Is Your Market in Season This Week and What You May Find – Sponsored by Vera Chicago

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Posted: May 28, 2015 at 9:03 am

What’s in Season Now, Maybe Not Your Hometown Farmer’s Markets

Vera-LOGO-Fpattern (1) (1) If your hometown market did not open last week, maybe it did this week.  To be honest, we’re jumping the gun a bit, declaring it market season.  We know that so many communities do not have markets yet.  A good chunk of Chicago markets have not started, and most suburban markets do not come online until June.  Still, we believe you don’t always need your hometown market.  Try a new market.  Meet some new farmers.  See what else is out there.  We’ve highlighted below some markets that are starting and some that have been around for a while already.  This week you have options besides your hometown market. We always believe our revised farmer’s market shopping tips come in handy for market shopping, but we believe they are even more useful when you step outside your hometown market to try new things.  Remember also that until your hometown market has not begun,  there’s always these stores.  Our sponsors, Irv and Shelly, can get you much local food all year.  For additional markets and other things to do in the week’s ahead, do check out Jeannie’s Local Calendar.

Rhubarb  Photo: Purdue University

Rhubarb
Photo: Purdue University

What’s In Season Now

Tatsoi Photo: Kitazawa Seed Co.

Tatsoi
Photo: Kitazawa Seed Co.

We’d love to tell you that all sorts of fun stuff is in season now, but we also know that markets this time of year tend to be dominated by vegetables masquerading as fruits and greens you may have never tried.

From the Ground

  • Green garlic
  • Asparagus
  • Lettuces
  • Rocket
  • Spinach
  • Spring onions/scallions
  • Shallots
  • Morel mushrooms
  • Radishes
  • Sorel
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • Cilantro
  • The various things under the umbrella “Asian greens” like bok choi, bekena, Chinese broccoli, etc.

Indoor Crops/Hoop-House

  • Turnips
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers

Storage Crops

  • Potatoes
  • Apples

Year round

  • Meats, poultry, lake fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk, cheese and other dairy
  • Mushrooms
  • Grains and breads
  • Preserved and jarred products

Where to Find Local Food

In addition to the following markets, there are several stores in the Chicago area that focus on selling local foods.

Chicago

One of the most complete markets on the south side is run by our friends at the Experimental Station at their 61st Market on Saturdays from 9 AM to 2 PM -  6100 S. Blackstone

We made our first visit to the Logan Square Farmer’s Market last week.  It still expertly mixes farmers, artisans, a prepared foods like no other market is doing.  And the people watching, oy - Sundays 10 AM – 3 PM (yes!) – Logan Boulevard, just east of Milwaukee

If it’s Tuesdays and you’re in the Loop, you have the option of the Federal Plaza market, some but not all the same vendors as the Daley Plaza market on Thursdays.  See what else is for sale downtown – 7 AM to 3 PM - Adams St. & Dearborn Pkwy

Throwing up a market for this first time this year, the Edison Park Chamber of Commerce want you to visit this far edge of the city for fruits, vegetables and tchotchkes.  The Last Wednesday of each month – 4 PM to 8 PM -  6730 N. Olmsted Ave (Metra Station parking lot)

Oak Park

Have we mentioned donuts.  Family ties?  Well, what about one of the few area markets with locally tapped maple syrup?  Jim the Vinegar Guy?  Sadly, no Hazzard Free grains this year.  Saturdays from 8 AM to 1 PM - 460 Lake

Evanston

There are often times, when we think about these things, quantify these things, we say this is the best there is in the Chicago area.  There’s the heirlooms, the regular, meats, cheeses, breads, the unique and the mundane, about all you could want in one market.  Saturdays from 730 AM to 1 PM - University Street & Oak Avenue

Hinsdale

OMG, I had no time this weekend for local food shopping.  Fear not, this is one of the few Monday markets around, and it’s a pretty decent one at that.  We’ve even seen a famous West Suburban based chef at this market before.  Mondays 7 AM to 1 PM - 30 E Chicago Ave

Oak Lawn

Not Oak Park, Not Oak Forest, but the one really far south.  It’s market opens this week to add to the rooster of options that direction (as we noted last week, it seems south suburban markets open earlier than north and northwest suburban markets) – Saturdays 8 AM to 1 PM - 159th & Cicero Ave. in the CVS/ Oak Forest Metra train parking lot

 

 

What's In Season and Where to Find It - Sponsored by Vera 1023 W. Lake, Chicago What’s In Season and Where to Find It – Sponsored by Vera 1023 W. Lake, Chicago




Illinois General Assembly Votes to Expand Cottage Food Law

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Posted: May 27, 2015 at 9:41 am

From a press release from the Illinois Stewardship Alliance:

SPRINGFIELD — In May the Illinois Senate unanimously approved legislation (HB 2486) that expands Illinois’ cottage food law. The legislation was unanimously approved by the Illinois House of Representatives in April and will now be sent to Governor Rauner for his approval.  Illinois’ cottage food law went into effect in 2012, allowing farmers and local food entrepreneurs to legally make in home kitchens certain non-hazardous food products for sale at farmers markets throughout Illinois. Prior to the enactment of Illinois’ cottage food law, it was illegal to sell homemade food products to the public for commercial purposes.

HB2486 supports small businesses and farmers by making it easier for them to meet the growing demand for local food and farm products,” said Wes King Executive Director of Illinois Stewardship Alliance, a nonprofit that worked with legislators and stakeholders to champion HB2486, “It’s a good example of legislators working together in a bipartisan manner to meet the needs of both food businesses and farmers market vendors.”

Galesburg Farmers Market Photo by Knox College

Galesburg Farmers Market
Photo by Knox College

Illinois’ cottage food law is currently limited in what types of non-hazardous food products can be made in home kitchens, where those products can be sold, who can sell the products and how much a farmer or entrepreneur can sell. HB2486 would authorize the State’s Farmers Market Task Force to develop an expanded list of allowed products beyond non-hazardous baked goods, high-acid jams, jellies, preserves and fruit butters; dried herbs, and dried teas. HB2486 would also expand the allowable locations cottage food products can be sold to include on-farm sales and through Community Support Agriculture arrangements for farmers making allowed cottage food products featuring ingredients grown on their farm, in addition to farmers markets.

