st Street Farmer's Market (Hyde Park), Glenwood, Logan Square Farmers Market and the Hideout (beginning June, 2012)Monthly

See blog for pick up schedule
Year-round 3 months or 3 month or 6 month subscriptionsWhole or Half animal purchases an optionClose to selling out
Mom's Farm *2012 information not yet available*
Joliet, IL
website
Vegetable, herbs & some apples & pears

Small farm in Joliet. Also working 1/2 acre in Lockport.$80/sharePickup @ farm in Joliet WeeklySpring only

8 weeks (May-July)
NoneOnly 10 shares available
Montalbano Farms
Sandwich, IL
website
Vegetables, herbsCertified organic; committed to socially responsible practices & transparency (visitors allowed to visit farm)Summer share w/fruit share $940

Summer share $680

Biweekly summer share $380

"Putting up" share $360 (choose 10 items from list)

Pickup @ farm in Sandwich, Logan Square farmer's market, Glenwood Farmer's Market (Rogers Park), Lincoln Square, Yorkville, Geneva, Wheaton, & Oak ParkWeeklySummer share is 20 weeks (Jun-Oct)

Fruit share is 10 weeks

Option to make up 2 weeks per season (for vacations)
Worker share availableAvailable
Nature's Choice
Grant Park, IL
website
Meat

Two-time Frontera Farmers Foundation grant winner that pasture-raises chicken, turkey, eggs, pork, and grass-fed beefUpfront fee of $26;
3 month shares for $330 (15 lbs. of meat, such as whole chicken (4 lbs), 1 lb of ground chicken, a chuck roast (3-4 lbs), 1-2 lbs ground beef, 1lb of bacon, 1 lbs of Italian sausage, a pkg of pork chops, 1 to 2 lbs of ground pork)
Pickup @ farm in Grant Park, IL, Frankfort, Bolingbrook, and South Side of ChicagoMonthlyYear-round in 3 month incrementsKosher option available

Eggs extra
Available
Nature's Pantry Health Foods, Inc.
Streator, IL
Local Harvest page
Vegetable Single family farm operating over two decades.$550 26 weeks

$275 13 weeks
Pickup @ farm in Streator or in Dwight or PontiacWeekly26 weeks (Apr.-Oct.)NoneAvailable
New Era Farm *2012 information not yet available*
Cashton, WI
website
Vegetables, crop berries, heirloom fruits & herbs with some bonus items such as maple syrup & teaUSDA Certified Organic growing & harvesting methodsFull (contact farm for pricing)Contact farm for pickup locationsBiweeklyMay-OctJams & jellies extraAvailable
Newleaf Grocery (A)
Chicago, IL (Rogers Park)
website
Vegetables and fruitSmall grocer that offers weekly organic produce boxes (Note: produce organic though not entirely local)Start at $15/weekPickup @ store; home delivery availableWeeklyYear-roundCall store for detailsAvailable year-round
New Traditions Farm
Beaverville, IL
website
Heirloom Vegetables & Heritage Poultry

Spring share

Organic, Pesticide & Herbicide Free
Half Share $350

Full Share $600

Spring Share $125

Each share is 3/4 bushel --feeds family of 4
Home Delivery Available for $5/box

Pick Up in Evanston, West Loop and Lakeview
Half-share is biweekly

Full-share is weekly
20 weeks (June-Oct.)Heritage Poultry Available to CSA Subscribers at Discounted Rates

Available
Nichols Farm and Orchard
Marengo, IL
website
Variety of vegetables & fruitFamily farm using sustainable practices and specializing in variety (they grove over 1000 cultivars)Vegetable only $660

Fruit & vegetable $880

Above shares feed two people

Family share $1650 (feeds 4-5 people)
Pickup @ farm in Marengo, or in the Loop, Ravenswood, Wicker Park, Streeterville, Lincoln Park, Dunning (Eli's Cheesecake market), Andersonville, Evanston, Oak Park, Schaumburg, Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, Elmhurst, Crystal Lake, Wilmette. More sites coming soon, contact the farm for more details.Weekly22 weeks (Jun-Nov.))NoneAvailable
*New!* Patchwork Farms
Chicago, IL
Local Harvest page
VegetablesUrban farm located on Chicago's west side$260+tax before season; $325+tax after season begins

Fall $105+tax before season; $140 after season begins
Pickup @ farm on 2805 W Chicago Ave.Weekly13 weeks for summer season (July-end of Sept.)

7 weeks for fall season (Oct.-Nov.)
NoneAvailable
*New!* Our Garden in Volo
Volo, IL
Local Harvest page
Vegetables4th-generation farmers who are transitioning their century-old farm back to natural, sustainable farming practices. 3 of 17 acres dedicated to sustainable production.Basic (feeds 3-4) $600

Basic small (feeds 1-2) $400

Specialty (Basic plus specialty items from other local farms) $650

Specialty small (Basic plus specialty items from other local farms): Check farm for pricing

Juicer's box: $400 (check with farm for details)
Pickup in Chicago in Jefferson Park, Des Plaines, Fox Lake, Mundelein, farm in VoloWeekly20 weeks (June-Oct.)NoneAvailable
Peasant’s Plot
Manteno, IL
website
Vegetables

Worker share option
Sustainable & organicIndividual $330

Family $660
Pickup @ farm in Manteno, IL, Lincoln Square, Wicker Park, Bucktown, & North CenterWeekly20 weeks, Jun-OctNoneAvailable
Pine Row Farm
Roscoe, IL
Local Harvest page
Vegetables, fruit, egss, honey 5 acre farm supplies Certified Naturally Grown vegetables, fruit, eggs and honey for First Hand Harvest CSA. Produce grown and livestock raised in accordance with sustainable and organic practices.$525Pickup in Roscoe & Rockford, ILWeeklyJune-Nov.Eggs, goat milk soap available50 shares available
Plow Creek *2012 information not yet available*
Tiskilwa, IL
website
Vegetables and berriesMennonite farmers that practice a shalom lifestyle (promoting overall well-being) and farm by being good stewards of the soil through sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry, reducing detrimental use of chemicals and machinery, and by
being economically sustainable
$480/season (Chicago-area pickup)

$430/season (Princeton, IL-area pickup)

Discounts available until Mar. 15th
Pickup in Chicago & PrincetonWeeklyMay-Oct.Eggs shares available50 shares available
Radical Root Farm
Marseilles, IL
website
VegetablesUSDA & MOSA Certified OrganicSpring $130/4 weeks

Full $565

Fall $200/6 weeks

3 seasons $875/28 weeks

Half $335
Pickup on farm in Grayslake, or in Lincoln Park/Old Town (Green City Market), Logan Square Farmer's Market WeeklySpring (May-June)

Summer - 18 weeks (June-Oct.)

Fall (Oct.-Nov.)

NoneAvailable
Ready Jam Farms
Marengo, IL
website
Vegetables (8-14 varieties including herbs)Organically GrownSmall $450 (1/4 bushel --feeds 2)

Medium $720 (1/2 bushel --feeds 4)

Large $1080 (3/4 bushel --feeds 6)
Pickup in Marengo, Elgin, Elmhurst, & AuroraWeekly18 weeks (mid-June through Oct)NoneAvailable
Richert/Phillips Farms
North Liberty, IN
Local Harvest page
Fruits & vegetablesCertified organic, naturally grown, grass-fed/pastured meats & eggsFull $555

2-months $300
Pickup at farm, in Palatine, Palos Heights, North Liberty, IN, or Indianapolis, INWeekly June-OctEggs & poultry (discounts for CSA members)100 shares Available
Sandhill Organics
Prairie Crossing, IL
website
Vegetables, herbs & some fruit (80% from their farm; remainder from other local organic farms)Certified OrganicSpring SOLD OUT

Summer $535

Fall $180

Fruit $235
Pickup at farm in Grayslake or in Barrington, Lake Forest, Glenview, Northbrook, Glen Ellyn, Clarendon Hills, Oak ParkWeeklySpring (early May-early June)

Summer (mid-Jun – late Sept)

Fall (Oct.-Nov.)
Egg shares extraSpring Season is sold out
Scotch Hill Farm
SW Wisconsin
website
VegetablesOrganic. No synthetic fertilizers, chemicals or herbicides20 weeks $585 (June-Oct.)

Large family 20-week Double Share $1125

15 weeks $495 (July-Oct)

10 weeks $350 (Aug-Oct.)

Winter $130 (2 deliveries in Nov.)

*Prices denote Chicago CSAs; check with farm for Wisconsin pricing
Pickup in Oak Park, Ravenswood, St. Ben's, Old Irving Park, Logan Square, West Town (@ Swim Cafe), Park Ridge & Madison & Monroe, WIWeekly20 weeks (July-Oct.)Flower shares available for extraAvailable
Simply Wisconsin* Farm Co-op in Southeastern & South Central Wisconsin
website
Vegetables; Fruit, fruit butters & honey, when available; (Vegetables include leafy greens, carrots, potatoes, summer squash, peppers & beans); Meat, egg, cheese and "pantry" shares (staple items)Certified Organic produce & eggs. Part of cooperative of 20+ family farms. Also offers cheese, preserves & naturally raised meats.Full $510 (8 items)

Basic $245 (4 items)

Eggs 1 doz/wk for 18 weeks $82

Eggs 1/2 doz/wk for 18 weeks $42
Pickup in Lakeview, Bucktown, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Wicker Park, River North, Uptown, West Rogers Park, Ravenswood, & Evanston, Barrington, Prospect Heights, Highland Park, Mundelein, Northbrook, Lake Bluff, Crystal Lake, Grayslake, Schaumburg Western Springs (Vie) & Winona & Madison WIWeekly18 weeks (June-Oct.)Cheese, meat and pantry shares availableAvailable -- shares going fast
Sweet Earth Organic Farm
Southwestern Wisconsin
website
Vegetables (special emphasis on heirloom tomatoes)Certified organic since 1974Full (3/4 bushel) $530

