Local Calendar 4/10/13 Ramps Are In The Air, GastroConference This Weekend at UChicago

April 10, 2013 at 9:50 am

The arrival of ramps is in the air. We are not quite there yet though. This year we have had a somewhat cold Spring so far which many of the farmers at the markets have said, has delayed the Spring harvest. So expect green garlic, green onions, ramps to be a couple of weeks later this year. I did find some beautiful sage grown in a hoop house at the Majestic Nursery table. There still are winter greens available as well as root vegetables that store well. For the 411 on exactly WHAT IS IN SEASON, Chief Beet Rob Gardner goes into great detail here.

Every Saturday at 10:30 the Green City Market has a chef demonstration which includes free tastings. This Saturday Chef Janet Kirker of Foodease was the guest chef. Foodease sources from Nichols Farms and many of the other farmers at Green City.  Finally, our friend Dave Nells of Sharpening By Dave is at the Green City Market and other locations throughout Chicagoland. His schedule is here. If you want to eat local, you need to have sharp knives to prepare all the produce!!  Let Dave know that you read about him in the Local Beet and you will get one dollar off each knife sharpened!!!

Farm dinners are starting earlier this year.  We have listed dinners we are aware of so far, with some of the leading sustainable farmers in the area, Mint Creek FarmPrairie Fruit Farms and Slagel Family Farms. The dinners book up pretty quickly so time to get a-scheduling! There are other “road trip” (RT) opportunities ahead, morel season is soon, ramps will start appearing at the markets, spring is here!!!

Farm Dinners 2013

Mint Creek Farm - Stelle, IL 4/21, 5/11 All meet-up at The Greenouse Bed & Breakfast just down the road from Mint Creek. Dinners are BYOB and include a farm tour. Mint Creek is known for their sheep but ask Farmer & Poet Harry Carr to recite one of his poems or bring a poem of your own to share!!

Outstanding In The Field - National farm dinner tour, has set the bar for farm dinners with their connected tables of white table cloths and stemware. Here are their Midwest dates, go to the links for reservations. 8/4 (Shooting Star Farms, Chef Tory Miller, Mineral Point, WI), 8/5(Pinehold Gardens, Chef Dan Van Rite, Oakcreek, WI), 8/7(City Farm Chicago, Chef Jared Wentworth), 8/8(Mick Klug,Chef Brian Huston, St. Josephs, MI), 8/10(Seedling Farm,  Chef Stephanie Izard, South Haven, MI)

Prairie Fruit Farms -Champaign, IL  5/18, 5/25, 6/1, 6/15, 6/29, 7/13, 7/27, 8/10, 8/24, 9/7, 9/21, 10/26 The Prairie Fruit site describes the chef, theme and menu. Here is brief description of what to expect. Reservations can be made on the Showclix site, only 40 seats available per dinner and only 4 tickets can be purchased per person, the price incudes tax, tip not included BYOB. Prairie Fruit is known for their goats and cheeses but they ,also, make some killer gelato!

Slagel Family Farms - 5/186/87/208/109/14 The Slagel Family has teamed up with some well known Chicago chefs who have supported farm to table food for a long time. For each of these dinners, transportation is included in the price from Chicago to the farm, and its BYOB. Slagel pork among their other meats has been a sought after menu item at some of the top restaurants in Chicago and Farmer Louis John Slagel has been a leader in sustainable farming.

We try to keep up on events but miss some, some sites to check out for further detail on sustainable food/urban ag are the Illinois Stewardship Alliance out of Springfield and the Advocates for Urban Agriculture here in Chicago as well as WeFarmAmerica which has tons of weekly events. The Peterson Garden Project has lots of information and workshops for the urban gardner, Matt Kirouac described their Victory Garden they showcased at The Chicago Flower and Garden Show. Now on to the very busy week ahead.


These stores 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

Green Grocer 1402 West Grand Ave in West Town Check out their produce share January 9th through May 4th. You can still subscribe even though the share has started already.

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 Be sure to say hi to Rockstar Butcher Joe Parajecki!!!


April 10

Andersonville - C & D Family Farms delivers 4-7pm Ashland at Berywn

Chicago - Soup and Bread at The Hideout - 1354 W. Wabansia  5:30pm -8pm We are counting down the remaining weeks of Soup & Bread, as spring is finally upon us. This week’s theme is “Spring Forward”— Bread donated, as ever, by Publican Quality Meats.

Chicago - Pig Butchering Demo Butcher and Larder 5pm 1026 North Milwaukee

Chicago – Wine Wednesdays at Province – Seasonal farm to table 5 course tasting menu with pairings $49 159 North Jefferson A Gold level LEED certified restaurant with 3 stars from the Green Restaurant Association.