The legislation, sponsored by Representative Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) and State Senator David Koehler (D-Peoria), would also relax requirements around employees having food sanitation training to sell cottage food products, allowing farmers and entrepreneurs to more easily hire staff; and increase the gross sales limit for cottage food products from $25,000 to $36,000 per year. Finally, the legislation includes a clarification around charitable bake sales, making clear that religious, non-profit and charitable bake sales are exempt from state food handling regulation.

Governor Rauner is expected to sign the legislation into law later this summer.

Green City Market  Photo: chicago.seriouseats.com

Green City Market
Photo: chicago.seriouseats.com

Illinois Stewardship Alliance is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmentally sustainable, economically viable, socially just, local food systems through policy development, advocacy, and education.

To keep up to date on various Illinois Stewardship Alliance policy and legislative work,  visitwww.ilstewards.org and follow us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/ilstewards and twitter @ILStewards.




Holiday Weekend Edition of the Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links

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Posted: May 22, 2015 at 8:12 am

We Love Lists

 

Only a few on this list are in the Midwest, but we’re suckers for best of lists when they come to best ice creams.

This list we like, especially as it’s not all the usual suspects.

A list of butchers, because we need this list to be bigger.

We’d add kohlrabi to this list but don’t agree when it comes to zucchini.

Damn you Boston.

Actually not clever, arch or meaningful in the least.

A bit of sad news in the local food community.

Since the sustainable food movement is so centered around think tanks, foundations and such, we might as well read what they have to say.




Home Town Markets in Season – Sponsored by Vera Chicago

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Posted: May 20, 2015 at 9:26 am

Oak Park 2015, Now with Even More Local Family

 

Vera-LOGO-Fpattern (1) (1)

Because we had more winter markets than ever, thank you especially, Logan Square and Evanston, the rolling out of farmer’s markets does not seem as notable.  They’ve been here all along.  And markets as far apart as Woodstock, Green City and Frankfort have already ignited a new season of eat local passion.  Still, there are markets and there are our markets.  Your hometown market or neighborhood market.  The one where the farmer holds out the remaining tayberries just for you.  Where you’v been having  your knives sharpened for ages.  Where there’s donuts.

This is a special year at the Oak Park Farmer’s Market.  You can buy organic tomatoes, seasonal produce, and an array of farm-canned goods from the Condiment Queen at Tomato Mountain, and you can buy cheeses, butter, and ice cream from the Local Kid at Nordic Creamery.  Then, there’s donuts.  We all like our markets for different reasons.   For me, Oak Park is not just the donuts, not just old thyme music, or even the family connections, its the continuity, the arrival of the same gang,  the same sense of community, and the unfolding of the seasons in the same way that pervades the market each week.  It’s not just the farmers I look forward to seeing again.  It’s never the same sure, but it’s never different enough to make you forget where you are.   What’s your home town market and what makes it special to you.

See below for some of the many markets now in season.  Then, use our revised farmer’s market shopping tips to make the most of these outpost.  If your home town market has not begun,  there’s always these stores too.  Our sponsors, Irv and Shelly, also can get you much local food.  For additional markets and other things to do in the week’s ahead, see also Jeannie’s Local Calendar.

Wall of Lettuce

What’s In Season Now

 

 

DSCN1575

Don’t be surprised if the market you visit this week is dominated by starter plants and storage apples.  Not all farmers have hoop houses or the initiative to take an early start.  On the other hand, there should be much in the way of green including lettuces, spinach and all that asparagus you’ve waited for all year.  The items listed below are our best guesses as to what you’ll find, or what we think you should especially be looking for this time of year.

From the Ground

  • Green garlic
  • Asparagus
  • Spring onions/scallions
  • Shallots
  • Morel mushrooms
  • Radishes
  • Sorel
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • The various things under the umbrella “Asian greens” like bok choi, bekena, Chinese broccoli, etc.

Indoor Crops/Hoop-House

  • Turnips
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Beets

Storage Crops

  • Potatoes
  • Apples

Year round

  • Meats, poultry, lake fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk, cheese and other dairy
  • Mushrooms
  • Grains and breads
  • Preserved and jarred products

Where to Find Local Food

In addition to the following markets, there are several stores in the Chicago area that focus on selling local foods.

Chicago

Grocery store Treasure Island is putting together a couple of farmer’s markets, including this one with the rather interesting name, The Urban Islander’s Market at Treasure Island. They’ve brought some good stuff including black garlic from Wisconsin and greens grown in the Chicago suburbs. Wednesday from 3 PM to 8 PM - 2121 N. Clybourn Ave.

Not quite ready to bear the dogs, dirt and dozens at Green City? The market on Division Street is not too far in one direction and has some of the same vendors. Hijacking a busy street, it also feels very European (at least to us). Saturday from 7 AM to 1 PM Division St. & Dearborn Pkwy.