Partial (1/2 bushel) $425
Austin, Old Irving Park, Humboldt/Wicker Park, Arlington Heights, Elgin, Highland Park, & Oak ParkWeekly UnknownNoneAvailable
Sweet Home Organics
St. Charles, IL
web site
Vegetables and herbsOrganically grown (no synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides -and- GMO free seeds)
Full (5/9 bushel or grocery paper bag) weekly: $625

Half (5/9 bushel) every other week: $350

Full+Half share: $900
Pickup in St. Charles and Villa ParkWeekly or Biweekly18 weeks beginning June 9 through OctoberNone~20 shares available -- order soon
Tempel Farms Organics (frmly Red Tail Farm)
Old Mill Creek, IL
website
Vegetables & fruitNo herbicides, pesticides or petroleum-based fertilizersFull $585 (5/9th bushel)

Fall $150 (farm pickup only); $570 for farm pickup

Fruit $320 (18 weeks of Mick Klug fruit)
Pickup @ farm in Mill Creek, IL or in Logan Square, Lake ForestWeekly 20 weeks
NoneAvailable
Tomato Mountain Farm
Brooklyn, WI
website
Vegetables, herbs and strawberriesCertified Organic. Early season (Apr.-July):
Solo $168 (2/5th bushel)
Small $250 (5/9th bushel)
Medium $360 (3/4 bushel)
Large $540 (1-1/9th bushel)

Mid-Season (July-Sept.):
Solo $168 (2/5th bushel)
Small $250 (5/9th bushel)
Medium $360 (3/4 bushel)
Large $540 (1-1/9th bushel)

Late Season (Oct.-Dec.):
Solo $168 (2/5th bushel)
Small $250 (5/9th bushel)
Medium $360 (3/4 bushel)
Large $540 (1-1/9th bushel)

Discounts available until March 10th. Largest discount if sign up for all three seasons.
Home delivery throughout the greater Chicago area. No pickup sites.Weekly36 weeks! Mid-April-Dec.

Programs are in 12-week increments
Tomato Mountain's bottled products and extra produce (as available) can be added to weekly delivery.
Ongoing availability; shares will be prorated throughout the season.
Torpland Farm *2012 information not yet available*
Grayslake, IL
Local Harvest page
VegetablesDesigned crop plan according to "five basic color groups in our daily diets: Red, Green, Orange/Yellow, Blue/Purple and White"$550 full season sharePickup in Lisle/Warrenville, Chicago-North, Mundelein, Prairie CrossingWeekly20 weeks (June-Oct.)None50 shares available
Trail's End
Putnam, IL
website
MeatUSDA-Certified Organic meat that raises grass-fed Scottish Highland/Black Angus cross cattle; beef sold by halves and quarters. $1200/year per share

$625 for 1/2 share

Every month over the course of a year, each shareholder receives equivalent of 1/2 cow, i.e., about 10-14-1/2 lbs. of beef per month
Pickup in Wheaton, Evanston, Summit, Peoria Heights, & Pekin, ILMonthlyYear-roundNoneAvailable year-round
Triple A Farm *2012 information not yet available*
St. Anne, IL
website
VegetablesFamily farm operated by DeGroot brothersWeekly Vegetable Box $23.50Pickup throughout Chicagoland, home delivery available at no extra costWeekly12 weeks (July-Sept)NoneAvailable
Trogg's Hollow
Elgin, IL
website
Vegetables & herbsFamily-owned farm with Certified Naturally Grown vegetables Weekly 1/2 bushel shares $625

Biweekly 1/2 bushel shares $350

Pickup @ farm in Elgin & Roselle, Wheaton, Sycamore/DeKalb & Wicker ParkWeekly18 weeks (June-Oct.)NoneAlmost sold out!
Videnovich Farms
Bridgman, MI
web site
Vegetables & fruitThe Videnovich family has farmed for centuries in Eastern Europe. Uses old world methods such as minimal pesticides & hand weeding.“Summer Bounty” (8 weeks) $200

Full (22 weeks) $550
Pickup in Andersonville, Logan Square; Possible delivery to Ravenswood & River NorthWeekly22 weeks for Full Season
8 weeks for “Summer Bounty”
Hand-spun, natural yarns available from farm’s sheep
Fall & Winter extensions available
Available
Walkup Heritage Farm & Gardens *2012 information not yet available*
Crystal Lake, IL
website
Meat & eggs Raises heritage Poulet Rouge chickens fed on organic feed and ranged in chicken tractorsFull share (1 chicken/week) $320

1/2 share (1 chicken/biweekly) $170

1/4 share (1 chicken/month) $108
Pickup @ farm in Crystal Lake, ILWeekly, biweeklyor monthly 20 weeksEgg shares available - contact farm for details

Flowers extra

Tennessee fainting goats & rabbits for sale as pets
Available
Walnut Acres
Walnut, IL
web site
Meat (Range-fed beef, chicken, pork, turkey, eggs)Meat is free of antibiotics, hormones & animal by-products3 months $264

6 months $510

12 months $990

Each month's share is about 18 pounds of beef, chicken or pork & eggs
Pickup @ farm in Walnut, IL, Aurora, South Elgin, Plano, Ottawa, Lombard, Naperville, or Quad Cities/Moline3, 6 or 12 months Year-roundCan add-on extra products such as ground beef, sausage patties, links, etc.Available
Wellhausen Farms
Wheaton, IL
website
Vegetables & fruit (tomatoes, cabbage, green beans, sweet corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, peppers & spinach)No chemical fertilizers, insecticides or herbicides$175 to join, $19/week for 15-22 weeks
Delivered to home. Delivery route includes Bloomingdale, Glen Ellyn, Roselle, West Chicago, Wheaton, Naperville, Lombard, Villa Park, Streamwood, Schaumburg & BartlettWeekly 22 weeks (beginning in mid-June)NoneAvailable
*New!* Wright Way Farm
Monroe, WI
Local Harvest page
Vegetables & herbs

Work shares available
Certifed Organic & use only heirloom seed varietiesFull $440

Half $240
Pickup in Beloit, WI, Monroe, WI, Park Ridge, ILWeekly20 weeks (May-Sept.)NoneAvailable

(A) These providers are aggregators, meaning that they are non-traditional CSAs that do not grow  the produce or raise the meat offered in their boxes, rather, they cull items from their preferred sources.

We are pleased to have produced the 2012 CSA Guide in conjunction with our friends at FamilyFarmed.org


8 Comments



A Thriving Local Food System Needs Thriving Local Farmers

By
Posted: February 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm

As we recently noted on the Local Beet, demand for local food has reached possibly 40 percent of the public.  At least the press claims that as the amount of people clamoring for local food at their neighborhood restaurant chain.  How to meet the needs of that chunk o’ population.  A lot of thinkers in the Local Food System believe there are problems of distribution and supply, and thus, the desires of budding locavores cannot be met.  We know problems do exist with supplies and distribution, but we believe a whole host of problems will vanish, or at least diminish, when a lot more than forty percent want local food.  Still, demand-side arguments aside, we do strongly believe in the need for more area farmers who grow fruits and vegetables or raise animals for consumption.

Our friends at the Land Connection strongly believe this as well, and they have created a guide for finding local farmland, or if you own local farmland, finding a farmer who will use the land for good food.  You can order this document here.

We hope maybe a reader or two will find themselves down a new career path after seeing this.




Attitudes Toward Raw Milk Need To Be Pasteurized

By
Posted: February 24, 2012 at 10:21 am

As many of the readers of this blog will be aware, we are in the throes of an artisanal food renaissance in the good ol’ US of A and in the Midwest in particular. This trend is perhaps best reflected in the explosion of quality craft microbreweries through the country. According to figures from BusinessWeek, as craft brewers’ sales have continued to rise at a double-digit pace throughout the recession despite beer consumption overall remaining more or less stagnant.  This tells us that while people are just as, or in some cases, less likely to pony up for a cold one at the bar, they are more willing to pay for a better, more local brew.

The same trend is being seen in the world of cheese, as people increasingly seek out better quality, artisan-produced cheeses from closer to home. However, there is one issue that talented American cheese-makers have to deal with that the country’s innovative and acclaimed beer-makers do not: government food regulation telling them what they can and can’t make.

This video (courtesy of Edible Chicago) from last year’s Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival succinctly summarizes the issue at hand: raw milk cheeses aged for less than 60 days are illegal for sale in the United States. Why does this matter? Because many of the world’s most beloved soft-ripened cheeses require raw milk to meet naming regulations. Just as the wine industry has regional naming controls that require wines to be of a certain quality, of a certain blend of grapes, or from a specific region of a country, so too do many of the world’s most well-known cheeses.

IMG_7176

Many of us have no doubt had “brie” or “camembert” at some point in our lives, but what is less obvious to many is that unless you had those cheeses outside of North America, you likely have never had authentic “Brie de Meaux” or “Camembert de Normandie”. These cheeses are two of France’s most famous soft-ripened cheeses, and yet the best we can get in the States is a bland, buttery-flavored cheese that most closely resembles its faux-namesake in texture, rather than flavor. In truth, Brie de Meaux is full of mushroomy-earthiness and robust flavors and scents, while Camembert de Normandie is chock full of garlicky goodness and a pungency that could be mistaken for a cheese-scented Glade Plug-In.

Of course, for many people the “brie-style” cheeses that are so plentiful on our cheese shelves are pleasant, popular cheeses and for many others the news that many types of cheese cannot be made or sold in the US will be met with a resounding “so what”? Well the answer is that just as beer-makers likely wouldn’t put up with the idea of not being able to make any but a limited selection of types of lager, so too should cheese-makers, dairy farmers, and cheese-lovers alike be upset that there is an entire, beautiful category of cheese that we are not allowed to enjoy in the US.

As many caesophiles (the fancy word for cheese-lovers) already know, the American cheese-making tradition is deeply rooted in the traditions of immigrant communities from Europe. In fact, despite cheese-making being practiced in the US since practically the country’s inception, there are precious few truly unique American styles of cheese that exist today. In fact, many of those that do exist are relatively new creations and many of them are simply new twists or slight departures from firmly established European categories.

