The Local Calendar 5/8/13 Asparagus Appears, More To Come/61st St. Mkt Opens This Weekend

May 8, 2013 at 5:22 am

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When I saw that asparagus was on the tables at the opening of the Green City Market last Saturday, I had to buy it. Asparagus is such a sure sign that the spring harvest has started, which means that the summer abundance of local vegetables is not far away. It was not until took I nibbled on a piece I had sauteed for a salad and tasted that fresh-from-the-ground, earthy, green flavor, that I remembered how much I love locally-grown asparagus. There was a time that I wondered what that smell was? Yes, I was born with THAT GENE. All I know is, Asparagus, I am happy that it is your time to shine at the markets!

Wondering what is in season? Chief Beet Rob Gardner elaborates on it and gives his advice on how to shop at a farmers market. Food Day Chicago (Oct. 24) is celebrating the onion and the many benefits of the allium family for the month of May on their facebook page (“like” it while you are there, check it out for some health tidbits, recipes, onion trivia and some beautiful pics from some friends of the Beet!).

Our friend Dave Nells of Sharpening By Dave is at the Green City Market and other locations throughout Chicagoland. If you want to eat local, you need to have sharp knives to prepare 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, Mint Creek FarmPrairie Fruit Farms and Slagel Family Farms, all their dinners book up pretty quickly so time to get a-scheduling! We have all the details and dates. More seem to crop up as we get closer to summer so we will keep you posted.

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 (get their policy updates here) out of Springfield and the Advocates for Urban Agriculture here in Chicago that has its spring gathering, Sharing the Harvest going on tonight.  WeFarmAmerica has tons of weekly events.  The Peterson Garden Project (Annual Plant Sale & Bake Sale 5/10-5/12) has lots of information for the urban gardener.

Now on to the busy week ahead including the opening of the 61st Street Farmers Market which gets bigger and better every year!!


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 Watch this fantastic video about GMOs, sourcing local and see what you are missing if you don’t shop at the GG.

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. 4/24 Cheese and Wine Pairing Class in the Barrel Room at City Winery, details here.

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!!!


Food The Nature of Eating Exhibit continues at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Skokie- Seedling Sales Start – Howard Street Farm – 10am – 2pm 3701 Howard St. (April 20th – June 1st)  Cool Weather seedlings: spinach, swiss chard, peas, bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, collards, seed potatoes Warm Weather seedlings: (beginning May 11th)tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumber, zucchini, melon, basil, and cilantro Associate Beet Editor Wendy Aeschlimann elaborates on it.

May 8

Chicago – Wednesdays at Wood Street – The opening of the Growing Home Wood Street Farm Stand 11am – 4pm 5814 S. Wood St.

Chicago - Green City Market Lincoln Park Location 7am – 1pm Chef demonstration Justin Hall Fig Catering

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.

May 9

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

May 10,11,12

Chicago - Peterson Garden Project Plant Sale & Bake Sale Fundraiser - 10am – 4pm  Peterson Garden Project Learning Center 4642 N. Francisco Items for sale will include herb and vegetable seedlings, basic gardening supplies, seeds and tasty baked goods from renowned Chicago pastry chefs. There is no cost for admission, and all proceeds benefit Peterson Garden Project learning programs. Peterson Garden Project is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.

May 11

Chicago Opening Day of the 61st Farmers Market -  9am – 2pm During the outdoor season, which lasts through the end of October, the Market is located on 61st Street between Dorchester and Blackstone Avenues. The 61st Street Farmers Market accepts LINK and Senior Farmers Market Coupons. They also match LINK purchases up to $25 per cardholder, per market day, as long as funding lasts. This means that LINK cardholders can double the value of their LINK purchases each week at the Market. This year, the Market will also be accepting DEBIT AND CREDIT, for those of you who are always short on cash!

Chicago- Empty Bottle Farmers Market - The Empty Bottle 12-5pm 1035 N. Western Ave. Just in time for Mother’s Day! Buy mom a locally-sourced food gifts from our vendors, including coffee, tea, chocolates, pastries, sauces, soup, and more!

Chicago - Bee Keeping Class Chicago Honey Coop Christy Webber Landscapes 10am – 3pm

Chicago - Green City Market Lincoln Park 7am – 1pm 10:30am Chef demonstration Paul Feihrenbach Big Jones

Chicago – Iron Street Farm Stand – 9am – 3pm 3333 S. Iron St.

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.

Evanston - Downtown Evanston Farmers Market - This market will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. every Saturday from May 4 through November 2. Location: Intersection of University Place and Oak Ave. (behind Hilton Garden Inn, east of East Railroad Ave.) In 2013, the market will celebrate its 38th year.

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

Morton Grove - Morton Grove Spring Market  Saturdays, 8 am – 12 noon 6210 Dempster St  The summer markets will run every Saturday from 6/8/2013  – 10/19/2013

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

Woodstock - Woodstock Farmers Market Outdoors 9am -12pm

May 12

Happy Mother’s Day!

Chicago - Chicago Food Swap - 3pm Host: The Scrumptious Pantry 3230 W. Fullerton Ave. in ChicagoRegistration: Please email chicagofoodswap at if you’d like more information or become a fan on Facebook.

