The Local Calendar 3/26/14 Farm Dinner Season, Local Foods Awareness Day, Come See Us At Soup And Bread Tonight!

March 26, 2014 at 9:09 am

SlagelLunch table on the porchAngelicTheFarm

It is that time of year to start scheduling your farm dinner. Farm dinners with some of the most well known farmers get booked really quickly. Here is Slagel Family Farm’s schedule for the season (5/3-10/4) and all are available for sale now. Prairie Fruit Farms has announced their schedule(5/25-12/4) but they stagger their offerings, so their first 5 dinners went on sale and only the wild game dinner on June 14 still has tickets available, the others are sold out. The offerings for the rest of the summer will be available for sale at the end of May. The best way to stay informed about ticket availability for these dinners is to sign up for the farm newsletters on their websites.

Congratulatons Peterson Garden Project on your 5th Anniversary!!! PGP is the leading organization in Chicago providing classes, programs and resources to teach you how to grow your own food, including a book “Fearless Food Gardening in Chicagoland” and soon it will be opening the Fearless Food Kitchen(support their KICKSTARTER to make it happen) in Edgewater to teach you how to cook the food that you grow.

It is that time of year for the Country Financial Farmers market bag contest! They’re giving away scholarship money to three Chicago high school students! If you know a student with a gift for art, encourage them to enter their Chicago Farmers MarketsReusable Bag Design Contest. The student with the winning design will win a $1,000 scholarship and see their art on thousands of farmers market canvas bags. Two runners-up will get $500 scholarships. Get more info on how to enter! We love their bags, we love that they are reusable and we love that Chicago high school students get scholarship money from this!

The 2014 CSA Guide is out! If you are a small to mid-size farmer reading this or know one let them know about the USDA’s resources for them, there is a webpage with all sorts of info here! There are so many organizations in Chicagoland providing resources, classes and advocacy on local food. Some of our favorites are Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Advocates for Urban Agriculture, WeFarmAmerica and The Talking Farm in Skokie.

Thanks to Wes King and all the folks that went to the Springfield today to advocate on behalf of local foods! Woo hoo! Come out tonight to Soup and Bread at The Hideout, some of the Beets, Rob and @Shes_Cooking, Jeannie, will be there slinging soup and raising funds for Benton House, the theme is herbalism. Lots going on, the local calendar is picking up, now onto the week ahead:

The Week’s Local Calendar

March 26

Chicago - Soup and Bread at The Hideout - 6pm   Herbalism –  The Hideout 1354 West Wabansia Rob and @Shes_Cooking and Jeannie will all be slinging soup tonight. So come by, we would love to see you!! Bread is donated as ever by their pals at Publican Quality Meats. Pay what you can donations benefit Benton House.

Chicago - Cider and a Movie- Tierralismo at Uncommon Ground - 6-8pm Uncommon Ground 1401 West Devon Join Growing Home in this unique opportunity to enjoy Virtue cider and appetizers while exploring the intriguging, relevant, and inspiring world of Cuban agriculture! Harry Rhodes, Growing Home’s Executive Director and leader in Chicago’s urban agriculture movement, will speak about his recent trip to Cuba and discuss how Cuban agricultural practices relate to urban farming and development in Chicago. Following the discussion, you’ll screen Tierralismo by Alejandro Ramirez Anderson, an inspiring documentary about a 26-acre farming co-op in the outskirts of Havana.

Chicago – Beyond Gourmet “A Spirited Cocktail Dinner” at The Bristol – Friend of the farmer Chef Chris Pandel has designed  a creative, seasonal four-course menu.  The dinner will be paired with cocktails handcrafted by Mixologist David Willhite and guest Mixologists Debbi Peek and Bridget Albert from Southern Wine & Spirits.  Willhite will teach attendees how to prepare the perfect cocktail at home while Chef Pandel will reveal his favorite spirits and pairing tips.

Springfield - 2014 Local Foods Awareness Day at the Capitol 10am to 4pm The State Library & Capitol Complex Join local food consumers, farmers and advocates from around Illinois working to promote and raise awareness about local food systems and sustainable agriculture in Illinois. Sponsored by the Illinois Stewardship Alliance.

March 27

Chicago – Good Greens Meeting – Monthly meeting held by the USDA FNS (Food & Nutrition Service) in Chicago. There’s a great line-up of presenters(  and Good Greens meetings are always wildly eclectic networking.    You never know who’s going to show up. Some of the presenters will be Andrew Lutsey, co-founder Local Foods, Dan Susman producer film Growing Cities, Funding for Snap machines at farmers markets.

