The Local Calendar 5/21/14, Memorial Day, The Start of the “Summer” Market Season

May 21, 2014 at 8:54 am

LilacCountry market bagMorel

Memorial Day weekend signals the start of the summer season, although it feels like Spring has only just started. It was cold at the opening of the Daley Plaza market but the tables were filled with bundles of lilacs. Country Financial announced the winner of their market bag contest, student David Paredes. You can pick up a bag at the Country booth at the Daley market. It is ,also, that season for morel hunting. I particpated in an adult foraging field trip to northwest Indiana organized by Chef Iliana Regan of Elizabeth Restaurant.  I did not find the morel pictured above, but my colleague found 3 huge morels. I did try channeling my inner mushroom but was unsuccessful in finding any myself, those morels can be elusive.

Farm dinnersSlagel Family Farm’s schedule  (5/3-10/4),  Prairie Fruit Farms has announced their schedule(5/25-12/4), a recent announcement is a summer solstice dinner to be held nearby at Frillman Farms on 6/21 by our friends at White Oak Gourmet.

Need info – Organizations in Chicagoland providing resources, classes and advocacy on local food: Illinois Stewardship AllianceAdvocates for Urban Agriculture, The Plant ChicagoWeFarmAmerica and The Peterson Garden Project.

Want to volunteer- Do you live in the Evanston/Skokie area? The Talking Farm has lot of volunteer work days available for students, families and corporate team building time at their Howard Street Farm, located at 3701 Howard St on the Evanston/Skokie boarder. They even have a “Talking Farm Hand Certification Program” for those interested in urban agriculture.

If you just do not have time to make it to one of the farmers markets every week but you still want to eat local produce, a produce share from the Green Grocer is an easy way to go. They source from the same farmers who sell at the markets but they handpick and curate the items that go into your weekly share so everything will be ripe to use and they offer flexibility for people who may travel because of work, live alone, or don’t necessarily want a weekly box.

Memorial Day signals the start of the “summer” market season. Here is a list of the city of Chicago markets and their opening dates. If you haven’t already, get to one of the craft beer week events before it is over. Now onto the busy week ahead including the opening of the Pilsen Community Market!

The Week’s Local Calendar

May 21-25

5th Annual Chicago Craft Beer Week  Craft beer week continues! It happens once a year, tons of events going on at over 300 venues in Chicago and throughout Chicagoland! The goal of Chicago Craft Beer Week is as always, to entice patrons to explore the depth and breadth of local craft beer and honor those who enrich our community of beer lovers.

May 21

Lincoln Park - Green City Market – 7am – 1pm Chef demonstration Chef Greg Biggers Sofitel For anyone who has the time, visiting the market on a Wednesday is a luxury!!!!!!  You have a chance to have a front row seat and one one one interaction at the chef demo, you have time to talk to the farmers and vendors about their products, and many of the Chicago farm to table chefs shop at the market on Wednesdays.

May 22

Chicago - Daley Plaza Farmers Market (Through Oct. 30) 7am – 3pm Katherine Ann Confections, Nichols Farms, among others.

May 24

Chicago (Lincoln Park) -  Green City Market 7am – 1pm Right across from the Hotel Lincoln Chef demonstration Jordan Rose River Valley Kitchens 

Chicago(Hyde Park/Woodlawn) – 61st Farmers Market ( Through 12/13, goes indoors as of Nov.) 9am – 2pm

Chicago - Growing Power Iron Street Farm Stand - 10am – 3pm 3333 South Iron St. Pick up your salad greens and they are selling at select Walgreens on the south and west sides!!

Chicago - The Plant Chicago Workshop Series Aquaponics 101 - 2:30pm – 4:30pm The ReBuilding Exchange 1740 W. Webster

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

Evanston - Downtown Evanston Market - (Through 11/8) 7:30am – 1pm Located Intersection of University Place and Oak Ave. (behind Hilton Garden Inn, east of East Railroad Ave.)

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

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)

Chicago (Pilsen) - Opening Day of The Pilsen Community Market  9-3pm 18th and Halsted

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

Logan Square - Logan Square Outdoor  Market  (Through 10/26) 10am–3pm

May 28

Chicago (Downtown) Springtime Garden Mob – 10-11:30am Palmer House 17 East Monroe Join Ground Up Chicago – A Chef Farmer Community and Verdura  for their Springtime Garden Mob.Lead garden Gal, Sara Gasbarra will take us on a tour of one of her current chefs garden projects and demonstrate the advantages to chefs and restaurants of growing their own produce.  So if you are a chef with a few pots to plant or a rooftop to exploit join them for this opportunity to see Sara in action. We may be digging in for some late spring planting. RSVP  at

May 29

Chicago (Edgewater) – Fearless Food Kitchen Open House - 5917 N. Broadway (2nd floor kitchen) from 6-8pm  Learn about their plans for this exciting new project!!!


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.

Chicago (Oak Park) – Uncork Illinois Wine Festival - Wine aficionados will have a unique opportunity to sample over 150 wines from more than 15 local wineries and taste locally-produced artisan foods at Downtown Oak Park’s Uncork Illinois. Admission is $20 at the gate (cash only) or $15 advance tickets and includes a free souvenir glass and 7 tastings (while supplies last).

June 6-8

Chicago (Wicker Park) – Ribfest – (lincoln/Irving Park/Damen) Does this need any explanation?If you do go to the link. Ribs, beverages, great music, what else do you need?

June 11

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.

Lake Zurich - Opening Day of the Lake Zurich Farmers Market The Market will run every Friday, rain or shine, from June 13th through September 29th, 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Paulus Park 200 S Rand Rd

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.

Chicago – Goose & Fox Underground Dining Club BBQ - 7pm Goose & Fox presents a family style BBQ in a casual outdoor setting featuring the finest seasonal produce from local farms. $40 Lincoln Park

June 19

Chicago – Granja Urbana Urban Farm Dinner at City Farm - 7-9pm 1204 N Clybourn Ave $100

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

Prairie View, Il – White Oak Summer Solstice Dinner on Frillman Farms

June 23

Chicago – (North Center) – Bounty of the Midwest Dinner to Support Spence Farm – 7:30pm  10:30pm Browntrout 4111 N. Lincoln Join Chef Sean Sanders of Browntrout and Chef Thomas Leavitt of White Oak Gourmet as they team up to create a four course dinner celebrating the bounty of Midwest corn. You’ll be joined by Chicago’s own Koval distillery with whiskey based cocktail pairings for each course. They’ll be using organic and Non GMO corn in each course as we welcome summer to Chicago.$65 Public Transportation, CTA buses # 50 & 80 or Brown Line stop at Irving Park. Metered Street Parking available on Lincoln Avenue.

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.

July 17

Lincoln Park - Green City Market Annual BBQ - This is hyper local food and beverage fest, not to be missed, rain, wind or shine.

August 2-15

Chicago – 14 Day Intensive Urban Permaculture Design Workshop - Hosted by the Chicago Permaculture Guild and taught by Albert Bates Albert Bates was a civil sector representative at the Copenhagen climate conference, trying to point the world back towards a stable atmosphere using soils and trees – Garden Earth. His books include Climate in Crisis (1990), The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook (2006) and The Biochar Solution (2010). He has taught appropriate technology, natural building and ecovillage design to students from more than sixty nations. A co-founder and past president of the Global Ecovillage Network, he is presently retired and living in an ecovillage in rural Tennessee.

August 13

Chicago – Taste of the Nation Chicago – No child should go hungry and 1 out of 5 in Illinois are. Attend this incredible event to provide fight hunger in Illinois.