Oak Park

Have we mentioned donuts.  Family ties?  Well, what about one of the few area markets with locally tapped maple syrup?  Jim the Vinegar Guy?  Sadly, no Hazzard Free grains this year.  Saturday May 9 from 8 AM to 1 PM - 6210 Dempster

Park Ridge

A solid community market in a classic train-stop shopping district.   Saturday from 7 AM to 1 PM –  15 Prairie Avenue, between Main & Garden

Woodstock

We’ve told you about this market on Saturdays, but they also meet on Tuesdays in the square 8 AM to 1 PM - Historic Woodstock Square

Homewood

For some reason, a lot of the earliest Chicago area markets are in the south suburbs.  We’ve pointed out Park Forest and Frankfort before.  How about another one in that direction.  Saturday from 8 AM to 1 PM - 2020 Chestnut Road

What's In Season and Where to Find It - Sponsored by Vera 1023 W. Lake, Chicago

What’s In Season and Where to Find It – Sponsored by Vera 1023 W. Lake, Chicago




It’s a Matter of Timing

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Posted: May 19, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Getting to Things

One can approach shopping, cooking and eating three ways. First, one can go shopping, to a store, online, where-ever, and buy what looks good that day or buy what you’re in the mood for or even buy based on some recipe read. The idea is this kind of shopper pays no attention to the underlying agriculture in defining their dinners. Their plates are dictated by their moods. Then, you have people focused primarily on price. I’ll get zucchini this week because it’s 39 cents a pound. What’s in season may matter to this shopper because it may impact prices, but when you are most motivated by price you are most motivated by price. Finally, there is the shopper, like me, who wants to eat based on what’s best at this point. We base our diets on what’s at the market or what’s come in the CSA box.

Or not. Let’s not be so foolish as to suggest we all fit neatly into a category. Who never considers price? And I’m as committed locavore as they come and I found myself buying a jar Serbian peppers the other day, because, well, because. The other thing, we have to time our actions. Somethings we need to get to right away. Others, who knows.

These beets came in our Tomato Mountain CSA box many months ago. I believe, although am not sure, they came in 2014. For all those months since, they idled nicely in our upstairs fridge as beets can. In the cold, with some humidity, they stayed perfectly edible, just waiting for me to have the gumption to deal with them. See, I love beets and all, but I’m not so loving of all the time and effort it takes to make them. So, I was in no hurry. Except now, with new crops coming fast, the CSA scheduled moved back to weekly, room was needed. I will say this, I feel awful for my vegan wife who does not get to enjoy the combination of roasted beets and labneh.

Asparagus on the other hand, you cannot diddle-dawdle. The longer it’s out of the ground, the lesser it will taste. Having her first shot at asparagus a week ago, my wife maybe over-bought. I roasted one batch, sauted another batch with ramps and turnip greens. This all got us well past a week. I had two bunches left. I knew I needed to have them soon, and I knew they needed a prep they would be more forgiving. Pan grilling them produced enough flavor and texture, that I wiped out any of the delicious subtlety already lost with time. If that was not enough, I splashed roasted peanut oil, spritzed soy and dabbed Asian chili oil, removing any lingering veggie-nuance left.

I will say this also about grilling asparagus. It’s harder than it looks. I mean it’s not that hard, but there’s something about the way asparagus spears are constructed. They are weirdly off balance, like camshafts. You grill one side, then think it is as easy as turning. They never just turn. They turn and then roll, often rolling back to the side you started. Would you think it hard to evenly grill asparagus. It is.

They say it was a very hungry person who ate the first oyster. Could you say the same about CSA customers and their Tokyo bekana? The bane of early season CSAs are all these weird greens known especially to farmers as “cold hearty.” Or more apt, what we can fill our boxes with until the fun stuff (like tomatoes) comes into season. Bekana looks a little like lettuce, but do not be fooled. It does not make for interesting salads. It is about the last thing I want to get around to with our stuff. Then, I had an idea. It looks like lettuce but it’s in the cabbage family. Do you know one of the ways I love cabbage, Jamaican style, that is with a subtle curry.

I sauteed a few onions in a large pan. Added madras curry powder and some garlic, let it bloom for a minute. Shredded the bekana. Put it in with the flavorings, plus about a q/4 cup of water to ease the cooking. I’ll be in a bit more of a hurry next time bekana shows up in our box.

We have to think about a few things when we go shopping or prepare dinner. Some times the choices are apparent. Other times it’s a question of timing.




Curious About Veganism? The Good Karma Diet by Victoria Moran is for You!

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Posted: May 19, 2015 at 11:53 am

Good Karma Diet

You may have noticed that I have started to publish book recaps on bees, chickens and now on veganism. First off, if you noticed, it means you are actually reading this and for that I am very thankful!! I’ve started to receive emails from book publicists, who in exchange for sending me a copy of the book, ask for a brief write-up.  Well, I am a lover of real books and dog-earing a page in this age of screen reading.  Secondly, being appreciative of all the work that goes into seeing a book to completion, if it is a subject related in some way to the sustainable food/beverage world and if they send me a copy, I will write.

In this case, the book is The Good Karma Diet by Victoria Moran and published by Penguin. Now I am not a believer in diets and this book isn’t a diet in the vein of half a grapefruit and a piece of whole wheat toast for breakfast. This book is more a guidebook on veganism. For full disclosure, I am not a vegan and perhaps @Shes_Cooking would be a better summarizer since she is a full fledged vegan. I was not familiar with Victoria Moran but I am a believer in karma and think what goes around, comes around.  Moran has written 12 books on veganism including her most popular book and blog, Main Street Vegan.

Moran is very thorough in this book, from instructing you gently how to gradually wean yourself off of eggs and cheese to anecdotal success stories of people who became vegans to interspersed GKT (Good Karma Tips) about shopping, cooking and eating among non-vegans. She reinforced my thooughts about the power of greens and green drinks in the chapter High-Green, High-Raw, High-Energy Eating. Her basic premise is that you are what you eat and eat colorfully. One of the beautiful things about farmers markets is all the vibrant colors that can seem surreal in the summertime. Having just visited the National Restaurant Show here in Chicago, the Vitamix crew were demonstrating vegan recipes like avocado hollandaise which would fit perfectly into Moran’s chapter on Good Cheer and a Good Blender.

BeetsFult

Her tagline with the book is “Eat Gently, Feel Amazing and Age in Slow Motion”. She really goes from A to Z in terms of all aspects of veganism which again is why this is a great book for someone who is curious and wants to learn the how’s and why’s or for a practicing vegan who just wants to learn more about the philosophy behind veganism or helpful tips on living a vegan life. Moran’s point of view is a belief system as well as way of eating and is along the lines of some of the jivamukti yogii’s I know, who are vegan because one of their beliefs is compassion for all living things.