The various government agencies at hand, the Department of Agriculture and FDA among others, had good reasons to implement these laws when they did; for a long time it was difficult to accurately detect food-borne bacterium and diseases that can be harmful to humans and transmitted by things like milk and to this day still poses problems for producers and regulators alike. However, similar problems have recently been seen in high profile cases with things as varied as canteloupe, meats, and even salads without any increased scrutiny on the handling and sale of raw fruit to American consumers. In fact, some states have started to lessen some of these restrictions. In Illinois, raw milk can be sold, but cannot be advertised, and the consumer must bring his or her own container to the transaction.

IMG_7199

However, what this fails to account for is that pasteurization also removes many of the positive bacterium and nutrients that can be found in raw milk. Cows in particular retain beta-carotenes and other beneficial proteins and nutrients from the grasses and flowers that they graze on. Of course, this benefit will only come from cows that are allowed to graze on the farms that they live on. This puts the onus on the consumer to find out where their food is coming from and make sure that the animals are being allowed to roam as free as possible. But isn’t this behavior that we should be encouraging in consumers, rather than stunting by limiting options? Additionally, cheeses made from raw milk, almost without exception, possess deeper and more beautiful colors, more vivid scents, and a depth and complexity of flavor that pasteurized cheeses simply cannot compete with.

While many in the cheese-making industry have adapted to these issues, with skilled artisans and raw milk enthusiasts like Andy Hatch at Uplands Dairy in Wisconsin, we have been able to get some pretty good likenesses to the real thing.  Andy literally re-engineered the traditional recipe for Vacherin Mont d’Or/Vacherin du Haut-Doubs to be able to stand up to the minimum 60 day aging period in order to produce his extremely small production and extremely sought-after Rush Creek Reserve. Similarly, folks at dairies like Meadow Creek in Virginia and Jasper Hill in Vermont have found their own ways to create soft-ripened cheeses that can be made with raw milk while standing up to the added aging restrictions. However, now there is concern that these restrictions may be increased rather than lessened, which would serve only to strangle artisanal  American cheese-making when the industry is just starting to take off in both quality and creativity, with some even making the leap across the Atlantic, being featured in cheese shops in London and Paris.

This emergence of the United States as a truly skillful producer and increasingly educated consumer of cheese  coupled with President Obama’s call to lessen the regulatory restrictions of American small business, the time is ripe to help our cheese-makers develop new and exciting takes on European classics as well as some innovative new all-American cheeses by allowing them a full set of tools to work with.

Photos courtesy of Kari Skaflen.




Hey, you. Yeah, you. Dere’s a FEW things we gotta discuss.

By
Posted: February 24, 2012 at 6:31 am

It was a dark and stormy night, despite the bright mid-afternoon sun.

I wuz wit my dame, see, and we’d heard about this little place making some really cool hootch. That was hot.

She pointed me to this little alley off of Chicago Avenue, in Evanston. Hip little neighborhood. Half block north of Main Street. Nice. But not where you’d expect to find a joint making fresh booze.

I said naw, dammit, there couldn’t be anything down there, except maybe a car chop shop … or maybe a blackjack upside the head.

She was insistent. Wit a strong-willed dame like that, you don’t argue much, at least if you know what’s good for you.

There was a sign. It said: “FEW Spirits.”

Yeah, dis is the alley.
Yeah, dis is the alley.

We found a door. It creaked open. (Nah, it really didn’t creak; they must have gotten some WD-40 from somewhere. I didn’t ask where. In these situations, you don’t ask much.)

Inside wuz a guy wit a big smile on his face. I been around long enough to be suspicious of any guy with a big smile on his face. But maybe he’d just been sampling his hooch.

Dis guy, Paul, had “Master Distiller” on his shirt. I’d heard from some guy in the joint he wuz a lawyer. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate lawyers. Some of ‘em got me out of some, shall we say, incidents. But most of the lawyers I’ve known have only kept a flask or two in their desk. Dis has gotta be the only lawyer wit a high-falutin’ distillation still behind his desk.

Him and what's behind his desk
Him and what’s behind his desk

But he used to work wit the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, so he knows his booze.

He got dis fancy schmancy still from the guys down at Koval Distillery, in Ravenswood, Chicago; they seems to know guys in Germany who make special stills. None of those Appalachian homemade still things going on here. Dis guy runs a quality operation. But he makes you pay for it. Even a coupla Jacksons won’t get you a bottle. At least, not legit.

I got a White Whiskey from the guy. Paid big. It’s smooth. He makes a gin, too, on the other side of the still.  He claims it’s a genever-style gin, but since when does a gin include hops from Paul’s backyard? Dis guy’s over the top. We might need to deal with him. Especially when he puts out a brown whiskey (Evanston’s 400 miles from Bourbon County, KY, so it ain’t really bourbon) and maybe a “single malt” (it’s not Scotch, since even the Hebrides is almost 3,700 miles over dere).

Da White Whiskey. The stuff won an award.
Da White Whiskey. The stuff won an award.

He’s also put out a barrel-aged gin. Who ever heard of a brown gin? Yeah, we might need to give this guy a little visit, and “explain” what’s right.

Dere’s only a couple other guys making hootch legally in the state. One is those guys at Koval (dey include the guy named Lion — he helps distill, but dammit, I don’t think this guy is old enough to drink it yet. Maybe they put a bit of their stuff on his gums if he cries.) The other’s in Lake Bluff, North Shore.

Dis guy’s got a sense of humor, though. You think FEW stands for the FEW guys distilling in Illinois? Or the FEW guys who can afford his stuff? Take a hint from me, my friend. It’s a wink to Frances Elizabeth Willard, who ran the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in 1879 from her joint right up the street in Evanston. She hated booze. She and her girlfriends are prolly turning over in their graves. Hah!

Me and my boys still might pay a little visit to 918 Chicago Avenue in Evanston one of these Saturdays, maybe around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. We might need to get a little taste of what this guy Paul Hletko is doing, if you know what I mean.




The Weekly Harvest 2/23 Roundup of posts Here and Yonder

By
Posted: February 23, 2012 at 9:48 pm

It is a quick roundup this week, I just don’t know where the time goes!!!

Nourishing Words - Growing Your Own.. ” Salad greens on pennies a day? In the middle of winter, in your kitchen? Organic, even? Yes, it’s possible. It’s even easy. So easy, in fact, that I’m challenged to understand why everyone’s not doing it.” Go to the link to read more from Eleanor Barron, “Writing at the intersection of local food, gardening, healthy living and sustainability. I live, learn, write, cook, eat and garden from my zone five Concord, New Hampshire home. Personal action can change the world.”

Jules Clancy Stonesoup from Australia is really growing on me and gave me some ideas for the soup I made this past week for Soup and Bread at The Hideout!.“Stuck in a breakfast rut. Some unusual healthy ideas for breakfast“. Her point of view, “I love food especially veggies. I have a degree in Food Science and am the author of 5 ingredients 10 minutes. Stonesoup is a weekly blog about fresh,healthy, delicious food.The fact that most recipes here contain 5 ingredients and can bemade in minutes is a bonus.

Ben Hewitt’s latest post is titled “Hungry“. Who is Ben? “ Ben was born and raised in northern Vermont, where he currently runs a small-scale, diversified hill farm with his family. He lives with his wife and two sons in a self-built home that is powered by a windmill and solar photovoltaic panels. To help offset his renewable energy footprint, Ben drives a really big truck. His work has appeared in numerous national periodicals, including the New York Times Magazine, Wired, Gourmet, Discover, Skiing, Eating Well, Yankee Magazine, Powder, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, and Outside.

His most recent book is Making Supper Safe: One Man’s Quest to Learn the Truth About Food Safety (Rodale). It was published on June 7, 2011. From dumpster diving, to the battle over food rights, to genetically engineered salmon and the interplay between humans and the bacteria they consume, Ben explores the untold story of food safety with humor and good-natured skepticism.”

Always I3 (interesting, informative and inspirational) to checkout Nourishing The Planet , NTP, their latest post is on the Farm Bill. as well as a post on “thinking of soil as more than just dirt”.

Simple, Good, and Tasty has Soupapalooza going!

Blue-Kitchen has this recipe this week.

Foodinjars here

Grubstreet Chicago had this to say about The Slow Food Chicago Annual Meeting at the Peggy Notebaert Museum which runs from 2-4pm and you can register here...

That’s about it folks, if you have a blog that is one that you check every week put it in the comments section below!!!!!!!!!


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The Local Calendar 2/22 Bring a friend to the markets!!!

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Posted: February 22, 2012 at 10:09 am

Good weather brings people out to the markets!!! Slowly but surely more greens are showing up at the markets. My Beet colleague Wendy Aeschlimann has written a great write-up on what she found at the Green City Market lseveral weeks ago and you can read it here! It is not just the Green City Market, all the other markets on our events calendar have lots of produce, check them out. On top of these specialists, we still find local foods here and there at neighborhood grocery stores. Caputo’s still has Illinois grown beets.  Michigan apples are still plentiful, although the varieties are falling off. For this week, bring a friend to the market who has never been before. The way to increase demand for local produce is to increase awareness of it. If you are reading this, you are a supporter of local but this week, bring someone who has never been before!!!!! Bring a friend to the markets!!!!

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

Southport Grocery and Cafe 3552 N. Southport, Chicago

New! – Have you checked out Publican Quality Meats? – 835 W. Fulton, Chicago

WHAT TO DO NOW

Ongoing through June 10th Chicago – Feast:Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art Smart Museum University of Chicago Go here for all the projects associated with it.

New! Registration is now open for Openlands HomeGrown Chicago Community Food Garden Network Training class starting March 24th

February 22

Chicago – Calling all Beets!!!!! - Soup and Bread at The Hideout 5:30pm – 7:30 pm 1354 W. Wabansia Ave. Soup makers this week include : Sarah Dandelles , The Local Beet’s Rob Gardner, New Beeter and Edible Chicago’s Jeannie Boutelle , Peasants Plot , Graze Magazine’s Cyndi Fetcher , Won Kim , John Soss , Inspiration Kitchens chef David Rosenthall , DJ Carrie Weston . Proceeds benefit Inspiration Kitchens Come one, come all and support Soup & Bread and Inspiration Kitchens!