April 11

Chicago – Uptown Market Uptown Farmers’ Market is year round. Every Thursday from 7-1 inside Weiss Memorial Hospital or in the parking lot during the warmer months. 4646 N Marine Drive This is an appropriate day to stock up on Spark of the Heart Soups

Hyde Park - C & D Family Farm delivers 7-11am Harold Washington Park

Lincoln Square – C & D Family Farm delivers 4-7pm Lincoln & Leland

April 13

Chicago – Gastro Conference – 11am – 5pm Ida Noyes Hall 1212 E. 59th St. EnvisionDo will be hosting chefs, restaurateurs, nonprofit directors, researchers, and entrepreneurs  to talk about what it means to start a business in the food industry, how some of the most celebrated restaurants in Chicago create unforgettable experiences, and what can be done about problems of food and poverty in Chicago. The cost of the event is $10 for U of C affiliates (faculty & alumni) and non-University of Chicago students and $20 for the general public. Put your name on the list at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ockmZewalf6CjnakuWrA23AFv6ERl9CDemirZjS1Kbw/viewform.
Please purchase your ticket at http://chicagogastroconference.eventbrite.com/.

Chicago – Green City Market at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum 8:30- 1pm 2430 North Cannon Drive The market runs indoors through April 27th Bring your children to Club Sprouts at 9:30 – 10:15am. Chef Charlie McKenna of Lillie’s Q.

Chicago – 61st Market sponsored by Experimental Station –  6100 North Blackstone 9am – 2pm Connie Spreen of the market sends out a great weekly letter with some inspirational thoughts and excellent info as to what will be available. Go here to sign up for it.

Elgin - Winter Market at Habitat for Humanity ReStore Elgin - 800 North State St. 9am – 3pm (thru May) Their mantra is “Keepin It Local1″ As such, their intention has always been to supply the local community with local products and crafts.

Evanston – Winter Evanston Farmer and Artisan Market at the Ecology Center  9-1pm 2024 McCormick Blvd.  The market will be at this location for the next 5 months, today and every Saturday through April 27, 2013. Spark of the Heart Soups and C & D Family Farms will be there

La Fox – Heritage Prairie Saturday Farmer’s Market  9am – 1pm 2N308 Brundige Road

Oak Park –  Beef, Pork and Eggs Wettstein Organic Farm delivery  Buzz Cafe 12:00 – 3:00. 905 West Lombard They are bringing up Beef and Pork and Eggs. It will be next month at the market for the Chicken and Lamb.

 April 14

Chicago - Bread Class at Floriole - 3pm 1220 West Webster Complimentary glass of wine and pizza dinner, $75

Rogers Park - Glenwood Sunday Market – Glenwood Bar 9am – 2pm 6962 N. Glenwood

April 16

Chicago - Re-Thinking Soup Jane Addams Hull House UIC 12pm – 1pm Chef Keizo Shimamoto will be joining us via video conference. Ramen will be served Tsukemen style Screening the documentary “Ramen Dreams” starring Chef Keizo Shimamoto


April 17

Chicago - ”We Can Change The Food System” Hosted by Food Tank 5:30pm – 7:30pm  Piazza Bella restaurant 2116 W Roscoe St.(About a 10 minute walk from the Brown Line Paulina Station) A very special evening bringing together the Chicago food movement hosted by Food Tank: The Food Think Tank

April 18

New!! Chicago - Heirloom 2.0 Canning For Newbies With The Scrumptious Pantry – 6:30pm – 8:30pm Local Goods Chicago 5354 West Devon Ave. $20

April 20

Chicago - BACONFEST - UIC Forum It is Sold Out but there are creative ways to win tickets here...

Chicago - Pinot Days  Navy Pier 2-5pm

Chicago - Red Meat Market Spring Lamb Butcher Class - With Ben Harrison Master Butcher Whole Foods Lincoln Park and a cooking class with Ryan Hutmacher of Centered Chef Studios. 10am – 1pm 177 North Ada Learn, eat and take some some good meat! $150

Chicago - SEE FOOD: // graze issue three release party  8pm Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art 756 N. Milwaukee Hop on board with Graze as we celebrate the release of issue 3 Your ten dollar ticket gets you: // one free copy of issue three // the music and tapping of Sidewalk Chalk (!)

April 21

Chicago - Calling all kids!!! Earth Day at Sandwich Me In - 11am – 7pm 3037 North Clark(near Halsted) All day event with snacks and guests, sustainable farmers, learn how to make bread, music, arts and crafts.

Stelle - Mint Creek Farm Sunday Brunch & Farm Tour 11am Meet-up at The Greenhouse Bed & Breakfast  3606 N 1700 E Rd. $50 For more information contact Julie at Jlarsen@mintcreekfarm.com There will be plenty of time to visit all the animals living on the 200+ acre farm including cows, chickens, pigs, sheep and goats.  Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather. See the 3 minute short film on Farmer Harry Carr by Storybuzzmedia here.