So Moran did not convince me to become a vegan but she did reinforce my thoughts on the power of vegetables and she really packed this book with all sorts of useful information like reviewing the different types of “diets” out there, the stories behind some of the animal farms, a chapter on vitamins and nutrition and more. She encourages everyone to be more thoughtful eaters and consider what goes on before the food gets to your plate and towards the end of the book, a slew of recipes and a great list of recommended reading.




The Local Calendar 5/14/15 Daley Plaza Market Opens Today, 61st Street Saturday, Craft Beer Week, Seedling Sales at Kilbourn Park Greenhouse, PGP Learning Center Edgewater and at the Howard Street Farm in Skokie

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Posted: May 14, 2015 at 8:33 am

Asparagus GCM15Edible Chicago Vera CoffeeGood Food Revolution

(* Indicates new addition to calendar as of 5/19) Yes, the farmers market outdoor season has started. Still to open, 61st Street Farmers Market Saturday, May 16, Logan Square May 17, Federal Plaza Tuesday May 19. Today at Opening Day at Daley Plaza, Country Financial will announce the winner of their market bag contest. Make a point today to stop by the market today and find the bag! Edible Chicago Spring issue is out and about. If you see it, pick it up or you can subscribe.

It is that time of year, thankfully, where there is an abundance of markets relative to the wintertime and admittingly, an abundance in some neighborhoods and a shortfall in others. People like Will Allen, the founder of Growing Power is trying to address that issue, you can buy his book at the Growing Power booth at Green City Market.  If you are curious if there is a market in your area, check the City of Chicago’s website, for markets outside of Chicago, the Illinois Department of Agriculture keeps a market database as well as LocalHarvest

 Chicagogourmet tickets, 9/26-9/27 are available now! Green City Market BBQ, July 16 are on sale!

If you want a fun field trip for a weekend day in the summer, farm dinners are one way to go and the more popular ones are well on their way to being sold out. Heritage Prairie in Brundige, Mint Creek Farm in Stelle, Outstanding In The Field (nationwide farm tour that has stops in the Chicagoland area), Prairie Fruit Farm in Champaign and Slagel Family Farms in Fairbury.

The Green Grocer is making their CSA interactive. On May 25th, they are offering a farm visit to Genesis Growers to see and experience the farm. “We are very excited that the amazing and talented Vicki Westerhoff of Genesis Growers has invited a limited number of share members down to see the farm.

The Peterson Garden Project has all sort of classes for you to grow and then cook your own food! Need help with bees? Interested in local chickens?  Garfield Park Conservatory has a class for you. Have questions about urban farming, ask someone at the Advocates for Urban Agriculture or farming outside of Chicago, ask the Land Connection or the Illinois Stewardship Alliance.

It is that time of year for seedling sales, live in the northshore suburbs, checkout the Talking Farm’s Howard Street Farm in Skokie, Edgewater, the PGP Learning Center or Kilbourn Park, lots of activity going on at the organic green house.

Craft beer week in all its sudsy glory, Food Revolution Day is Friday May 15, Trash Fish Chicago and the list goes on, all on the Local Calendar.

The Week Ahead

May 14 -24

Craft Beer Week in all its awesomeness There are so many events go to the link, follow @Chibeerweek on twitter

May 14

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Opening Day Daley Plaza Farmers Market  (Through 10/29) 7am – 3pm COUNTRY Financial will announce the winner of the 8th Annual Reusable Bag Design Contest. The winning design from a Chicago Public Schools student was based on the theme “Live, Love, Be Green” and will be featured on thousands of reusable bags distributed throughout the season. This year’s finalists, each of whom will receive a scholarship award, are: Christopher Duran, a senior at Mather High School; David Paredes, a junior at Mather High School; and Zhi Wei Tan, a junior at Lincoln Park High School

May 15-16

Caledonia - 2015 Herb, Garden & Wellness  Fair - Wind Ridge Herb Farm 10 am – 4pm 466 Quail Trap Rd.

SkokieSeedling Sales at The Howard Street Farm 10am – 1pm 3669 Howard St (behind the Tot Learning Center) Saturday and Sunday’s (through May 31) It’s planting time again! This year choose local and organically grown seedlings for your garden from The Talking Farm. We will offer many different varieties of home-grown seedlings for sale at the Howard Street Farm, starting with cold weather hardy varieties then moving on to warm weather varieties as spring progresses.

May 15, 16, 17

Chicago (Edgewater) 4th Annual Plant Sale and Bake Sale Peterson Garden Project 12:00 pm –  4:00 pm PGP Learning Center  4642 North Francisco Avenue Their vegetable and herb seedlings are locally-grown in certified organic soil and are hand-selected for growing well in Chicago. Heirloom favorites will be available, as well as a few disease- resistant tomato and basil varieties! They’ll also be selling our book, Fearless Food Gardening in Chicagoland, seeds from Seed Savers Exchange, worm castings, Purple Cow Activated compostCascade Minerals soil boosterCorona tools, Grewbie kits, Neptune’s Harvest liquid fertilizer, PGP t-shirts, seed potatoes, Seed Keeper Company 5-  and 10- gallon Burlap Girdles (great for growing potatoes!), and of course- delicious,  locally-  baked goods.

May 15

FOOD REVOLUTION DAY!!!

May 16-17

Chicago (Kilbourn Park) Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse Plant Sale 10am – 2pm 3501 N. Kilbourn Ave. They will offer more than 150 varieties of organically-grown vegetable, herb, and flower seedlings. Customers can expect a wide variety of open-pollinated and heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Other highlights include an assortment of herbs, greens and onions. This year will feature many new plants selected for city gardening in small spaces and containers. These seedlings are grown with the support of a team of dedicated volunteers who mak… .. See More

May 16

FM - Chicago (Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - Opening Day 61st Farmers Market Outdoor (Through Dec. 19) 9am -2pm 61st and Dorchester Accepting Senior Coupons and doubling LINK up to $25 The Chicago Southside’s premier farmers market, straddling the Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods. This year’s lineup includes Ellis Family Farms, Organic Bread of Heaven, Growing Power, Faith’s Farm, Mint Creek Farm, Lucky Duck Farm, Stamper Cheese, A10 Homemade Pastas, Sauce & Bread Kitchen, Growing Power, The Urban Canopy, SenTEAmental Moods Teas, Bot Gluten Free Vegan Bakery, and many more.