February 23

Chicago – Goodgreens.org meeting 10:00 -12:00 sponsored by the USDA, for location and session information contact Alan.Shannon@fns.usda.gov I have attended this meeting and it is incredibly productive to attend for anyone looking for information on the myriad of grants available for the Il. farmer, the Farm to School program, all the pubic programs focused on healthy eating and anyone who wants to know what is going on in the public and non-profit sector on sustainable food in Illinois, highly recommended to attend but email Alan Shannon first.

Chicago – Green City Market Junior Board - Book Club – “Read, Grow, Eat” 6-8pm The book being discussed is “Farm City-The Education of an Urban Farmer”  by Novella Carpenter. Held at The Bedford, 1612 West Division St .

Chicago – This is going to be great! Dinner and a MovieUncommon Ground 6:30pm 1401 West Devon The Good Food Festival and Uncommon Ground is excited to premier Michael Gebert’s film, The Butcher’s Karma. 3-course dinner featuring locally sourced meats, wines from Candid Wines and Q and A with the stars of the movie. $50 Buy tickets here. In my opinion the three people featured in this movie are the Trifecta of Pork in Chi-town, this is a must go to, if you can!!

Chicago – #Cleetusfeedus (On Twitter) Sko-fit Eatin’ Fit Services and City Provisions Dinner 6-8pm $51 Buy tickets and see menu here... The menu is based on locally sourced, healthy ingredients and particpants will Tweet about it and eat, to promote and spread the news about local and healthy eating. 1818 West Wilson.

Chicago – A Spirited Dinner – Nana Organic 3267 S. Halsted 7-9pm Chef Guy Meikle prepares a three-course prix-fixe meal featuring produce from Seedling (South Haven, Michigan) and beer pairings from 5 Rabbit Brewery (Chicago, Illinois). Peter Klein from Seedling and Isaac Showaki, Andres Araya and Randy Mosher from 5 Rabbit will be on-hand for discussion and questions during the meal. Buy tickets here.

February 25

Chicago - The Green City Market Held at the Peggy Notebaert Museum 2430 N. Cannon Drive 8am – 1pm Chef demonstration 10:30am Greg Elliot from Lockwood. Come visit me at Tiny Greens and join WG Nation!! 31 vendors are expected to participate including Capriole, Prairie Fruits, Orianna’s Fruit and Growing Home!

Chicago – Growing Power celebrates it’s 10th anniversary 3333 S. Iron St. 1-6pm Aquaponics workshop, small bites, tours and cheers! Happy Birthday GP!  Growing Power’s Iron Street Farm

Chicago - Faith in Place Indoor Market 10am – 2pm Bethany Evangelical Church 9147 South Jeffery Blvd.

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

Evanston –  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 — Read a report from the market from Beetnik, Peg Wolfe here.

Geneva - Geneva Green Market – 27 N. Bennett (Geneva Place) – 9 AM – 1 PM – Read a report from Beetnik Melissa Owens, who finds among other things, basil, at this market here.

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

St. Charles – Farm Fresh Food Stuffs sponsors a market at St. Charles Place Steakhouse and Banquet -NEW MARKET starts in St Charles this Saturday. We will be on North Ave (route 64) on the east side of town between Kirk & Dunham Roads in the parking lot of St Charles Place. Open from 9am to 3pm.

February 26

Chicago – Andersonville Indoor Market at Ebenezer Lutheran Church – 9am – 1pm 1650 W. Foster Ave.

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

Chicago – Slow Food Chicago Annual Meeting – Peggy Notebaert Museum 2 -4pm The keynote speaker will be Greg Hall, founder of Virtue Cider and former brewmaster of Goose Island, to talk about his experiences as an entrepreneurial ciderist and two-time delegate to Terra Madre. Greg will also share samples of his new hard cider – a truly unique “sneak peek” for the Slow Food community in advance of its market launch. The annual meeting will also host a meet-and-greet session where you will be able to meet and talk with Slow Food board members, Greg and past Terra Madre delegates. The Annual Meeting is a free event. As an added bonus Virtue will be premiering its new cider and a favorite of many already in Chicago, Puffs of Doomwill be providing their little bites of yumminess!

Lombard – “Derby for a Day” Roller Skate-a-thon Fundraiser for Wellness – 201 West 22nd St. Proceeds from this event will benefit Seven Generations Ahead’s efforts to build healthy, sustainable communities. 4-7:30 pm

February 27,28

Chicago – The Stew Supper Club presents From Ukrainian Village With Love with guest chefs The Underground Food Collective 4 course prix fixe $45 Tickets are available at Coopsauce.com

February 28

Chicago – Lincoln Square - C & D Family Farms selling their all natural free range meats from 7 to 11 am in the parking lot at Lincoln & Leland.

Chicago – Re-Thinking Soup – Jane Addams Hull House 800 South Halsted 12-1pm

Chicago – Andersonville – C & D Family Farms selling their all natural free range meats from 4pm to 7pm on Ashland at Berywn in front of the First Evangelical Free Church

SAVE THE DATE!!!!

February 29

Chicago - Culinary Conversation, “Sweet Chicago” – Chicago’s Downstand Farmstand 66 E. Randolph 6-8:30pm Celebrate Chicago’s 175th Birthday by learning all abou lore t the origins, legends and of the city’s sweet history. Cultural Historian Tim Samuelson and Art Historian Rolf Achilles join Chef Jenny Lewis, author of the the new book, Midwest Sweet Baking History, for a fast-paced conversation filled with fascinating facts and fun tidbits of past and present. Admission is FREE, but reservations are required. Please contact the Ticket Office 312-742-TIXS (8492) to reserve your space.

Chicago - Edible Chicago and Brooklyn Breweries present the Quarterly Carousal “A Celebration of Beer, Food, and Stories” 7-9pm. Sheffields 3258 N. Sheffield Ave. Pick up the winter 2012 issue of Edible Chicago magazine and try Brooklyn Breweries latest beer, Mary’s Maple Porter while noshing on some local food goodies. RSVP to events@ediblechicago.com with “Quarterly Carousal #1″ in the subject line.

March 2

Chicago – Starts – Logan Square Kitchen is hosting Bee Movie Weekend to benefit Chicago Honey Co-op’s efforts to relocate its hives before Spring. (Chicago Honey Co-op lost its land earlier this winter.) They will be screening “The Vanishing of the Bees,” narrated by Ellen Page. Concessions provided by Jason Hammel of Lula Cafe and Matthias Merges of Yusho. $20. Tickets and more information here.

March 3

Chicago – Bee Movie Weekend continues Logan Square Kitchen

New! Springfield - Illinois Products Expo A Food and Cooking Extravaganza Orr Building Illinois State Fairgrounds go to link for more info.

March 4

New! Chicago – Seed Swap – The Peterson Garden Project – 2-4pm Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Galter Pavillon 2nd Floor 5140 N. California. In addition to the seed exchange there will be opportunities to learn about planting, edible seeds, heirloom vegetables and more!

Chicago – Glenwood Sunday Market Third Annual Chili Festival – Noon-3pm Glenwood Bar 6962 N. Glenwood

Chicago – Pleasant Farms in Bridgeport is holding gardening classes on spring planting, seed starts, planter box care and spring bed refreshing to help get you started on your garden. For more information and to register, please call 773-523-7437 or email pleasantfarms@gmail.com. $20. Refreshments provided by Pleasant House Bakery.

Springfield – Illinois Food Products Expo continues

March 5

Chicago - Chowdah Fest returns Columbia Yacht Club – 6:30-9pm Go to link for details and reservations $35

March 6

Chicago – Quarterly Citrus Canning Workshop – Sponsored by Slow Food Chicago - Held at The Logan Square Kitchen – 6-9pm 2333 N. Milwaukee In this intimate, hands-on workshop Lis David and Zvi Bar-Chaim (owners of Scratch Homemade) will teach you how to enjoy home preserving, even in the dead of winter.  You will participate in every step as the group makes delicious and unique Lemon Ginger Marmalade. The class includes all tools and equipments.  Organic, domestically grown lemons will be purchased through Dill Pickle Coop. You’ll leave with the knowledge and confidence needed to can at home as well as a few jars of the chutney prepared during class.Order tickets here.

March 9

Chicago - King of the River Casino Night- Benefit for Meals On Wheels Chicago – Chicago Cultural Center 6:30- 12:30am

March 10

Chicago - Farmer Forum Kendall College 2:30 – 7:30 pm On Saturday, March 10, 2012, Green City Market and Kendall College will host Chris Blanchard for two back-to-back presentations on growing and organizing your small farm business.  Join us at Kendall College, 900 N. Branch St. Chicago IL, for this unique educational event! Green City Market vendors can attend for free and $10 for other market vendors in the area.

Mineral Point, WI – King’s Hill Farm Prairie Burn Nature’s Fireworks 3pm -10pm After arriving on the farm you will receive a lesson on prairie burning, the history and the practical safety tips. Walk the land to view the layout of the burn. Eat a delicious meal and after dinner the fire works begin!

New! Springfield – Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network – Annual Meeting – 6-9pm Illinois Department of Agriculture Auditorium Chef Chris Pandel of The Bristol and Balena will be the keynote speaker.

March 11

Chicago – Common Threads Chef’s Charity Dinner at The James Hotel -6pm 55 East Ontario  Hosted by Gail Simmons, and feature some of Chicago’s best chefs teaming up with some of Common Threads’ brightest students to prepare a family-style course for a four course global meal. Individual tickets $250 VIP $500 Buy tickets here. This event is to support all the great programs that Common Threads is doing to support healthy eating for children. If you ever have a chance to observe or volunteer at one of their classes it is well worth it, to see the joy of cooking instilled in children.

Join us for the intimate VIP Cocktail hour with Gail Simmons, which includes a signed copy of her new book “Talking With My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater”.