April 22

EARTH DAY! Food Day is only 5 months away! Like the Food Day Chicago 2013 Facebook page here. Every day can be Good Food Day!!

Chicago – Monthly Dinner at Floriole Bakery and Cafe - 7pm 1220 West Webster 3 Course Farm to Table menu this month includes rabbit. $49

April 23

Chicago - Great Lakes Sustainable and Invasive Species Dinner Dirk’s Fish & Gourmet Shop 2070 N. Clybourn 7:30pm – 9pm $65 Celebrate the Great Lakes distinctive seafood bounty including the controversial Asian Carp. Sponsored by Lake Michigan League of Women Voters For further information and reservations email LWVFood@gmail.com

April 25

Evanston - ”Can Meat be Truly Sustainable?“ NU Sustainable Food Talks 6:00PM – 8:00PM Technological Institute, Room LR4 Northwestern University

April 26

Chicago - Whiskyfest It sold out pretty darn quickly last year!! Better get your tickets now!

April 27

Chicago - Third Annual Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival Chicago French Market Go to the link for tickets, although it is free, there still is a maximum capacity and I think this year they will reach it!!! Meet+eat+shop w/ 90+ culinary producers. GO here for the full press release. It is bigger, butchering demonstrations with Rob Levitt of the Butcher and Larder and Brady Lowe of Cochon 555, artisanal beverages and more!!

Chicago – Recipe for Success Starting & Growing A Food Business in Chicago – Held by the University of Chicago Law School Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship This is free, runs from 9:30am to 3:30pm and you can make reservations here…

Evanston – TreeKeepers Earth Day events

April 28

Chicago - Michael Pollan lecture at Elmhurst College  “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation”

Chicago - Cochon 555 Four Seasons Hotel

April 30

Chicago – The Stew Supper Club presents a Foraged Feast with Pete Kelly.  7pm - Sauce and Bread Kitchen 6338 N. Clark Pete is a Midwest charcuterie pioneer and foraging expert who works with the Underground Food Collective and Promega. $45

May 4

**** Chicago – Opening Day of the Green City Market in it’s outdoor location – Lincoln Park 7am – 1pm

Chicago - Bull Breakdown Class & Tasting 10am – 1pm Red Meat Market 10am – 1pm Cut, Cook & Carry Toro, Toro, Toro hosted by Centered Chef Studios.

May 7

Chicago - 11th Annual Growing Home Benefit 6pm Salvage One 1840 West Hubbard Chef Tony Priolo of Piccolo Sogno and Food For Thought Order tickets online here...

May 11

FD!! Stelle- Mother’s Day Eve and Farm Tour - Mint Creek Farm BYOB $60 3pm Meet-up at The Greenhouse Bed & Breakfast 3606 N. 1700 E. Rd. For more information contact Julie at Jlarsen@mintcreekfarm.com

May 16-26

Chicago – 1o day celebration Chicago Craft Beer Week

May 16

Chicago – Opening Day of the Daley Center Farmers Market – Market will run May 16th through October 31.

Chicago – A Chef’s Playground - Terzo Piano – At the Art Institute A fundraiser for the Academy for Global Citizenship 6-9pm Purchase tickets here $225

May 17

Chicago - Half Acre Brewery Anniversary Party - Hee hee!! Stay tuned!

May 18

Champaign - Celebrate Spring! The start of Farm Dinner season at Prairie Fruit Farms in Champaign. 4pm 4410 North Lincoln Ave. This is their first dinner of the 2013 season.  As has become our tradition, expect an explosion of spring flavors such as Caveny Farm Katadin lamb, ramps (wild leeks), spring greens, sweet turnips, asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries. Purchase tickets here. (FYI, they make some killer gelato!!)

Fairbury - Slagel Family Farm First Farm Dinner of the Season! Transportation included from Chicago to the farm and back. $125 BYOB The dinner will be prepared and served by Guest Chef Nicole Pederson of Found Kitchen and Guest Chef John Asbaty of Panozzo’s. Please BYOB, lemonade and water will be provided and of course includes a tour of the farm, butchering class on sustainable meat practices and lots of food!!

***** Oak Park – Opening Day of the Oak Park Farmers Market – The market will run every Saturday through 10/26/13 7am – 1pm Pilgrim Church, right next door to where the market is held, offers fresh warm donuts, juice and coffee, with live bluegrass music nearby. The Oak Park Farmers’ Market is located at 460 Lake St., just one block west of Ridgeland Avenue.

June 13

Chicago –   Eli’s Cheesecake & Wright College Farmer’s Market Grand Opening Fresh fruits and vegetables from Nichol’s Farm and the Chicago High School of Agricultural Sciences, hand crafts,flowers & moreContinental Breakfast Lunch on the grill will be offered each Thursdaybased on what’s in season!