FM - Chicago (Lincoln Park) Green City Market (Through 10/31) The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark) Doubling LINK up to $15 7am – 1pm Chef demo 10:30am – 11:30am Michael Kornick MK Chicago

FM - Evanston Downtown Evanston Farmers Market -(Through Nov. 7)  7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Intersection of University Place and Oak Ave. (just east of East Railroad Ave.) Free parking is available in the adjacent 1800 Maple Avenue Self Park Fifty-seven vendors : fruits, vegetables, meat, flowers, cheese, milk, eggs and bakery items. Reusable and biodegradable bags are sold on site. LINK cards are accepted, and the Friends of Evanston Farmers Markets offers matching funds.

May 17

FM - Chicago (Logan Square) - Opening Day Logan Square Outside Market (Through Oct. 25) 10am – 3pm 3107 West Logan Blvd.

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Make a resolution May,  volunteer on an urban farm. Are you getting an itch to get your hands dirty and work with the soil? There are many alternatives in Chicagoland to volunteer on an urban farm, a few of the options:  Altgeld Sawyer Corner Farm (Logan Square)Chicago Lights Urban FarmCity Farm , Growing HomeGrowing Power ChicagoPeterson Garden Project and the Talking Farm in Skokie. 


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May 18

Chicago (The Loop) - Trash Fish Chicago6:30pm – 9:30pm   The Kitchen Chicago 316 North Clark Avenue Trash Fish Chicago is a delicious opportunity to taste underutilized seafood species, learn about the future of sustainable seafood, and connect with leading change makers in the culinary world. Chef Johnny Anderes, The Kitchen, Chicago, Chef Paul Fehribach, Big Jones, Chicago, Chef Brian Huston, Boltwood, Evanston, Chef Nicole Pederson, Found, Evanston, Chef Nico Romo, Fish, Charleston, Chef Clair Smyth, The Kitchen, Chicago, Chef Stephen Stryjewski, Cochon/Butcher/Peche, New Orleans, Chef Paul VirantVie/Perennial Virant/Vistro, Chicago,  Signature cocktails by Bill Anderson, Vie, Chicago Proceeds benefit Chefs Collaborative scholarship and education programs.

May 19

FM – Chicago (Loop)Federal Plaza Market Opens  (Through 10/27) 7am – 3pm Sponsored by the City of Chicago and COUNTRY Financial This year, all of the City of Chicago managed markets will accept LINK and will distribute double value coupons with every LINK purchase. Don’t forget to pick up your reusable bag from COUNTRY Financial at Daley Plaza or a market near you.

Chicago (West Loop) – Publican Quality Meat Burger Night 6pm-9pm 825 West Fulton

May 20

Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms Farm Open House 4-6pm

FM Chicago (Andersonville) Opening Day Andersonville’s Farmers Market - Located on Berwyn between Clark and Ashland Every Wed through 9/2 3-8pm, 9/9-10/14 3-7pm @Shes_Cooking will be there at the Tomato Mountain Stand

FM Chicago (Lincoln Park) – Green City Market (Through 10/28) 7am – 1pm 10:30am – 11:30am Chef demo Devon Quinn Paramount Events Catering The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark) Doubling LINK up to $15

Chicago (Lincoln Square)  - Free Sausage and Beer sponsored by Big Fork Brands at the Space 4pm – 6pm 2707 W. Lawrence

May 21

Chicago (West Loop) Botanical Beer Dinner at BellyQ with Forbidden Root Botanic Brewing - Portion of sales goes to Inspiration Kitchen.

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Daley Plaza Farmers Market  (Through 10/29) 7am – 3pm Sponsored by the City of Chicago and COUNTRY Financial This year, all of the City of Chicago managed markets will accept LINK and will distribute double value coupons with every LINK purchase. Don’t forget to pick up your reusable bag from COUNTRY Financial at Daley Plaza or a market near you.

May 22

Chicago (Lakeview) - Bunny The Micro Bakery and Wunder POP Launch - As reported by Michael Gebbert Chicago Reader

Chicago (Loop)Beyond Gourmet Paella Cook-off – Mercat A La Planxa 6-8:30pm Abe Colon, Fat Rice Ashlee Aubin, Salero and Wood John Manion, La Sirena Clandestina and El Che bar Perry Hendrix, avec Rob Hafer, Slurping Turtle Tim Graham, Travelle all compete for MVP (Most Valuable Paella)

May 23-24

Skokie - Seedling Sales at The Howard Street Farm 10am – 1pm 3669 Howard St (behind the Tot Learning Center) Saturday and Sunday’s (through May 31) It’s planting time again! This year choose local and organically grown seedlings for your garden from The Talking Farm. We will offer many different varieties of home-grown seedlings for sale at the Howard Street Farm, starting with cold weather hardy varieties then moving on to warm weather varieties as spring progresses.

May 23

FM - Chicago (Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - 61st Farmers Market Outdoor (Through Dec. 19) 9am -2pm 61st and Dorchester Accepting Senior Coupons and doubling LINK up to $25 The Chicago Southside’s premier farmers market, straddling the Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods.