March 15

Chicago - Good Food Festival Financing Farm and Food Business. Schedule here....UIC Pavillon 8:30-5:45pm

March 16

New! Chicago – Good Food Festival Trade Show, School Food and Food Policy Summit Schedule here.…9-6:45pm UIC Pavillon

March 17

Caledonia – Angelic Organics Learning Workshop for Prospective Chicken Keepers - Count Your Chickens 9am – 12pm 1547 Rockton Rd. Focus on small flocks

New! Chicago - Good Food Festival Consumer and Workshop Day. Go here for a list of all the great workshops. Farmers, food, tons of exhibitors 9-5:45pm UIC Pavillon

La Fox- Heritage Prairie Farm St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Farm Dinner 6pm 2N308 Brundage Road When the parade is over and the river loses it emerald luster, polish off your shamrocks and celebrate the holiday at Heritage Prairie Farm. That evening Chef Jeremy will prepare a blend of traditional and contemporary Irish dishes served family style at our farm tables while the pints of beer are flowing. Erin Go Bragh!

March 18

Chicago – Pleasant Farms in Bridgeport is holding gardening classes on spring planting, seed starts, planter box care and spring bed refreshing to help get you started on your garden. For more information and to register, please call 773-523-7437 or email pleasantfarms@gmail.com. $20. Refreshments provided by Pleasant House Bakery.

March 19th

New! Chicago - Dinner at Floriole Cafe – Featuring the Butcher and Larder - 1220 West Webster Ave. 7-9pm $75 Buy tickets here. For our March dinner, we are working with Rob and Allie Levitt, owners of The Butcher and Larder. Each course will feature meats from their shop paired with Floriole products. Additionally, Sandra and Allie are collaborating to create a decadent cheese course and dessert

March 22/23

Decatur - Farm to Plate conference – Join Land Connection founder Terra Brockman and other community members at the Illinois meeting of the American Planning Association. Terra will be speaking on Building Health and Wealth Through Local Food with other members of the Edible Economy Project. Registration information is here.

March 23

Chicago – Whiskyfest sponsored by The Malt Advocate Hyatt Regency This incredibly popular event was sold out as of this post but go to the website for details.

March 24

New! Openlands Homegrown Chicago Community Food Garden Network Training Class starts 9:30 – 12:30pm

National Cash Mob Day – What is this all about go here. Want to participate in Chicago, follow on Twitter @cashmobchicago It is all about supporting locally owned, independent businesses.

Chicago – Basic Backyard Chicken Care – Angelic Organics Learning Workshop 10:00am – 1pm 1444 N. Sacramento Raising chickens as pets and for eggs is LEGAL in Chicago and part of our growing local food and urban agriculture scene. Learn how to keep you, your chickens, & your neighbors happy – from daily needs and year-round care to relevant city regulations. For anyone who has read the book, Farm City, chickens seem to be the next step for a lot of people, particularly some friends of mine who will go unmentioned (but you should go to this workshop!!) Angelics is trying to empower people with the information to follow through with this idea!!!!

New! Westmont - Standard Market Open House -333 East Ogden Ave. 11-8pm Standard Market is committed to sourcing product within 250 miles of the store. Being a person that loves contests, not only is Standard Market having a chili-cookoff, they have a great contest going on, that involves food trivia, teams, prizes called the Standard Market Sweep Game Show later on in the day. Go to this link to get further information!

March 27

New! Chicago – What’s Brewing in Chicago? The Politics of Beer Haymarket Pub and Brewery 6:30pm – 8pm 7373 W. Randolph St. The Public Square presents a lively conversation on the politics of beer–past and present. Join us to take a look back in Chicago’s history as the beer capital of the world then fast forward to the rise of microbreweries today. Sponsored by the Illinois Humanities Council and is free but reserve a spot here.

April 4

New! Western Springs – Dinner at Vie to celebrate Paul Virant’s new book, Preservation Kitchen – $125. The first dinner sold out so this is a second chance, the ticket includes the meal using recipes from the book with wine pairings, a signed copy of the book and a jar of jam, yum! Proceeds go to DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund.Call 708-246-2082 to reserve a spot. Vie is a short walk right off the train and it takes 20 minutes at most from the city.

April 14

New! Chicago - BACONFEST – UIC Forum If you don’t know what Baconfest is, you should!!! Go to this link to find out more.

April 15

New! Chicago – Food Fight - 4th Annual Celebrity Chef Competition benefitting Sclerodema – Kendall College 4:30 – 8pm

April 28

Chicago – Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival –  Chicago French Market 11-3pm This cheesy festival is back stay tuned for more details.



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Root Cellar Diary 9: Rotting Stuff

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Posted: February 21, 2012 at 10:40 am

I didn’t know squash could become rotten so fast

(Things are not going well in the root cellar. See how I got to this point with previous diaries here.)


Fetid water, courtesy David Hammond

Fetid water, courtesy David Hammond

I’m not sure if this is a related problem, but I notice that the pot of water I put in the sink in my root cellar has turned fetid. Perhaps there’s evil bacteria floating in the air that results in accelerated rotting of produce.

Rotten squash, courtesy David Hammond

Rotten squash, courtesy David Hammond

I’ve got a bunch of stuff rotting in my root cellar, like squash.

Honestly, I didn’t know squash could become rotten so fast. I swear, we’ve had squash sitting in our kitchen window that seemed to last all winter.

The squash in our root cellar, on the other hand, has been rotting away for awhile.

Not sure what I’m doing wrong, but the good thing about squash is, you can cut off the bad part and still have a fair amount of decent squash that’s still edible.

I’m not sure if this is a related problem, but I notice that the pot of water I put in the sink in my root cellar has turned fetid. Perhaps there’s evil bacteria floating in the air that results in accelerated rotting of produce.

Any way, if for no other reason than aesthetic, I cleaned out the water pot and refilled it, though I’m not entirely sure that will solve the mystery of the rotting root cellar food.

David Hammond talks about food every Wednesday in the Wednesday Journal and Chicago Sun-Times and regularly on Oakpark.com and WBEZ, 91.5FM.  You can also find him often on LTHForum, a food site he helped found and where he still works diligently as a Lead Moderator.




Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

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Posted: February 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Wolfert_derez

If you could invite any living cookbook author to dinner who would it be? I don’t need to think twice about my answer: Paula Wolfert. Possessed with many of the qualities I most admire—curiosity, an adventurous spirit, a deeply compassionate intelligence and the ability to forge instant bonds across languages and cultures—how I’d love to spend a few hours with her at my table!

Wolfert’s first book, Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco, (1973, revised edition 2010) introduced Americans to the exotic ingredients and flavors of this ancient North African cuisine. Her meticulous research, conducted over several years while living in Morocco, yielded exciting authentic recipes accessible even to newly adventurous home cooks in the early 1970s. Wolfert’s stories animate its pages with the aroma of charcoal smoke and spice, the crush of vendors in the medina, and daily calls to prayer echoing through narrow, winding streets. Through these stories she sketches the contours of Marrakesh, Fez, and Tangiers with bold, romantic strokes. Even 39 years later, the recipes have a remarkable allure. Couscous was the inspiration for our 2011 New Year’s Eve dinner party and again for a wine-tasting dinner we hosted in February.

Couscous was followed by seven more cookbooks about the local food and regional traditions of the Mediterranean basin. With the warmth, humor, and passion of a true amateur (in the best sense of that word) Wolfert has spent four decades in home kitchens carefully documenting dishes passed by memory through generations from mother to daughter. In a 2010 article in Food and Wine magazine, she says the secret to coaxing recipes from locals is “hugging, kissing, and measuring spoons.” Her near-forensic investigation of ingredients, flavors, and techniques and tenacious pursuit of authentic cooking has left a profound mark on the current generation of chefs. In the same article, Mario Batali says “Paula is perhaps the single most influential cook and author among the professional chefs of my generation. . . . Her relentless search for authenticity has led the chefs I love to accept no compromises, and to create real food for an American market that, up until 25 years ago, wanted none of that. She’s a lot of fun to have a drink with, too.”

Each of the six Wolfert cookbooks in my library (she has written eight, in all) has taught me something important. Her second cookbook, Mediterranean Cooking, (1977, revised edition 1999) is, I think, where she defined her vision and laid out the roadmap for all of the cookbooks that followed. It offers a splendid array of dishes from the countries lining the Mediterranean, from the Iberian Peninsula to southern France, Italy, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East and Northern Africa. I bought my copy while a college student studying Spanish literature. At the time, I’d made one trip to Spain and was fascinated by southern Spain’s blend of Arab and European cultures. Wolfert’s book gave me some context, quite literally, to sink my teeth into and taught me to recognize how threads of influence from each culture are woven into that region’s cooking. The book’s recipes are arranged by primary ingredient instead of by course, a key concept at the heart of the Mediterranean culinary culture of fresh, local ingredients. It’s a common organizing principle in cookbooks today but an innovation well ahead of its time in the late 1970s.

From The Cooking of Southwest France (1983, revised edition 2005) I learned ingenious techniques that enhanced my confidence and kitchen skills. Delicate shellfish like scallops demand last-minute cooking, an anxiety-inducing exercise especially when entertaining guests. Wolfert offers a flawless method for cooking and holding scallops (for as long as 20 minutes!) while keeping them hot and retaining a tender interior texture and crusty exterior. The combination of tangerine juice and celery leaves in a sauce for the aforementioned scallops, while not a flavor pairing I would ever have conceived on my own, is brilliant. She also taught me to render and cook with duck fat, Southwest France’s versatile, flavorful alternative to olive oil or butter, a tasty lesson that may not carry my doctor’s seal of approval.

Mediterranean Grains and Greens (1998) was published just as my obsession with greens blossomed and over the 14 years I’ve meandered through its recipes, I always see something with new eyes. That, to me, is the mark of a genuinely creative author, one with depth and true culinary vision. The recipe for no-stir polenta is another one of her lifesaving dinner party tricks that’s now a standard in my repertoire. Simply butter a heavy oven-proof pan, stir together polenta, water, and salt and bake it for 1 hour and 20 minutes, remove from oven, stir once, correct the seasoning, and return to the oven for a final 10 minutes. Pure, simple genius. Wolfert steams common cultivated greens like spinach and chard with leafy herbs like cilantro, parsley, and even celery leaves to deepen their earthy savor, then sears the chopped, wilted greens in olive oil to remove excess moisture. She lightens the texture of this thick green “marmalade” with more oil, preserved lemon, and chopped black olives to produce an intense, meltingly tender and creamy condiment that tastes of wild greens and makes an addictive, gutsy spread for toasted flatbread. It keeps in the refrigerator for days and is fantastic with a glass of rustic red wine or good beer.