March 28

Chicago – Counter Culture Sustainable Spring Initiative  11am (Public cupping session at 10am every Friday) 117 N. Ada St. Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA), : Green Grocer Chicago will be talking about what a CSA is and the benefits. They are a curated CSA from multiple farms around the city and Illinois.

March 29-30

Chicago –  2-DAY WORKSHOP: “HIGH BIONUTRIENT CROP PRODUCTION - 9:30am – 4:30pm Garfield Park Conservatory  Learn from a life long Farmer of his understanding and first hand experiences utilizing a Biological Approach to crop production. Dan Kittredge, Executive Director of the Bionutrient Food Association (BFA) & the Real Food Campaign, will lead the workshop.  Cost: $150.00, with Scholarship funds available for Farmers. *For Event Information*: please contact the North Lawndale GreeningCommittee – Dr. Shemuel Israel, President NLGC – cell: 773-332-7887; or Annamaria Leon, Director, Education & Community Outreach cell: 414-339-55537, or email at

March 29

Chicago – Thriving Cultures Kimchi Workshop -1pm  Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab -4445 S. King 2nd floor

Chicago - Cheese 101 – Bar Pastoral 12pm – 1:30pm 2947 North Broadway Join the crew at Bar Pastoral for a delectable cheese primer that answers all of your questions about cheese. Washed rind, soft ripened, farmstead; what does it all mean? Join the master cheese mongers of Pastoral in a guided tasting of carefully selected cheeses that cover a wide variety of cheese making styles and techniques. Giving you the tools necessary to walk up to any cheese counter and select your cheeses like a pro. $45 These folks know their cheese!

Chicago - Green City Market Indoor Market at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum  8am -1pm Chef demonstration Heather Terhune Sable 10:30-11:30am Next markets will take place:, 4/5, 4/19. Preorders for the new Green City Market Cookbook can be placed here.

ChicagoGrowing Power Iron Street Farm Stand - 10am – 3pm 3333 South Iron St. With their hoop houses they have fresh produce all winter

ElginWinter Market Elgin - 9am -1pm 800 North State St.

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

March 30

Chicago - Logan Square Indoor Market  10am–3pm Logan Blvd 2755 North Milwaukee. The NOSH will share space with the Indoor Logan Square market at the old Pierre Bakery Building. Last day of the Logan winter market, spring/summer starts May 19th.

GlencoeChicago Botanic Garden Winter Farmers Market - 9am – 1pm  1000 Lake Cook Rd

Oak Park - Winter Market Faith In Place -8:30am – 1pm St. Giles Catholic Parish 1045 Columbian Ave.

March 31

Chicago - (I AM) FUNdraiser for Chef Dean Zanella(story here thanks to DNAInfo)  Hot Chocolate1747 N. Damen Ave. Eleven chefs (and counting) will cook dinner that evening alongside Hot Chocolate’sMindy Segal. They include John Hogan of Keefer’s; Roger Herring of Grand Tour; Bill Kim of bellyQ, Urbanbelly and Belly Shack; Rob Levitt of the Butcher and LarderLa Sirena Clandestina‘s John Manion; Elissa Narow of Perennial Virant and Vie; Piccolo Sogno‘s Tony Priolo; Giuseppe Tentori of GT Fish and Oyster; Heather Terhune ofSable Kitchen and Bar, and Takashi Yagihashi of Takashi and Slurping Turtle. The cost of the dinner is $200. Only 100 will be sold. Call 773-489-1747 to reserve

Chicago - Chowdah Fest is back at Columbia Yacht Club

April 1

Chicago – Bacon Month Kickoff Party – 7-10pm The Berkshire Room 110 East Ohio


April 3

New!!! Evanston – Seeds To Success – Urban Farming As Economic Development  6pm Rotary International 1560 Sherman Ave.  Visit the indoors Farmers Marketplace to mingle with local vendors and purveyors of Chicago’s native goods. At 7 p.m. attend a free panel discussion and hear experts discuss the future of Chicagoland urban farms in alleviating poverty. The panel will be moderated by WBEZ‘s Monica Eng host of the podcast Chewing the Fat and includes the following panelists: *Kathy Dickhut– Deputy Commissioner at City of Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development *Erika Allen– Project leader for Growing Power’s Grant Park community garden project  *Rebekah Silverman– Associate Director of Growing Home *Blake Davis– Board Member of the Plant Chicago and professor at IIT

Along with Green City Market, Rotary is hosting a Farmers Marketplace prior to the panel event. Here are a just few: Green City Market, Farmhouse, Rotary First Harvest, Yellow Tractor, Growing Home, and Growing Power.

