What’s Still in Season and Where You Can Still Find It – Sponsored by Vera
Eat Local Now
Things are a-wrappin’ on the Eat Local season. Yes, there will be winter markets to supply, and you now have an array of stores to meet your locavore needs, but the bounty of Chicago area farmer’s markets comes to end by October. Start saying goodbye to your farmer friends and get as much as you can now. Have you built your root cellar? You have studied up on putting away already, right?.
Look ahead yet do not forsake what is there. There are still tomatoes to be had, as well as eggplants, zukes and cukes. Put the hardy stuff in the cellar for colder times. Chef Mendez, for instance, still has shishito peppers on his menu. You’ll have plenty of time to treat onions as a vegetable. Enjoy what’s still there.
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.
What’s In Season Now
What’s in season remains a lot. Much still to buy at area markets. In addition to the broad list below, we point out a few things you may find if your lucky.
From the Ground
- Various wild mushrooms – look especially for chicken of the wood/maitake
- Cukes and zukes – Near the end
- 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, including green tomatoes
- Shelling beans and field peas
- Green beans
- Brussel sprouts
- Winter squash and pumpkins
- Celery root
- Sweet 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
- Black walnuts
- Midwestern persimmons (best found by wandering back rounds in Southern Indiana!)
- Paw paws
- Plums – mostly the purple “Italian” varieties
- Asian pears a/k/a papples
- Meats, poultry, lake fish
- Milk, cheese and other dairy
- 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 will have local food all year.
One last time this season to buy from the Condiment Queen at Independence Park. She should have some organic produce as well as salsas, soups and other Tomato Mountain products. Sunday – 9 AM – 1 PM – Springfield and Irving Park
One last time for the Logan Square Farmer’s Market IN Logan Square. Sunday 10 AM – 3 PM – Logan Boulevard, just east of Milwaukee
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
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