FM - Chicago (Lincoln Park)Green City Market (Through 10/31) The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark)Doubling LINK up to $15 7am – 1pm Chef demo 10:30am – 11:30am Sean Sanders Browntrout

FM - Evanston Downtown Evanston Farmers Market -(Through Nov. 7)  7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Intersection of University Place and Oak Ave. (just east of East Railroad Ave.) Free parking is available in the adjacent 1800 Maple Avenue

FD FairburySlagel Family Farm Dinner with Nico Osteria & Boltwood Chef Erling Wu-Bower and Chef Brian Huston

FM - Oak Park - Opening Day Oak Park Farmers Market (Through 10/31) 7am – 1pm - Pilgrim Church Parking Lot 460 Lake St For a limited time, the Market offers a Link Double Coupon matching program, which gives Link card users $1 in coupons for each $1 in Market purchases, up to $20. Many vendors also accept the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program $3 coupons

May 24

Chicago (Lincoln Park) – Sunday Supper at Floriole with Abra Berens of Local Foods 6-8pm 

FM - Chicago (Logan Square) - Logan Square Farmers Market (Through Oct. 25) 10am – 3pm 3107 West Logan Blvd.

May 25

Happy Memorial Day!

May 26

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Federal Plaza Market  (Through 10/27) 7am – 3pm Sponsored by the City of Chicago and COUNTRY Financial This year, all of the City of Chicago managed markets will accept LINK and will distribute double value coupons with every LINK purchase.

Chicago (West Loop) - Publican Quality Meat Burger Night 6pm-9pm 825 West Fulton

*new  Chicago (Old Town) – Booking Signing The Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson at the Spice House - 6-7:30pm 1512 N. Wells 

May 27

Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms Farm Open House 4-6pm

FM Chicago (Andersonville) Andersonville’s Farmers Market - Located on Berwyn between Clark and Ashland Every Wed through 9/2 3-8pm, 9/9-10/14 3-7pm @Shes_Cooking will be there at the Tomato Mountain Stand

FM Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Green City Market (Through 10/28) 7am – 1pm 10:30am – 11:30am Chef demo Pat Sheerin The TrenchermenThe market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark)

Chicago (West Loop)Beyond Gourmet – Gourmet In The GardenPiccolo Sogno 1-4pm The leisurely afternoon event takes place on Piccolo Sogno’s lush garden patio and features several food stations featuring Executive Chef Tony Priolo’s award-winning Italian, complemented by 30 different wines by Partner and Wine Director Ciro Longobardo.

May 28

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Daley Plaza Farmers Market  (Through 10/29) 7am – 3pm Sponsored by the City of Chicago and COUNTRY Financial This year, all of the City of Chicago managed markets will accept LINK and will distribute double value coupons with every LINK purchase. Don’t forget to pick up your reusable bag from COUNTRY Financial at Daley Plaza or a market near you.

Chicago (Roscoe Village) - LUSH Roscoe Village Wine Stroll

May 30-31

Skokie - Seedling Sales at The Howard Street Farm 10am – 1pm 3669 Howard St (behind the Tot Learning Center) Saturday and Sunday’s (through May 31) It’s planting time again! This year choose local and organically grown seedlings for your garden from The Talking Farm. We will offer many different varieties of home-grown seedlings for sale at the Howard Street Farm, starting with cold weather hardy varieties then moving on to warm weather varieties as spring progresses.

May 30

FD ChampaignRites of Spring Farm Dinner Prairie Fruits Farm 

FM - Chicago (Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - 61st Farmers Market Outdoor (Through Dec. 19) 9am -2pm 61st and Dorchester Accepting Senior Coupons and doubling LINK up to $25 The Chicago Southside’s premier farmers market, straddling the Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods.

FM - Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Green City Market (Through 10/31) The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark) 7am – 1pm Chef demo 10:30am – 11:30am Joe Heppe Oak & Char

Chicago (West Loop) - Counter Culture Coffee Open House Celebrating Sustainability 10am-2pm Chicago Training Center 177 North Ada, unit 106Goose Island Brewery‘s Assistant Brewery Manager Ian Hughes will serve as the day’s presenter. The free and open-to-the-public event will be an awareness-raising day about sustainability and green living, showcasing the work of individuals and organizations doing inspiring work in the communities around Counter Culture’s training centers.

FM - Evanston Downtown Evanston Farmers Market -(Through Nov. 7)  7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Intersection of University Place and Oak Ave. (just east of East Railroad Ave.) Free parking is available in the adjacent 1800 Maple Avenue

FM - Oak Park - Oak Park Farmers Market (Through 10/31) 7am – 1pm - Pilgrim Church Parking Lot 460 Lake St For a limited time, the Market offers a Link Double Coupon matching program, which gives Link card users $1 in coupons for each $1 in Market purchases, up to $20. Many vendors also accept the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program $3 coupons

May 31

Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Book Event Floriole Cafe and Bakery Maria Speck – Simply Ancient Grains  6-8pm Enjoy a glass of cava, taste small bites inspired by recipes in Maria’s latest book, listen to Maria tell us more about her book and answer questions posed by blogger Tim Mazurek of Lottie & Doof, and have your book signed by the author. Bring your copy of the book or purchase one at the cafe. Get tickets here.

FM - Chicago (Logan Square) - Logan Square Farmers Market (Through Oct. 25) 10am – 3pm 3107 West Logan Blvd.

June 1

Chicago (North Center) - Enchilada Night at Half Acre Tap Room with Sunday Dinner 4255 N. Lincoln

Chicago (West Loop) - Michigan Wines Showcase at City Winery 6pm

June 2

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Federal Plaza Market  (Through 10/27) 7am – 3pm Sponsored by the City of Chicago and COUNTRY Financial This year, all of the City of Chicago managed markets will accept LINK and will distribute double value coupons with every LINK purchase. Don’t forget to pick up your reusable bag from COUNTRY Financial at Daley Plaza or a market near you.

