All Bad Tomatoes Are Alike Each Good Tomato is Good in Its Own Way on Menu Monday

Posted: November 30, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Eat Local Thanksgiving Follow-up

last of the last tomatoes

That’s not this year’s bad tomatoes, but I think any shot of bad tomatoes gets the idea across. We had a wonderfully local Thanksgiving centered around an amazing chunk of meat from our friends Dennis and Emily Wettstein, with all sorts of sides, relishes and locavore delicacies. And to show off, I give you a shot of rotten tomatoes, not even this year’s rotten tomatoes. These old rotten tomatoes, as you can see, had some dedicated bad spots near the top; the rotten tomatoes I faced last week were more like balloons of rotten tomato goo wrapped inside extant tomato skin. They were, I suppose, the perfect tomatoes for bringing to a political speech or such–did people really bring rotten tomatoes to events?–being just ready to burst but solid enough to be carefully carried to your target.

I showed you last week, in anticipation of our Local Thanksgiving, a platter of tomatoes. I felt fully covered for my intended salsa crudo meant to accompany the roast beef. Then, maybe even the afternoon after I made my post, I noticed at least four of the tomatoes were bad, rotten tomatoes. Those went straight to compost. I then quarantined a few others with bad parts, to keep that gunk from spreading or at least keep the rump guard of fruit flies left in the house occupied with the worst of tomatoes. I can happily report that I had enough tomatoes on Thursday to make my salsa, which, also included, obviously, enough decent jalapenos.  Were these the best tomatoes of the year?  Not even the twelve best I bet, but any local tomato still eatable at the end of November is a very good tomato for sure.  Just asked noted tomato fan Leo Tolstoy.

Here’s the full repast that came to be, with slight adjustments to what was planned:

Nibbles n’ Noshes

  • Butternut squash hummus – nice little catch her by the Condiment Queen, who spotted this recipe in our massive Lebanese Kitchen cookbook.  She used the pureed squash that came in our Tomato Mountain CSA box.  I’ll say that it did not so much as flavor the hummus but give it a lighter, fluffier texture.
  • Mix of watermelon and shunkyo radishes, both local
  • Bubbie’s pickles — garlic scapes, dill cucumbers and green peppers — all made from veggies she picked up at the Northbrook Farmer’s Market in years past
  • Roasted local beets dressed with sour cream (local), horseradish (local) and fried capers  (non-local)
  • The almost last of my local roasted peppers
  • Lentil salad with local carrots, shallots, hot peppers and goat cheese
  • Assorted Red Hen breads (younger daughter works for Red Hen)


  • Butternut squash (puree again) seasoned with Thai red curry, coconut milk, local apples, and store bought vegetable stock; garnished with spiced pumpkin seeds (unknown origin)

Main Course

  • Local brussels sprouts glazed with local maple syrup
  • Roasted local carrots, local hakuri turnips, local jalapenos, and local onions, seasoned with local thyme and local rosemary
  • Local delicata squash done agrodolce with non-local mint garnish
  • Cranberries (probably not local as Ocean Spray)
  • Mashed local potatoes done parve, so with garlic flavored oil and vegetable stock
  • Salsa verde using both local and indeterminate herbs, non-local capers
  • Salsa crudo with local tomatoes, local jalapenos, local parsley, and local tropea onions
  • Local sirloin roasted with non-local capers and dried oregano, but local rosemary and local garlic.  I made slits in the meat to shove in the herbs, capers and garlic.  Great technique.
  • Aunt Andie’s kugel – it’s parve but I have no idea the exact recipe
  • Salad with local spinach, local apples, local dried cranberries, and local shallots

Desserts – Made by Justjoan, so cannot speak to their localness

  • Pumpkin cheesecake
  • Parve chocolate jam cake
  • Nordic Creamery (local) pumpkin ice cream

In addition to ingredients mentioned above, there was non-local salt and peppers, olive oil, and vinegars used.  I mention all this to show how possible a local Thanksgiving can be, and to also show that no one has to be ashamed of their street cred in reaching out for other ingredients.  For instance, I only had so much local parsley, so I purchased non-local parsley, cilantro, and mint.  It still tasted good.

