Late Season Shopping List
Consider a CSA
This week ends the Oak Park Farmer’s Market for 2014. There are other markets open this weekend including Evanston, which will be going next week too, and Green City, while now indoors, will be full with fall produce. I have my list for this last day of shopping in my community. My list may look different than yours because I already have a strong backstop for my fall, winter and spring local eating. I subscribe to a year-round CSA. Before you make your shopping list for this weekend, consider signing up for a CSA. Use the Local Beet’s list to find options, nut you can do no worse than Tomato Mountain, my wife’s employer, who does an outstanding job of winter farming–that pic above is an example of a cold weather delivery.
How can you eat local year round in a place like Chicago. The question faced anytime I present on my family’s journey. A simple response: we put away food and we find sources of food. Over the ten years of being a Local Family, the ratio of we store to go to the store has changed. I like not having to rely so much on our root cellar in the sky. Relying on someone else to hold the food gives us two benefits. First, it saves us money. When we cold store our own food, we have a certain amount, what they would call in the retail business, shrinkage. That is, we expect some of the stored food to go bad before we can eat it. Buying as we need eliminates a lot of that problem. Second, as good as our root cellar in the sky functions, I believe others can do it better. If possible, leave it to the pro’s. My year-round CSA provides me an array of storage crops like onions, turnips and carrots. Moreover, my CSA provides me something green even on those darkest of days, like frost-kissed spinach. If you do not have a cold-season CSA, put one on your shopping list now.
My list for the week: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers both sweet and hot, and maybe onions. As you can see aside from the onions, my focus remains on ending summer not starting winter. I have, however, used nearly everyone of my inventory of summer onions.
That’s all the onions I have right now. At least I won’t need to get a CSA too.