FM – Chicago (Streeterville) MCA Chicago Farmers Market (Through 10/27) 7am -3pm Managed by S.O.A.R.(Streeterville Organization of Active Residents)

Chicago (West Loop) - Publican Quality Meat Burger Night 6pm-9pm 825 West Fulton

June 3

Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms Farm Open House 4-6pm

FM Chicago (Andersonville) Andersonville’s Farmers Market - Located on Berwyn between Clark and Ashland Every Wed through 9/2 3-8pm, 9/9-10/14 3-7pm @Shes_Cooking will be there at the Tomato Mountain Stand

FM Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Green City Market (Through 10/28) 7am – 1pm 10:30am – 11:30am Chef demo David Dworshak Takito KitchenThe market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark)

June 4

Chicago - Chef’s Playground 2015 to Benefit the Academy for Global Citizenship

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Daley Plaza Farmers Market  (Through 10/29) 7am – 3pm Sponsored by the City of Chicago and COUNTRY Financial This year, all of the City of Chicago managed markets will accept LINK and will distribute double value coupons with every LINK purchase. Don’t forget to pick up your reusable bag from COUNTRY Financial at Daley Plaza or a market near you.

June 6

FM - Chicago (Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - 61st Farmers Market Outdoor (Through Dec. 19) 9am -2pm 61st and Dorchester Accepting Senior Coupons and doubling LINK up to $25 The Chicago Southside’s premier farmers market, straddling the Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods.

FM - Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Green City Market (Through 10/31) The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark) 7am – 1pm Chef demo 10:30am – 11:30am Rick Bayless Frontera Grill

FM – Chicago (West Loop)  Green City Market -Fulton  (Through 10/31) 9am – 2pm Located in a lot at the SE corner of N. Halsted and W Fulton Streets, 799 W. Fulton Market.

FM - Evanston Downtown Evanston Farmers Market -(Through Nov. 7)  7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Intersection of University Place and Oak Ave. (just east of East Railroad Ave.) Free parking is available in the adjacent 1800 Maple Avenue

FM - Oak Park - Oak Park Farmers Market (Through 10/31) 7am – 1pm - Pilgrim Church Parking Lot 460 Lake St For a limited time, the Market offers a Link Double Coupon matching program, which gives Link card users $1 in coupons for each $1 in Market purchases, up to $20. Many vendors also accept the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program $3 coupons

June 7

FM - Chicago (Logan Square) - Logan Square Farmers Market (Through Oct. 25) 10am – 3pm 3107 West Logan Blvd.

FM – Chicago (Rogers Park) Opening Day Glenwood Outdoor Market (Through 10/25) 9am – 2pm On Glenwood Ave. between Morse and Lunt

June 9

FM - Chicago (Loop) - Federal Plaza Market  (Through 10/27) 7am – 3pm Sponsored by the City of Chicago and COUNTRY Financial This year, all of the City of Chicago managed markets will accept LINK and will distribute double value coupons with every LINK purchase. Don’t forget to pick up your reusable bag from COUNTRY Financial at Daley Plaza or a market near you.

FM - Chicago (Streeterville) MCA Chicago Farmers Market (Through 10/27) 7am -3pm Managed by S.O.A.R.(Streeterville Organization of Active Residents)

Chicago (West Loop) - Publican Quality Meat Burger Night 6pm-9pm 825 West Fulton

June 10

FM Chicago (Andersonville) Andersonville’s Farmers Market - Located on Berwyn between Clark and Ashland Every Wed through 9/2 3-8pm, 9/9-10/14 3-7pm @Shes_Cooking will be there at the Tomato Mountain Stand

FM Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Green City Market (Through 10/28) 7am – 1pm 10:30am – 11:30am Chef demo Bruce Sherman North Pond The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark)

June 13

Crystal Lake – Dukes Eco-Friendly Food and Beer Fest

June 18

Chicago (Bucktown)Rick Bayless’ Garden Tour By His Master Gardener Bill Hogan and Mexican Dinner at Goddess and Grocer

June 27

New!!  FM – Chicago (Back of the Yards) – Back of the Yards Community Market at The Plant (Through 9/9) 11am – 3:30pm

July 16

Chicago (Lincoln Park)Green City Market BBQ




Some of This Week’s Harvest of Eat Local Links Have Insider Appeal

By
Posted: May 13, 2015 at 11:28 am

 

Pretty decent advice for handling your CSA.

Urban ag and eating local go hand in hand.  Meet some of the players.

Why it matters (urban ag).

How not to talk about food (or eating).

Hey Tom.

One for my wife, and others like her, to use.

All my family adore this place.

And one for my friend Randall.

Interesting news on the local cheese front.

 

 




What Do You Do With Radishes

By
Posted: May 8, 2015 at 8:49 am

It’s All a Matter of Emphasis

 

radishes - tm csa

What: Radishes have been showing up in my Tomato Mountain CSA box* for a few weeks. Local radishes are also available at operating farmer’s markets. It’s an easy crop to find. For one thing, it manages just fine in the cold, the Farmer’s Almanac says plant them well before the last frost date. Then, those little orbs are ready in like 3 weeks. No patience required. Finally, to keep on chugging out those CSA boxes, you can plant and re-plant and re-harvest radishes.  They’re what’s here now and what will be here for a while until it gets too hot.

Do: So, is it a blessing or a curse, piles of radishes. Do you treat them like food? Be real. Do you practice your garniture skills, make one decent rose, compost the rest, and call it plating. Like many (most) tastes of Spring, the radish has bite. The earth wants to wake up our palate after a winter of roots and rich meats. Do you fear the little package of assertiveness? At best is it one slice on a pile of greens you call salad?

Photo courtesy of Mark Mendez/Vera Chicago

Photo courtesy of Mark Mendez/Vera Chicago

You: Are not the type to shirk from an early seasonal bounty. You want to play with your food. Take full advantage of something that is not spinach or asparagus this time of year.  Is there any better way to have your radishes than the way our friend and sponsor, Vera did, with a mound of Nordic Creamery butter and some sea salt.  Are you a minimalist.  Do the simple things in life satisfy.  Is there any more mindful way of eating than a plate of radishes facing you.  You are willing to tackle this crop for sure.

radish

Do: What happens when the emphasis is at the end? What do you do with all your radishes. You’ve thrown a few into salads. Tried méthode de français. They’re still a-comin, what to do. Do treat your radishes like any other root vegetable. As Local Beet Founder, Michael Morowitz said of any root, “grate it or roast it.” This Local Family has had success with both. I especially like mating my radish slaws with other strong flavors like dry cured olives or capers.  In North African cuisine, radishes are often paired with citrus.  Roasting does not dull their bite, but it does add a touch of sweetness to make for an interesting marriage.  Do try.