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RECYCLED AND UPDATED – The 3 Tastes of Winter

Posted: November 30, 2015 at 9:37 am

Editor’s Note: At the Local Beet, we firmly believe in re-use and recycle, and we know that much of what we have put up on the site remains valid the over the years.  And do you know that tomorrow, December 1, is actually the start of winter?  Meteorological winter that is.  So, it’s time to remind you what it tastes like–with a few updates along the way.


 It may finally be cold enough for my apples in the attic. Will it taste like winter in the bungalow? Well, it depends on when in winter we are eating.

Winter eating covers three periods: it begins with the final accumulations, goes through storage and preservation and ends with hanging on and renewal. Winter eating lasts longer than the calender’s definition of winter. The season of winter eating begins, has begun by fall and lasts full bore until at least the end of March. These three periods lead to different types of produce. Throughout the winter, though, it is the time to eat meat, dry beans and stored grains.

When Winter Tastes Like Fall

The first part of winter, now, eating is roughly akin to the way it has been the last month or so. That is, the few operating markets, like Green City, will have the same stuff this week as in the last few weeks. The markets include the last of the field crops, the heartiest brassicas and sturdiest roots, as well as the things the farmers have, that have not sold, the hard squash, the potatoes, the apples. Maybe if you expect the over-abundance of a summer market, you will find the markets bare now. I find them quite ample (look at Irv and Shelly’s site for an idea what’s around). Right now, it is still possible to eat each week from what can be purchased. It is also possible now, to continue to stock up for later weeks.

Stored and Preserved Foods + Spinach

When we first wrote about the second phase of winter eating, stored and preserved food, we stated, “It will not be that long until the Chicago area markets empty of food. Oh, there will be  Winter Markets and some version of Green City and Cassie and all, but these markets will not be brimming with food.  It will become harder to eat each week from the market purchases. Thus, we go to the stores.”  Well, that was before we had our four season CSA from Tomato Mountain*.  Instead of going to the stores, we go to the box.  Or we go to the market.  Area farms like Geneva Lakes, Genesis Growers, and Nichols should have winter food at area markets.      Regardless of who stores it, the second phase of winter eating, from December through February will be one of roots, potatoes and apples.  This diet will be greened on a regular basis by the ability of sweet, “frost-kissed” spinach to grow in the winter in hoop-houses.  And now, when we write this we can also point out the Sugar Beet Co-op and all the other places where you can find local food all winter.

The Hungry Months

Then it ends. It not so much ends, as there is only so long stored food, even in good conditions, lasts. By late February it will be hard to find, either in your improvised root cellar or in the markets, the beets, the celery roots, the rutabagas that kept you alive for the last few months. It is survival time, but between good planning and places like Local Foods, there will always be something. The leanest time for the locavore. Hopefully, your freezer contains something because there will not be a lot of local food to buy. There are, however, foods that will last even this long. Right about now you start discovering your best onion and potato dishes. Cultivated mushrooms are always around, and in the Bungalow mushrooms become at least a once a week treat. There is also sprouts and micro-greens that grow indoors, and before you turn your nose, think about finding anything else green. Finally, always, there are apples. For the most part, the later apples are not the Turley Winesaps, the Arkansas Black and other heirloom varieties. But the locavore can always find a Michigan red delicious apple when needed. We hang on. Our spring CSA will come soon, offering a fresh round of roots. Right before that, we will have tasted the first the ground offers, watercress that can appear while snow still sits and ramps and nettles and maybe some morels. A turnip will never have tasted so good.

*My wife works for Tomato Mountain.

Reflections on 2015′s Garden

Posted: November 28, 2015 at 12:57 pm

Garlic hangs from hooks in the basement ceiling

Garlic hangs from hooks in the basement ceiling

This is a hanging rack of garlic in a cool, relatively dry and mostly dark corner of the basement. In previous years, I gave away most of the Alliums to friends and family, leaving myself just enough to plant for next season. I was unsure of how to store it for the long-term and wanted to make sure it all got used before it had a chance to go bad. This year I’m finally making use of all the excessive metal hooks the previous homeowner installed from the basement joists.

The pickled remains of the 2015 harvest sit on a basement shelf

The pickled remains of the 2015 harvest sit on a basement shelf

These are jars of tomatoes, crushed with bits of home-grown garlic thrown in, awaiting a winter day when we decide to make sauce of them. Canning these was pretty easy. No sauce, vinegar or syrup was necessary. Just a little bit of lemon juice to increase the acidity.