I expected The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen (2003) to be a perfect cold-weather cookbook, full of slow-cooked, soulful soups and succulent stews and braises distinguished by Wolfert’s big flavors, and it is. “Moroccan Lamb, Quince, and Baby Okra Tagine” was a perfect way to use the last batch of Red Velvet okra that ripened in our garden in a late October warm spell. Along with a couple of Orianna Kruszewski’s quinces and a Pinn-Oak Ridge lamb shoulder, the beautiful thumb-sized burgundy pods made my okra-loving husband very happy. What I didn’t expect were the slow-cooked vegetable dishes. Wolfert rightly points out in the introduction to the vegetable chapter, “ . . . very few vegetables in the Mediterranean repertoire are prepared al dente, slow-cooking is pretty much the norm.” I admit I had doubts last May when I first tried “Asparagus Baked in Parchment with Caper Mayonnaise.” While I agree with her that fat asparagus spears trump skinny ones, I was skeptical about the 175° oven temperature and the 1½ to 2 hour cooking time. I should not have doubted her—the recipe produces deep flavor and silken texture, nothing stringy or mushy about those spears. “Glazed Carrots with Green Olives” and “Oven-Baked Cauliflower with Yogurt-Garlic Sauce” are equally satisfying winter vegetable dishes I make often. A few weeks ago, Paul Kahan was featured in the Wall Street Journal’s “Slow Food Fast” column. His recipe for a salad of bitter greens, apples, blue cheese and pecans got my attention, not because I’m a sucker for bitter greens (although I am), but because he softens the bite of a classic vinaigrette by stirring in a spoonful of melted membrillo, its subtle fruity perfume marrying the bitter greens with the apples. “Genius idea!” I thought. “What a creative mind! What an inventive palate!” I’d made a batch of homemade membrillo from the precious few quinces I could get from Orianna last Fall and was looking for new ways to use it. Fast-forward a few weeks later, as I’m flipping through The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen I spy this recipe: “Brine-Cured Green Olives with Quince Dressing.” Wolfert’s recipe directs us to “. . . melt quince paste over low heat with a little water, stir to dissolve, cool, add lemon, thyme, olive oil. . .” . Ah ha! Who’s the genius now? It certainly reinforces Batali’s point about Wolfert’s influence on today’s chefs, doesn’t it?

Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking (2009) brings me back to the Moroccan wine-tasting dinner I mentioned at the beginning of this post. I should note that the only thing I need less than another cookbook (according to Matt, anyway), is an excuse to acquire another piece of cooking equipment. I took one look at the frontispiece gracing the book’s opening pages, a photograph of a beautiful, hand-thrown pot, and was gripped with an overwhelming desire for cazuelas, chinese sandpots, and rustic Provençal earthenware. Wolfert fans those flames higher in the book’s introduction, waxing rhapsodic about food tasting better when cooked in clay and quoting a Provençal potter “with tender eyes and hair flowing to his shoulders” who asserts that “. . . pottery has a kind of ‘memory’ of the food it held, and only a clay pot can keep the memory of the love the cook put into it . . .” It’s like I’m reading the culinary equivalent of a romance novel. I take a deep breath. “Must get hold of self,” I muttered. Composure restored, I study the recipes with a more dispassionate eye but I’m still smitten. Wolfert covers the same geographic ground in each of her books but brings fresh insight, new approaches, and delicious variations on the region’s slow-cooked food without repeating herself. In “Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Winter Squash and Toasted Pine Nuts” she describes a novel method of grating butternut or kabocha squash, macerating it in sugar (instead of the salt you might expect) to remove excess liquid, concentrate its flavor, and improve its texture, then uses some of that reserved sugary liquid to caramelize the squash as it reduces to a thick jam. Suddenly, I’m swooning again. A “Casserole of Lentils, Eggplant, and Mint” slowly cooks sliced eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers in little more than their own moisture. The eggplant slices lining the bottom of the clay cooking vessel are ingeniously notched to ensure they absorb all of the slowly rendered vegetable goodness. Small details, remarkable results! Then I came to the recipes using the Romertopf. Romer-what, you ask? Well, many of us of a certain age have one of these two-piece clay cooking pots, probably received as a wedding gift, gathering dust in the basement along with fondue pots, bread machines, and other relics of a long-passed culinary fashion. I hadn’t thought about it in years, but there it was, sitting on a basement shelf covered in cobwebs, still in its original box. It looks something like a miniature sarcophagus, decorated with curious hieroglyphics of stylized chickens, pigs, fish, and wine glasses. I soaked it in a sink-full of cold water for the requisite 15 minutes, pulled the Gunthorp chicken I’d planned to roast for Sunday dinner from the refrigerator, and followed the recipe for “Romertopf Clay-Baked Chicken Stuffed with Serrano Ham and Olives.” Oh. My. Goodness. So began my Romertopf phase, culminating with the “Moroccan Mechoui” for our recent wine group dinner. A traditional mechoui involves burying a whole dressed lamb in an intensely hot, brick-lined pit, sealing the pit with a mix of mud and grass, and allowing the lamb to steam and self-baste for hours. Wolfert simulates this by steam-roasting a lamb shoulder, slathered with spiced butter, in a Romertopf. She begins by placing the water-soaked Romertopf containing the lamb in a cold oven and turns the heat to 475°. The lamb at first steams as the moisture evaporates from the clay, then crisps and browns as it roasts in the hot oven. We served the Pinn-Oak Ridge lamb shoulder with the harissa recipe from Couscous and Other Good Food From Morocco, the “marmalade” of greens from Mediterranean Grains and Greens prepared with chard from our garden and spinach from Green City Market, and the oven-roasted cauliflower and glazed carrots from The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen. It was a grand, exotic feast (and the Moroccan wines were remarkably good, too)!




Farmers are the New Movie Stars

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Posted: February 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Bright lights, Big City…

greenhorn

(left to right: Jody Osmund, Kim Marsin, Rachel Reklau, and Michael Thompson, photo courtesy veglib.com)

The other night I got to go to an event in Chicago. It was a screening of “The Greenhorns” at the Hideout. Billy Burdett, of Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA), had invited me to be part of a farmer panel after the film. A good friend and a farmer, Molly Breslin, had suggested he get in touch. Molly, and other farmer friends, Alex Needham and Allison Park of Radical Root Farm, had been on a panel for another screening of the film.

It’s always fun to go to the Hideout. Whether it’s to listen to good friend, Katie Belle Trupiano, sing fantastic music at the country music fest, to eat soup and break bread with Martha Bayne at Soup & Bread, or join farmers who share my passion for good food and sustainability.  Although 80 miles from our farm; the Hideout is definitely part of our community.

I arrived in time to grab a beer before the screening and re-connect with more friends. Vera Videnovich of Videnovich Farms was there. We’ve been friends with Vera since she started vending at the Logan Square Farmers market. Vera grows vegetables for a CSA as well as for fine restaurants in the city. Vera also has a flock of sheep and fashions some extraordinary hand-knits with her hand spun and home dyed wool. Last night she was sporting her city duds. Vera lives in Hyde Park and farms in SW Michigan.

Other familiar faces at the Hideout included Martha Boyd, Program Director for the Angelic Organics Learning Center’s Urban Initiative, and Harry Rhodes executive director of Growing Home(GH) and a founder of AUA. I’ve worked with Martha on several farmer training initiatives including a backyard chicken keeping class with Tom Rosenfeld of Earth First Farms several years ago. Also, I’ve been a guest speaker for the urban “Farm Dreams” program, a course for urban dwellers contemplating a farming career. Harry, I’ve known for several years, too. Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm (CVSF) has collaborated with Growing Home’s Marseilles, IL Les Brown Memorial Farm on several projects over the years. Long-time GH staffer, Larry O’Toole is a cofounder of the North Central Illinois Farm Network (greenfarmers) which started in 2008 with half a dozen sustainable farmers looking to connect, share ideas, and lend support to one another.

Then, of course, were the other farmers on the panel: Kim Marsin and Rachel Reklau of Sweet Home Organics and Michael Thompson of the Chicago Honey Co-op.  I met Kim and Rachel several years ago. They were part of a Stateline Farm Beginnings course that I was a guest instructor. At the time, they were a suburban dwelling, corporation working, couple with sustainable agriculture dreams. Since then, they’ve become farmers with a 50 member CSA and an on-farm vegetable stand. Kim is the fulltime farmer, while Rachel has kept her corporate job – an effective strategy for couples entering the field. My wife, Beth, taught special education at a local school for four years while we established CVSF. I have to say it is very gratifying to see people farming whom I’ve had at least a small part in teaching.

I first met Michael and learned of the Chicago Honey Coop from the Logan Square Farmers market where he vends. Since then, I see him regularly at local foods meeting in and around the city. Michael is a true urban farmer. He raises and sells livestock products (bees, honey, and beeswax), grows thousands of pounds of vegetables in a community garden, and teaches others how to work with honey bees. In 2008, Michael traveled to northern Italy to represent sustainable food producers from the Chicago area as a Slow Food delegate to Terra Madre.

When the screening ended, the four of us made our way up to the stage, complete with a table, chairs, and microphones for all of us – except the moderator. Billy was there to see if there was anything we needed and to go over the format for our panel – he got us a pitcher of ice water and cups. There was a slight delay as another microphone was set up for the moderator.  We got settled in our places. The stage-lights were turned up on us, while the room lights were lowered on the rest of the room. The term “rock-star farmer” has been bandied about often paired with “celebrity chef.” I’ve never really felt I fit that part.  But, blinking in the glare of the spotlights and looking out on a packed house (I, don’t think anyone left after the screening), I felt a bit of the gleam. Luckily, any stage-fright was alleviated by being prepared and sharing the table with friends. Billy had sent us all a list of questions to be covered a few days ahead.