Chicago - DOSE Market River East Arts Center


May 15

Chicago –  AUA Spring Gathering: Sharing the Harvest 5-8PM Garfield Park Conservatory – Jensen Room 300 N Central Park Ave FREE This season’s quarterly gathering will be another great opportunity to connect with and learn from urban agriculture practitioners and supporters from across the Chicago area.  As usual, there will be a potluck/mix & mingle at the beginning of the evening, followed by a community slideshow during which you’ll be able to showcase your urban garden or farm project (please send 1-2 photos to me by 8AM on 5/14).

May 16-26

Chicago – 10 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

Food Revolution Day 

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

Chicago –  Unicornucopia: Big Fork, CO-OP Sauce, & Pipeworks Brewing Co. Collaboration Party 7 – 9 PM Star Lounge  2521 W. Chicago Ave. Why: To celebrate Craft Beer Week in Chicago, 4 micro companies (Big Fork Brands, Star Lounge, CO-OP Sauce, & Pipeworks Brewing Co.) and 2 chefs are combining forces to bring you one amazing night of food & beer.  What: 4 courses with 4 beer pairings

May 18

FD!! Champaign - Celebrate Spring! Prairie Fruit Farms 4pm 4410 North Lincoln Ave. This is their first dinner of the 2013 season.  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.  $92

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.

May 19

Chicago - Opening Day of the Logan Square Outdoor Market

May 20

Chicago - Big Jones Trash Fish Dinner(Grubstreet Chicago) –  Paul Fehribach of Big Jones is joining with Chefs CollaborativeFortune Fish and Gourmet and nine other chefs to put on a dinner showing how these trash fish— from smelt to dogfish to speckled trout— can be used in a sustainable, tasty meal. Tickets $125

May 22

Chicago - International Biodiversity Day at The Field Museum – Join The Field Museum, Peterson Garden Project, Seed Savers Exchange and Jewell Events Catering for an event celebrating seed diversity! The highlight of the evening will be a lecture on FOOD ORIGINS by the renown photographer and seed saving advocate David Cavagnaro. FOOD ORIGINS: Travel the globe through the lens of David Cavagnaro’s camera. Learn about the geographic origins of our favorite fruit and vegetable varieties and the diaspora that is responsible for the diversity we have today. 5:00 Tours of the Edible Treasures Garden on the west side of the Field Museum 5:30 – 6:30 - Registration - Reception in the West Lobby of the Field Museum with food provided by Jewell Events Catering that is inspired by the 2013 plantings of the Edible Treasures Garden- Meet-and-greet Seed Savers Exchange representatives and other local seed saving organizations 6:30 – 8:00 David Cavagnaro lecture in the historic A. Montgomery Ward Theatre Cost: $10

May 25

FD!! Champaign, Il - Prairie Fruit Farms  – Sunday Dinner Club “For their Love of Chicken“ The Sunday Dinner Club Crew is back, and they will be frying up lots of local fried chicken at the farm!  Josh and Christine are joining us early this season, because they are getting ready to open a new restaurant in Chicago, come get a sneak peak of foods from their new venture, “Honey Butter Fried Chicken” $70

May 28

Chicago – The Stew Supper Club presents Super Dragon Slayer Spicy Supper  -7-10pm Sauce and Bread Kitchen 6338 N Clark St “Imagine if you will, a meal built for May where dragons will not triumph.  Think middle evil banquet with spicy goodness tempered only with what we describe as a steely samurai’s touch.  Eat much May with us then……”- The Stew

June 1

Champaign, Il -  Prairie Fruit Farms - Virant’s Can Can - 4pm What better way to celebrate the beginning of summer than with some fantastic preserves and incredible food! All of this will be brought to you by Paul Virant! A seasoned veteran in the wide world of preserving, pickling, and canning, Paul follows his Perennial Virant philosophy to a tee – “eat what you can – can what you can’t.” $107

June 8

Chicago/Fairbury - Slagel Family Farm Tour & Dinner Event with The Publican! 2:30pm  The dinner will be prepared and served by Guest Chef Brian Huston of The Publican. Please BYOB, lemonade and water will be provided. Bus transportation from Chicago will be provided, when purchasing your ticket please select if you would like that option. The Bus will pick everyone up at 837 W Fulton Market Chicago, IL 60607 at 12:00 noon on June 8th. Children are welcome as long as they have parent supervision. $125June 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 & more Continental Breakfast Lunch on the grill will be offered each Thursdaybased on what’s in season!

June 9

Chicago -

No Kid Hungry No Dessert Left BehindLittle Goat 820 West Randolph 2nd floor Come support Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign . There will be patio seating and full bar along with baked goods from Chicago’s finest pastry talent. A portion of all drink sales will go directly to the charity as well.

June 15

Chicago - Mash Tun Festival - The festival is a celebration of the release of Mash Tun: A Craft Beer Journal issue #3. The Mash Tun is a publication put out by your buddies at Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar and The Public Media Institute, a non profit arts and culture organization based in Bridgeport.

FD!! Champaign, IL -  Prairie Fruit Farms  City Pub in the Country 4pm Bar Pastoral is a new cheese and wine bistro adjacent to the original Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread, and Wine Shop in Chicago. Chef Chrissy will be showcasing her love of cheese, charcuterie, pickles, and other local ingredients. $107

June 29

Champaign, Il – -  Prairie Fruit Farms Summer Vegetarian 4pm Thad Morrow, chef/owner of Bacaro, Champaign is back for another season. He will be making the trek from Bacaro, in downtown Champaign, across town and out into the country! His SUV will be packed with lots of early summer vegetables. $107

July 18

Chicago – The Locavore’s Real Taste of Chicago - The Green City Market BBQ Tickets on sale now!