What’s In Season and Where to Find It Are Changing – Sponsored by Vera

October 16, 2015 at 9:08 am

Eat Local Fall


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There are several ways to know that What’s in Season and Where to Find it are changing. Look at Chef Mendez’s menu at Vera. See tomato bread, escalivada or anything else that tastes of summer? And you probably heard that a frost is in the forecast. That truly halts the season for several crops. Finally, your market may have already pulled up stakes for the season. This does not mean eating local has gone out of season. There are always markets to find local food. There is always something in season. Each week we direct you to where you can find things, and each week we tell you what you can find. Things may be changing, but they’re not over.

In addition to the markets we highlight below, always check Jeanie’s Local Calendar for harvest dinners, classes, and other eat local events of interest.

Photo: IFMA

Photo by Jeannie Boutelle

We said that what’s in season is changing. We did not say it has changed. We believe you still have opportunities to find things like peppers, eggplants, zucchini, and, for sure, tomatoes. When you do venture int autumnal foods like winter squash, we believe you should keep you focus on what’s here and now.  There will be a time where any apple or potato will do, but as we told you a few weeks ago, look for the heirloom and speciality versions or look for the cheap versions. If you need more advice on putting away what you find, go here.

What’s In Season Now

What’s in season remains a lot. Much still to buy at area markets.

From the Ground

  • Cukes and zukes – Near the end
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet peppers – try the longer “carmen” peppers for variety
  • Poblano peppers – as Michel Morowitz once said, whatever a green [bell] pepper can do, a poblano pepper can do it better
  • Various “frying” peppers – melrose, shishito, padron
  • Hot peppers – jalapenos, serranos, cayenne, etc.
  • Tomatoes
  • Arugula
  • Lettuce
  • Shelling beans and field peas
  • Green beans
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Winter squash and pumpkins
  • Cauliflower
  • Fennel
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Rutabaga
  • Celery root
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes, including varieties like daikon and black–these are great storage items
  • Kohlrabi – another item that stores to near infinity
  • Greens including collards, turnips (often with turnip roots attached), and mustard

From the Trees and Bushes

  • Raspberries
  • Grapes
  • Plums – mostly the purple “Italian” varieties
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Asian pears a/k/a papples

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

You have a few more weeks at most of the major Chicago markets.  There’s some in the suburbs running well into November.  Restless, many of the away markets we highlighted in this post extend far into the fall (and beyond).  The state of winter markets around here is in a bit of a flux, so we won’t begin to list those yet.  We can say that the Sugar Beet Coop and these other stores will have local food all year.


Our friends at Experimental Station barely ever slow down, but their outdoor market on 61st street only lasts until October 31.  Saturdays – 9 AM to 2 PM - This market accepts the LINK card – 6100 S. Blackstone

The Daley Plaza market used to run well into November.  Be aware that it wraps up this year on October 29.  Lots of  vendors with fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, cheese, candy, breads and prepared foods.   7 AM – 2 PM - This market accepts the LINK card. - 50 W. Washington

We’ve always been impressed by what they’re doing at the Glenwood Market. They will be outdoors until October 25.   This market accepts the LINK card.  Sundays from 9AM to 2 PM - Southbound Glenwood Avenue between Morse & Lunt

Oak Park

Get your donuts and see the Local Family until October 31. Saturdays from 8 AM to 1 PM - 460 Lake


This one goes until November 7.   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


More than a few area farmers call Grayslake their home, so it’s no surprise that this market holds strong until December.  Saturdays – 10 am – 2 pm  - Centennial Plaza at the corner of Whitney and Center Streets


There’s always local food year round in Geneva, and the Geneva Green Market is your best option until October 29. Thursdays 9 AM to 1 PM - 327 Hamilton Street

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