Here is the list of questions Billy had sent us:

“What was the hardest lesson to learn as a new farmer?”
“What was the most surprising lesson?”
“What were your greatest challenges, and how did you overcome them?”
“What are the greatest challenges you still face?”
“What advice would you give to aspiring farmers?”
“What were your best/most helpful resources?”
“What can people in the audience do to make it easier for farmers–both urban and rural–in Illinois to thrive?”

Each farm/farmer got to answer the questions from each perspective. Kim and Rachel alternated with Kim taking the lead as the she is the full-time farmer. Michael shared his wisdom of many years of growing food and community organizing. Jody shared the perspective of being a “farm-kid” and returning to the farm-life after an extended absence (15 years). Our moderator, Melanie Hoekstra – Operations Manager at The Plant and co-chair of AUA’s Connections Working Group – kept us on track; made sure we all could give our answers; and even was able to take some questions from the audience. A constant refrain from all the panelists was that farming IS A LOT OF HARD WORK. We all appreciated that “The Greenhorns” film had not glossed over that obvious fact. The discussion concluded promptly at 9:00pm. Kudos to our moderator and the fact that a band needed to set up for a show later that evening. I left grateful for knowing such great farmers and people and hopeful for the future because of all the people interested in local, sustainable, agriculture and the communities that support it and are nourished by it.

If Local Beet readers would like to learn more about the panelist’s answers, please leave your comments indicating your interest and I will make that an upcoming post!


One Comment



The Weekly Harvest 2/16 Roundup of Blogs Here and Yonder

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Posted: February 16, 2012 at 12:17 pm

The roundup this week includes farmers and the weather, what’s in the air we breathe, cash mobs and what they are, Illinois Food Expo, Making Lasagna Noodles and more.

Well, sometimes it is really just chance what blogs pop up to the surface because there is so much content, ideas, information out there. Irv and Shelly’s Fresh Picks posted this on their Facebook page, from Grist.org, “Why Farmers Want Cold Winters” .

Nourishing The Planet has content and posts every day, some of their most recent are yesterdays about petitioning Walmart From Selling GE Corn , or this other post, Laurell Simm’s of Growing Power referenced on FB, “Strengthening Food Security Through Grain Amaranth Production”

The Land Connection posted this piece on their FB page from 100 Reporters 100r.org on “Downwind: Big Ag at Your Door

Chief Beet Rob Gardner cites this optimistic post on the Huffington Post , “Eating Locally, Slowly But Surely

Okay, coffee is not necessarily grown locally but Grinderman Coffee is one of the local coffee roasters who delivers to residents of Chicago by bike no less to your door step and here is a video of his recent trip to El Salvador and the beans he sources, the farmers, the land for all who are interested in where coffee comes from.

I can’t forget Ben Hewitt, the Vermont farmer who posts about living off the land and off the grid.

Here is a concept that just floated up out of the internet universe, Cash Mobs, National Cash Mob day is March 24, wonder what they are? Go to the link. The thought is to keep $’s local and support local businesses. Have you participated in one, have an opinion, leave your experience thoughts in the comments below.

It never hurts to checkout The Illinois Department of Agriculture home page, we at the Beet were one of the happy winners of their “I Love Illinois Products Promo”. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @IlAgMarkets Who knows they may run another contest in the future and you might win some food/beverage products from Illinois!!

Another government agency working for the farmer and local food, the Food and Nutrition Service of the USDA has a blog and constantly communicates what they are doing, like changes to the school food programs here...

And finally…some local, local blogs… Blue-Kitchen here.., one of the founding writes and contributors of the Local Beet, Melissa Graham posts lots of great info for those small ones at LittleLocavores here...and one of Rob Gardner’s favorites, Simple,Good, and Tasty and Foodinjars always has ideas! Here is a great 4 minute video on making lasagna noodles created by our friends at Edible Chicago magazine and featuring Green City Market Director Dana Benigno.

Finally, if you do or don’t, have a favorite blog on local eating or just find inspirational on eating and sourcing food, post a comment and let us know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Local Calendar 2/15 & Beyond – It is Never Too Cold to Get to the Markets!!

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Posted: February 15, 2012 at 10:00 am

Local Beets, I realize I am preaching to the choir here, but Paula, my colleague, at Tiny Greens at the Green City Market is right, when she tells me, that when the weather gets really cold, less people come out to the markets. For me, the rooms where the Green City Market resides at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum  has great market “feng shui”. The windows are big, bright, airy and cheery. Getting out to the market is a great way to give yourself a dose of optimism on a cold winter day, so get out and get to the markets and tell your friends. The Logan Square Market is bustling, the Andersonville, the markets in the suburbs, get out and get to the one closest to you!! As I said, I realize everyone who reads this are the ones who get “it”. But if you can this week, encourage one of your friends who may not get “it” the way you do, to go to one of the markets, I realize it can be like pulling teeth sometimes to get people out of their houses when the weather gets cold, but give someone an extra nudge!!

Okay, on to the local of local and what is available. Slowly but surely more greens are showing up but they do sell out early and some of the winter spinach that is available is mighty tasty!!

My Beet colleague Wendy Aeschlimann has written a great write-up on what she found at the Green City Market last week and you can read it here! It is not just the Green City Market, all the other markets on our events calendar have lots of produce, check them out, if you haven’t read my rant above already!!! On top of these specialists, we still find local foods here and there at neighborhood grocery stores. Caputo’s still has Illinois grown beets.  Michigan apples are still plentiful, although the varieties are falling off.

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

Southport Grocery and Cafe 3552 N. Southport, Chicago

New! – Have you checked out Publican Quality Meats? – 835 W. Fulton, Chicago

WHAT TO DO NOW

Ongoing through June 10th Chicago – Feast:Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art Smart Museum University of Chicago Go here for all the projects associated with it.

February 15

Chicago – Soup and Bread at The Hideout 5:30pm – 7:30 pm 1354 W. Wabansia Ave. Soup makers this week include : Megan Larmer Co-President of Slow Food Chicago, and rumor has it that her soup will have a lot of heart!!!  Soup & Bread is a free weekly soup dinner to benefit hunger relief efforts across Chicago.

Evanston – Chicagourmets Dinner at Hota – 2545 Prairie Evanston Go here for more info.

February 16

Hines –  Edward Hines JR., VA Hospital Winter market – In the apiary  8am – 2pm 5000 South 5th Avenue

February 17

Chicago – The Piranha Club Inaugural Feast The theme is “a tribute to our ancestors, The Bone Dinner” 8pm Noble Square 1034 N. Milwaukee $40 Go here for more information and to purchase tickets.

February 18

Chicago - The Green City Market Held at the Peggy Notebaert Museum 2430 N. Cannon Drive 8am – 1pm

Chicago – Growing Power’s Iron Street Farm – 3333 South Iron Street Farmstand open 9-3pm Tours of the farm at 10am & 1pm

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

Evanston –  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 — Read a report from the market from Beetnik, Peg Wolfe here.

Geneva - Geneva Green Market – 27 N. Bennett (Geneva Place) – 9 AM – 1 PM – Read a report from Beetnik Melissa Owens, who finds among other things, basil, at this market here.

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

St. Charles – Farm Fresh Food Stuffs sponsors a market at St. Charles Place Steakhouse and Banquet -NEW MARKET starts in St Charles this Saturday. We will be on North Ave (route 64) on the east side of town between Kirk & Dunham Roads in the parking lot of St Charles Place. Open from 9am to 3pm,

February 19

Champaign – Faith in Place – Policy Workshop – University YMCA – Wahl Room 2-4pm 1001 S. Wright Street What are you going to do? You will start by learning a few basics – bill drafting, deadlines, shell bills, negotiating, and voting. We will then get specific and learn about a couple pieces of environmental legislation before our General Assembly this year – hydraulic fracturing, Tenaska coal gasification, DNR Fees, citizen’s enforcement, and a local food resolution.

Chicago – Andersonville Indoor Market at Ebenezer Lutheran Church – 9am – 1pm 1650 W. Foster Ave.

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

Chicago- Faith in Place Indoor Market – St. John’s Episcopal Church 3857 North Kostner Ave. 9am – 1pm

February 21

Chicago – Lincoln Square - C & D Family Farms selling their all natural free range meats from 7 to 11 am in the parking lot at Lincoln & Leland.

NEW! Chicago – Re-Thinking Soup – Jane Addams Hull House 800 South Halsted 12-1pm Topic of the week: Visioning the Farm Bill Learn how the Federal Farm Bill impacts not only farms and farmers but the entire food system from farm to fork. Hear from Illinois Stewardship Alliance’s policy coordinator Wes King about this legislation written and passed by congress every 4-6 years and how and why you should get involved.

Chicago – Andersonville – C & D Family Farms selling their all natural free range meats from 4pm to 7pm on Ashland at Berywn in front of the First Evangelical Free Church

Chicago – Chicagourmets Pig Roast at The Southern - 1840 W. North Avenue 6:00 pm Go here for more info.

Chicago - Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri USA Tour Chicago Go here for details

SAVE THE DATE!!!

February 22

New! Chicago – Soup and Bread at The Hideout -5:30 – 7:30pm Chief Beet Rob Gardner and his wife Sheila, The Local Family, will be participating with other Beets, Wendy Aeshlimann and Tom Keith in serving Beet Borscht along with new Beet Jeannie Boutelle and her Edible Chicago friends. Come on out have some soup, all donations will go to a local charity in Chicago fighting hunger.

February 23

Chicago – Goodgreens.org meeting 10:00 -12:00 sponsored by the USDA, for location and session information contact Alan.Shannon@fns.usda.gov I have attended this meeting and it is incredibly productive to attend for anyone looking for information on the myriad of grants available for the Il. farmer, the Farm to School program, all the pubic programs focused on healthy eating and anyone who wants to know what is going on in the public and non-profit sector on sustainable food in Illinois, highly recommended to attend but email Alan Shannon first.

Chicago – Green City Market Junior Board - Book Club – “Read, Grow, Eat” 6-8pm The book being discussed is “Farm City-The Education of an Urban Farmer”  by Novella Carpenter. Held at The Bedford, 1612 West Division St .