April 4-5

Beloit, WI – The Right to Food Conference with Vandana Shiva Beloit College Co-sponsored by Angelic Organics and the Weissberg Program in Human Rights

April 4

Chicago – Celebrate Spring With AUA’s Movie and Mingle Night! 7-10:30pm Benton House 3034 S. Gratten Ave. Special documentary screening of A Community of Gardeners” Local food and beer donated by Lagunitas You have to watch the trailer of this film, it takes 2 minutes and you will be inspired.

April 5

Chicago – Spring Lamb Butcher Class – From the folks at The Red Meat Market

Chicago – First Annual South Siders Homesteaders Fair – Sponsored by Blacks In Green 10am – 2pm Logan Center for the Arts Univ. of Chicago 915 E. 60th St.

April 6

Chicago - Chicago Food Swap 3pm The Chopping Block Sign up for their newsletter to get all the information on signup and how it works

Evanston – The Talking Farm presents “Celebrate The Growing Season at Farmhouse” 5-8pm Farmhouse 703 Church St. In celebration of their first full growing season at The Howard Street Farm, The Talking Farm presents, Celebrate the Growing Season, an event featuring appetizers, a buffet dinner, and local brews provided by Farmhouse Evanston, live music by The Greenleaf Band*, and raffle prizes. The evening will begin with passed hors d’oeuvres, and proceed with a buffet dinner in Farmhouse Evanston’s special event space. $75 inclusive

Niles – Irv and Shelly’s Open House and Pig Roast – 3-6pm 5625 West Howard Rob writes about it here.

April 10

Chicago – Presale tickets go on sale for the Chicago Gourmet Festival including tickets for the Grand Cru tasting as well!

Chicago - The Art of Simple Food Alice Waters in Conversation With Ruth Reichl The Chicago Humanties Festival 6pm The Art Institute Reception following benefitting the Edible Schoolyard Project and Green City Market. Tickets

April 11

Chicago – 2 Sparrows Home Brew Dinner – 7pm 553 West Diversey The Lincoln Park brunch outpost’s focus on hyper-local expands for this dinner to feature four Chicago home brewers – including 2 Sparrows’ own bartender Ryne Schofstal – pouring five one-of-a-kind beers along with a five-course meal by Chef Gregory Ellis.  Local beer aficionados in the area are invited in for what is sure to be an unforgettable meal, and the opportunity to taste home brews crafted right here in the city. Tom Keith this is right up your alley!

Wheaton - Soup and Bread Fundraiser 6:30pm – 8pm Tom’s Price Home Furnishings 303 Front St. In support of The People’s Resource Center

April 12

Chicago – CoffeeCon Chicago – 1029 W. 35th St. Held at the Zhou B Art Center (Zhou is pronounced: Joe)  from 9 am to 5 pm. In keeping with CoffeeCon’s mission to be the world’s largest coffee house atmosphere, they found a compelling venue: an art gallery. Purchase tickets here

Chicago – 4th Annual Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival – French Market 11am – 3pm Every year this free event gets ever more crowded. So this year I suggest being strategic, get there early to meet the actual producers of many of the cheeses and products that Pastoral sells.

April 13

Chicago - It’s Back For Its 6th Year Cochon 555 - Blackstone Hotel – 636 S. Michigan 4-8pm I’m passionate about promoting food sources that support a more natural, sustainable food system,” explains Brady Lowe, founder of Cochon 555. Includes over 30 dishes prepared from the entirety of heritage breed pigs from nose to tail, paired with premium wines, brews and spirits and so MUCH MORE!

April 15

Chicago – Re-Thinking Soup What A Waste – Food Loss and Recovery6-7pm Jane Addams Hull House Museum 800 S. Halsted Free Guest Presenters: Ken Dunn, Resource Center, Rajesh Karmani, Zero Precent, Greater Chicago Food Depository Tossing last week’s leftovers or the wilted lettuce, still wrapped in the store packaging (yikes!) is indeed wasteful. But consumer behavior is only one dimension of the global food loss issue affecting agriculture today. In fact, food waste affects every step of the supply chain between farm and fork – from transport to processor to retail, to yes, your home kitchen. According to USDA estimates, between 30 and 50 percent of all food produced is discarded, much of it edible.

April 17

Happy April Food Day!

April Food Day is an event to promote awareness of food pantries by bringing your local community together to participate in a local food drive. We are excited to honor food pantry employees and celebrate the volunteers that support them. Through social media we are infusing fun into the food received from our local pantries by posting recipes and videos cooking our favorite meals.We are growing into the single largest day of food drives across communities. This event is sponsored by the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.