Where do you like to put your emphasis on this Spring favorite?

*One of the Local Family works for Tomato Mountain




More Markets in Season Now – Sponsored by Vera Chicago

By
Posted: May 7, 2015 at 9:30 am

What’s In Season Now, More

 

Vera-LOGO-Fpattern (1) (1)

More markets, more products at the more markets.  We’ve already reached our capacities in listing markets and listing what you will find at said markets.  The time to eat local is nigh.  If you’re going to Green City Market, you probably know about it.  See what else is out there this week.  Use our revised farmer’s market shopping tips to get the best of these more markets.  And note, the more there’s in the markets, the more there’s in these stores too.  Get local food where you can.

Fernsgreenacres
Photo Jeannie Boutelle

What’s In Season Now

 

 

lots o rhubarb

Between the nice weather and the fact that market are actually around and open, the Spring crop is thick.  Gone are the days when early markets consisted of old apples, cultivated mushrooms, and all that indeterminate, clearly not local, product supposedly from “Southern Illinois–yes we won’t name the vendor still often seen at certain markets Francais notorious for this fodder. Just remember our list does not include peppers or sweet corn. On the other hand, we’ve heard of area farmers pulling tomatoes from their hoop houses, so that we can accept!  The list below is not all of what you can find, but some of what you should focus on based on short seasons, or long desire.

From the Ground

  • Green garlic
  • Edible ferns
  • Garlic mustard
  • Ramps
  • Asparagus
  • Spring onions/scallions
  • Nettles
  • Morel mushrooms
  • Radishes
  • Sorel
  • Chives
  • Dill

Indoor Crops/Hoop-House

  • Turnips
  • Tomatoes

Storage Crops

  • Potatoes
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Celery root
  • Onions

Year round

  • Meats, poultry, lake fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk, cheese and other dairy
  • Mushrooms
  • Grains and breads
  • Preserved and jarred products

Where to Find Local Food

In addition to the following markets, there are several stores in the Chicago area that focus on selling local foods.

Chicago

Great locally raised meats from our friends at C&D just one of the reasons to hit the far southside market in Beverly on Sunday May 10 from 7 AM to 1 PM - 95th Street and Longwood Drive

Already going, support the good work done by Growing Home at their Wood Street Farm on Wednesday May 13 from 11 AM to 4 PM - 5814 S. Wood Street

Morton Grove

Some of you may know, but the Beet has some deep ties to this market.  Do show your support on this special Spring edition, Saturday May 9 from 8 AM to 1 PM – 6210 Dempster

Urbana

Maybe you’re picking up your kid this weekend?  The closest thing in Illinois to the Dane County Farmer’s Market, big square, lots of vendors.  Better, take advantage of the length of our state as you will find products here that will never make it as far north as Chicago.  Saturday May 9 from 7 AM to Noon –  Corner of Illinois & Vine Streets in Downtown Urbana

Glencoe/Chicago Botanic Gardens

Just a couple things we love about this market are Kim Snyder and her delicious Faith’s Farm pork, and the Chicago grown produce from Windy City Harvest, so go shop on Sunday May 10 from 9 AM to 3 Pm – 1000 Lake Cook Road

East Dundee

We’ve been following these guy’s active Facebook page for a while.  First market of the year on Saturday May 9 from 8 AM to 2 PM - 319 N. River St

Evanston

Not Madison big, and not Urbana big, but big-big for a Chicago area market.  Big enough to support a range of organic fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses, and other eat local products, almost sixty vendors this year!. Always one of our favorites.  Saturday May 9 from 730 AM to 1 PM - Intersection of University Place and Oak Ave (behind Hilton Garden Inn, east of East Railroad Ave)

Park Forest

This market accepts EBT/Link, WIC, and Senior Nutrition Coupons.  Saturday May 2 from 7 AM to 1 PM - 271 Lakewood Blvd

Geneva

Who wants to be inside?  Still, go support these guys for staying open ALL the time.  Community Winter Market on  Saturday, May 9 from 9 AM to 1 PM - 327 Hamilton

Kankakee

We’ve never been to this market, but the list of vendors is long on their Facebook page.  Downtown Kankakee also features a classic small town courthouse.  Worth checking out on Saturday May 2 from 8 AM to Noon – Corner of Schuyler Ave. and Merchant

Not satisfied with what’s around here.  The Madison Farmer’s Market is running hard.   We follow the Decatur Farmer’s Market on twitter and have always wanted to go.  Seems like a good one to visit.

  If you know of any other farmer’s markets in the Chicago area, please let us know

. What's In Season and Where to Find It - Sponsored by Vera 1023 W. Lake, Chicago

What’s In Season and Where to Find It – Sponsored by Vera 1023 W. Lake, Chicago




This Week’s Crop of Eat Local Links is Due for Harvest

By
Posted: May 6, 2015 at 8:34 am

Eat what is local.

Look at the great things our sponsor, Elizabeth, does.

Don’t you want to try a real Colby cheese?

Kinda of an inane idea.  What city would be the number one city for food and drink in Illinois?  Still, the lists leads to many good finds, regional treats and various places we think you need to visit.

What goes well with farmer’s markets?  Kids.

The good food movement is so damn confusing.

How many of you were amazed that Panera used 150 artificial ingredients, that knew that 150 artificial ingredients existed–of course, it is noted, that Panera has not dropped ALL artificial ingredients, so 150 is less than you think.

Look to the Motor City for inspiration.