Chicago – This is going to be great! Dinner and a MovieUncommon Ground 6:30pm 1401 West Devon The Good Food Festival and Uncommon Ground is excited to premier Michael Gebert’s film, The Butcher’s Karma. 3-course dinner featuring locally sourced meats, wines from Candid Wines and Q and A with the stars of the movie. $50 Buy tickets here.

Chicago – #Cleetusfeedus (On Twitter) Sko-fit Eatin’ Fit Services and City Provisions Dinner 6-8pm $51 Buy tickets and see menu here... The menu is based on locally sourced, healthy ingredients and particpants will Tweet about it and eat, to promote and spread the news about local and healthy eating. 1818 West Wilson.

Chicago – A Spirited Dinner – Nana Organic 3267 S. Halsted 7-9pm Chef Guy Meikle prepares a three-course prix-fixe meal featuring produce from Seedling (South Haven, Michigan) and beer pairings from 5 Rabbit Brewery (Chicago, Illinois). Peter Klein from Seedling and Isaac Showaki, Andres Araya and Randy Mosher from 5 Rabbit will be on-hand for discussion and questions during the meal. Buy tickets here.

February 25

Chicago – Growing Power celebrates it’s 10th anniversary 3333 S. Iron St. 1-6pm Aquaponics workshop, small bites, tours and cheers! Happy Birthday GP!

February 26

Chicago – Slow Food Chicago Annual Meeting – Peggy Notebaert Museum 2 -4pm The keynote speaker will be Greg Hall, founder of Virtue Cider and former brewmaster of Goose Island, to talk about his experiences as an entrepreneurial ciderist and two-time delegate to Terra Madre. Greg will also share samples of his new hard cider – a truly unique “sneak peek” for the Slow Food community in advance of its market launch. The annual meeting will also host a meet-and-greet session where you will be able to meet and talk with Slow Food board members, Greg and past Terra Madre delegates. The Annual Meeting is a free event. As an added bonus Virtue will be premiering its new cider and a favorite of many already in Chicago, Puffs of Doom will be providing their little bites of yumminess!

Lombard – “Derby for a Day” Roller Skate-a-thon Fundraiser for Wellness – 201 West 22nd St. Proceeds from this event will benefit Seven Generations Ahead’s efforts to build healthy, sustainable communities. 4-7:30 pm

February 27,28

Chicago – The Stew Supper Club presents From Ukrainian Village With Love with guest chefs The Underground Food Collective 4 course prix fixe $45 Tickets are available at Coopsauce.com

February 29

Chicago - Culinary Conversation, “Sweet Chicago” – Chicago’s Downstand Farmstand 66 E. Randolph 6-8:30pm Celebrate Chicago’s 175th Birthday by learning all abou lore t the origins, legends and of the city’s sweet history. Cultural Historian Tim Samuelson and Art Historian Rolf Achilles join Chef Jenny Lewis, author of the the new book, Midwest Sweet Baking History, for a fast-paced conversation filled with fascinating facts and fun tidbits of past and present. Admission is FREE, but reservations are required. Please contact the Ticket Office 312-742-TIXS (8492) to reserve your space.

Chicago - Edible Chicago and Brooklyn Breweries present the Quarterly Carousal “A Celebration of Beer, Food, and Stories” 7-9pm. Sheffields 3258 N. Sheffield Ave. Pick up the winter 2012 issue of Edible Chicago magazine and try Brooklyn Breweries latest beer, Mary’s Maple Porter while noshing on some local food goodies. RSVP to events@ediblechicago.com with “Quarterly Carousal #1″ in the subject line.

March 2

Chicago – Starts – Logan Square Kitchen is hosting Bee Movie Weekend to benefit Chicago Honey Co-op’s efforts to relocate its hives before Spring. (Chicago Honey Co-op lost its land earlier this winter.) They will be screening “The Vanishing of the Bees,” narrated by Ellen Page. Concessions provided by Jason Hammel of Lula Cafe and Matthias Merges of Yusho. $20. Tickets and more information here.

March 3

Chicago – Bee Movie Weekend continues Logan Square Kitchen

New! Springfield - Illinois Products Expo A Food and Cooking Extravaganza Orr Building Illinois State Fairgrounds go to link for more info.

March 4

Chicago – Glenwood Sunday Market Third Annual Chili Festival – Noon-3pm Glenwood Bar 6962 N. Glenwood

Chicago – Pleasant Farms in Bridgeport is holding gardening classes on spring planting, seed starts, planter box care and spring bed refreshing to help get you started on your garden. For more information and to register, please call 773-523-7437 or email pleasantfarms@gmail.com. $20. Refreshments provided by Pleasant House Bakery.

Chicago - Chowdah Fest returns Columbia Yacht Club – 6:30-9pm Go to link for details and reservations $35

Springfield – Illinois Food Products Expo continues

March 6

Chicago – Quarterly Citrus Canning Workshop – Sponsored by Slow Food Chicago - Held at The Logan Square Kitchen – 6-9pm 2333 N. Milwaukee In this intimate, hands-on workshop Lis David and Zvi Bar-Chaim (owners of Scratch Homemade) will teach you how to enjoy home preserving, even in the dead of winter.  You will participate in every step as the group makes delicious and unique Lemon Ginger Marmalade. The class includes all tools and equipments.  Organic, domestically grown lemons will be purchased through Dill Pickle Coop. You’ll leave with the knowledge and confidence needed to can at home as well as a few jars of the chutney prepared during class.Order tickets here.

March 9

Chicago - King of the River Casino Night- Benefit for Meals On Wheels Chicago – Chicago Cultural Center 6:30- 12:30am

March 10

Chicago - Farmer Forum Kendall College 2:30 – 7:30 pm On Saturday, March 10, 2012, Green City Market and Kendall College will host Chris Blanchard for two back-to-back presentations on growing and organizing your small farm business.  Join us at Kendall College, 900 N. Branch St. Chicago IL, for this unique educational event! Green City Market vendors can attend for free and $10 for other market vendors in the area.

March 15-17

Chicago Good Food Festival –  The schedule is out, go to the link and buy tickets now, it sounds like it is bigger, and bringing together more people focused on all aspects of sustainable, healthy, good, local food and the Chicago food shed than ever before!  Beet Editor Rob Gardner is moderating a panel on fermentation, and he and other Beetniks will have a table in the Exhibit Hall.  Make sure to say hi.

March 17

New! Caledonia – Angelic Organics Learning Workshop for Prospective Chicken Keepers - Count Your Chickens 9am – 12pm 1547 Rockton Rd. Focus on small flocks

March 18

Chicago – Pleasant Farms in Bridgeport is holding gardening classes on spring planting, seed starts, planter box care and spring bed refreshing to help get you started on your garden. For more information and to register, please call 773-523-7437 or email pleasantfarms@gmail.com. $20. Refreshments provided by Pleasant House Bakery.

March 22/23

Decatur - Farm to Plate conference – Join Land Connection founder Terra Brockman and other community members at the Illinois meeting of the American Planning Association. Terra will be speaking on Building Health and Wealth Through Local Food with other members of the Edible Economy Project. Registration information is here.

March 23

Chicago – Whiskyfest sponsored by The Malt Advocate Hyatt Regency This incredibly popular event was sold out as of this post but go to the website for details.

March 24

New! National Cash Mob Day – What is this all about go here. Want to participate in Chicago, follow on Twitter @cashmobchicago It is all about supporting locally owned, independent businesses.

New! Chicago – Basic Backyard Chicken Care – Angelic Organics Learning Workshop 10:00am – 1pm 1444 N. Sacramento Raising chickens as pets and for eggs is LEGAL in Chicago and part of our growing local food and urban agriculture scene. Learn how to keep you, your chickens, & your neighbors happy – from daily needs and year-round care to relevant city regulations. For anyone who has read the book, Farm City, chickens seem to be the next step for a lot of people, particularly some friends of mine who will go unmentioned (but you should go to this workshop!!) Angelics is trying to empower people with the information to follow through with this idea!!!!

April 14

New! Chicago - BACONFEST – UIC Forum If you don’t know what Baconfest is, you should!!! Go to this link to find out more.

April 15

New! Chicago – Food Fight - 4th Annual Celebrity Chef Competition benefitting Sclerodema – Kendall College 4:30 – 8pm

April 28

Chicago – Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival –  Chicago French Market 11-3pm This cheesy festival is back stay tuned for more details.





Green City Market: It’s February, But There’s Lots of Produce Monday, February 13th, 2012
We Still Need More of Us as We Keep on Hearing about Them Monday, February 13th, 2012
I Got a Fix at Dose Market Saturday, February 11th, 2012
Michigan’s “Riesling Specialist”: Chateau Grand Traverse’s Lot 49 Is Jancis Robinson’s Wine of the Week Friday, February 10th, 2012
The Many Faces of Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food – A Conference on Local Foodshed Innovations Held 2/3 Friday, February 10th, 2012
The Weekly Harvest 2/9- Roundup of Blogs here and yonder Thursday, February 9th, 2012
Apply Now! For the Good Food Financing Fair Thursday, February 9th, 2012
Evanston Winter Farmers Market: February 2012 Update Thursday, February 9th, 2012
What’s Local, Downtown Farmstand is Now 10% Off Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
Local Calendar Feb 8th Yes, It’s Cold Outside but Warm Inside at the Markets! Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
Edible Chicago Winter 2012 is Out – Find One Now! Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
Basil! Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
Oh, the Web We Weave – The Many Connections of Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm Tuesday, February 7th, 2012
The Vegan Option: Fast, Easy, Economical, and Delicious Cauliflower, Chickpeas, and Coconut Milk Monday, February 6th, 2012
Cook a Rainbow with Your Kids Friday, February 3rd, 2012
Don’t Fear Saying Gouda Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
The Weekly Harvest: Blogs Here and Yonder 2/1 yikes! Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
An Open Letter to Nick Floyd Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
The Weather Outside is Delightful– Big News for Chicago Gardeners Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
Do We Do Anything Besides Count Our Food Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
The Weekly Calendar, 1st week of February and the Sun continues to shine! Wednesday, February 1st, 2012