April 22

Champaign – Ramp Fest The Land Connection Dinner and Silent Auction - 6:00 p.m. $150.00 Prairie Fruits Farm 4410 North Lincoln Avenue Please help them celebrate the coming of spring with a farm-to-table meal prepared by Chef Alisa DeMarco of Prairie Fruits Farm featuring ramps, the first wild green of the season

April 25

Chicago – 15th Annual Whiskyfest Chicago – This has SOLDOUT already but keep checking the calendar for all the other ancillary events that happen during this week!

Chicago - A Charitable Confection - A dessert cocktail party. Presented by Grandbaby Cakes. To support Project Orange Tree an active Chicago-based youth movement to stop the violence by both educating teens about its systemic causes and empowering youth to change the cycle. Project Oasis allows for the purchase land in Chicago’s most urban areas to transform them into much needed community gardens in food deserts and safe, peaceful areas for the surrounding youth.

April 27

Crystal Lake – Eco-Friendly Food and Beer FestDuke’s Alehouse & Kitchen 2-6pm 110 Main St.

Lincoln Square - Salute to Women in Wine & Cheese - 7-8:30pm Provenance Lincoln Square  2312 W. Leland Avenue With Mother’s Day on the horizon, they are  inspired to create a different take on their wine & cheese pairing class. Taste a lineup of offerings made by great women cheese & wine makers. Join senior staff members Richard & Nicole for a fabulously tasty lineup! Cost is $35 per person. Participants receive 15% off any purchases made that night.

May 3

*FD Fairbury, Il/Chicago - Slagel Family Farm Dinner – Farm tour and dinner 2:30pm Chef Paul Virant Vie/Perennial Virant $125 Bus option Noon 1800 N. Lincoln BYOB

May 15

Chicago - Second Annual Chefs Playground - A benefit for The Academy of Global Citizenship Terzo Piano at the Modern Wing of the Art Institute

May 25

*FD Champaign – Prairie Fruit Farms Dinner Honey Butter Fried Chicken Memorial Day Celebration Chicago sensation chefs Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp of Honey Butter Fried Chicken and Sunday Dinner Club fame will return to the farm for our first dinner of the season. This event will be held from 1-5pm. It is a simpler menu and is priced at $85 per seat. (Sold out, availability will be determined by any cancellations)

May 31

*FD Champaign – Prairie Fruit Farms Dinner -1-5pm “Bring on the spring!”  Sit down with guest farmers John and Connie Caveny to savor some of their spring, grass-fed lamb.  Rhubarb, asparagus, greens, and other early season delicacies will complement the featured meat. (Sold out, availability will be determined by any cancellations) $125 text/tip BYOB liquor will be for sale at the event as well.

June 11

Chicago/Andersonville – “Piggy Benefit for Southern Foodways AllianceBig Jones (southern heirloom cooking) – 6pm 5347 North Clark To quote Chef Paul Fehribach, “this will be a good one!” They are pleased to offer some deeply rooted Kentucky cooking for their second Piggy Bank Dinner, a benefit for the Southern Foodways Alliance. Julian Van Winkle will be there to discuss his storied bourbon (12, 15, and 23 year will be served) plus a couple of selections from Buffalo Trace Distillery, and they are cooking up a 5-course menu with receipts and inspiration from Lettice Bryan’s The Kentucky Housewife (Louisville, 1839) and The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery. SFA documentary films will be shown, The Poker Night String Band will play some righteous tunes, and good times will be had by all.

June 14

*FD Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms Dinner -1-5pm Wild Game Dinner  Prairie Fruits Farm on the Range: Longhorn cattle, bison, and elk; they conjure up an image of open range on the western plains, don’t they? Yet, here we are in east-central Illinois, 20 minutes from K & D Ranch. They raise all three of these large and graceful herbivores on their farm near Kickapoo State Park, and they’ll be our guest farmers for this meat centric meal.  Expect late spring and early summer vegetables and fruits to adorn the menu as well. $125 text/tip BYOB liquor will be for sale at the event as well.

June 21

*FD Fairbury, Il/Chicago - Slagel Family Farm Dinner - Farm tour and dinner 2:30pm Chefs Cosmo Goss and Chris Kuziemko The Publican/Publican Quality Meats $125 Bus option Noon 1800 N. Lincoln BYOB

June 28

*FD Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms Dinner -1-5pm The Urbana Butcher comes to the Farm Chef Josh Boyd earned his culinary stripes cooking at Bacaro and Carmon’s Restaurant in downtown Champaign. He’s recently opened “The Urbana Butcher” shop in downtown Urbana, to rave reviews.  He specializes in house-made sausages, pickles and country pates.  This dinner will transport you to the French countryside, where pork is king and fresh, impromptu menus are the norm (Sold out, availability will be determined by any cancellations) $125 text/tip BYOB liquor will be for sale at the event as well.