UPDATED! – Frost Kissed Spinach and What Else is In Season Now
WHAT’S IN SEASON NOW
Based on our market intelligence, we believe you may be able to find local produce in the Chicago area now. What’s out there is a mix of indoor grown crops and storage crops.
As the days get longer, farmers are able to coax even more out of their hoop-houses, and we know our friends at Tomato Mountain have a banner crop right now of frost kissed spinach. This spinach is leafy and sweet and works well in salads and even for stuffing. FarmedHere, an Illinois company is selling aquaponically grown basil and arugula (see below). We have also seen lettuce, chards and collard greens. Don’t sneer but sprouts make a nice vegetable this time of year.
NEW! – Other early crops
We have not heard any reports of locally foraged ramps, but we have heard of bok choy and napa cabbage in area farmer’s markets.
From the root cellars
Storage crops still around include beets, cabbage, carrots, turnips, winter squash, potatoes, onions, sunchokes, burdock root, celery root and parsnips.
We caution that farmers often bring a limited supply of these crops to their markets, and they move fast.
WHERE TO FIND LOCAL FOODS
You have a few options for finding local food this time of year. There are a limited amount of farmer’s markets. See our weekly Local Calendar for markets around the Chicago area. You can order your local food. Our friends at Fresh Picks have a good inventory still of local food, or you can try one of these stores that specialize in local foods:
Artisanal Wilmette – 414 Linden Ave. Wilmette
Butcher and Larder 1026 North Milwaukee in Noble Square, Chicago
Dill Pickle Food Co-op – 3039 West Fullerton, Chicago
Edible Alchemy Foods Co-op - Located in the near-SW Pilsen neighborhood, the co-op has grown to five locations in, including Hyde Park, River North, Lakeview, and Logan Square
Marion Street Cheese Market 100 South Marion St. Oak Park
Provenance Food & Wine - 2 locations Logan Square 2528 N. California Lincoln Square 2312 W. Leland Ave.
Publican Quality Meats – 835 W. Fulton, Chicago
Sauce and Bread Kitchen - 6338-40 N. Clark, Chicago
Standard Market – 333 East Ogden Ave., Westmont
We strongly believe that local food is where you find it. We recently saw the Illinois grown FarmedHere products at the Caputo’s in Elmwood Park. We have also seen there greens at the Fresh Farms in Niles. There’s a good chance you’ll find something local at Whole Foods. Just buy local when you see it.