Peach (and cherry) preserves, on the other hand, required a syrup of honey and sugar to fill the space between the fruit and turned out to be a major pain. A friend’s peach tree ripened all at once and they gifted us a very heavy bag of the fruit. However, after removing the unripe peaches, the moldy ones, the skins and the pits, there was just enough to fill a single wide-mouth quart jar. As a project, canning a bag of peaches is daunting enough to me to make me want to can the idea in the future.

The Morton Grove Farmers’ Market had an end-of-year party at our house recently, and our friend and organic farmer, Denny Wright, of Wright Way Farm, stopped by with farmer’s wife, Susan. He insisted on seeing the garlic hanging from the basement joists and viewing my raised bed plots by the light of our smart phones. I must admit I felt a swelling of pride as an honest-to-goodness professional farmer complimented me on the fruits of my organic gardening labor and the butt-ugly state of my November raised beds.

As of just pre-Thanksgiving, though, these beds still had kale, Swiss chard, and lettuce growing in them. One of my latest accomplishments has been gardening in four dimensions, planning crop rotation through the seasons as well as the geographic location of each crop. As a result, I’ve been able to continue blanching and freezing kale and Swiss chard and enjoying fresh salads straight from the garden well into the holiday.

If I add up what we’ve spent on groceries and dining out in 2015 so far, then add in the money I’ve spent on gardening supplies, it’s still at least $1,000 less than in 2014. This may be a result of most of the garden capital investments being complete. But considering how many meals we have eaten from the garden, I’m taking this number as proof that growing our own food has saved us about a grand in 2015. I doubt it’s because we’re spending less on groceries, though. I just saw Chinese-grown garlic for a quarter a bulb. So I can’t say my garlic is much cheaper than that. My theory is that I’m so happy to be eating food from our garden (and not tossing it in compost because nobody ate it) that I seldom suggest we order in food or go out to dinner any more.

In 2015, I’m thankful to have the land and the opportunity to enjoy growing and eating the food I love. I’m grateful to my wife for humoring me and allowing me to spend the time and money to invest in our little backyard farm. And I am thankful to all my readers for your interest. I wish you a peaceful end to the year and a prosperous 2016.

Using fall and winter vegetables: Broccoli

Posted: November 24, 2015 at 3:04 pm

A "Meatza pie" no-carb pizza I made. Photo by Rosie Powers.

A “Meatza pie” no-carb pizza that I made. Photo by Rosie Powers.

This is the first post in my “Using fall and winter vegetables” series. Each post profiles a fall/winter vegetable and features a recipe. Stay tuned for more!

Broccoli: that mysterious vegetable you refused to eat as a child due to its resemblance to miniature trees, alien tonsils and the color of that slime they used on “Double Dare 2000.” (right??)

In fact, broccoli is quite underrated. It remains in season in many areas throughout the summer, fall and winter – so it’s usually available at times when you’re at a loss for produce.

Health-wise, broccoli packs a punch. Not only is it rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals that are good for your immune system, but research has shown that it can slow the growth of cancer cells and block carcinogens.

Broccoli’s non-domineering taste lends itself to versatility in a number of recipes. I’m a big fan of Williams-Sonoma’s “New Flavors for Vegetables”; it features recipes for vegetables separated by season as well as a chart for tracking vegetable seasonality.

I also frequently use recipes from Melissa Joulwan’s “Well Fed” cookbooks. Whether or not you adhere to the paleo diet (I attempt to), these books feature lots of great vegetable recipes as well as homemade sauces.

In fact, her “Well Fed 2” cookbook has an entire section that discusses broccoli’s importance along with several ways to dress it up.


Pizzas are a great way to empty your refrigerator of nutritious produce. This week I made a low-carb “Meatza pie” using our good friend broccoli.

The recipe, which is from Joulwan’s first “Well Fed” cookbook, can feature any combination of toppings you want on top of a ground beef “crust.” My pizza included mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, spinach, fresh basil, broccoli, mushrooms and black olives.

Push away those doubts and give broccoli some love this winter!

A “Meatza pie” no-carb pizza that I made. Photo by Rosie Powers.

A “Meatza pie” no-carb pizza that I made. Photo by Rosie Powers.


On Monday We Find Tomatoes in Menu Plans for the Week

Posted: November 23, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Eat Local Thanksgiving



november tomatoes


I’ll say this right away, all that wishing it’d be colder out so I had more storage…I take it all back.

Now, the main event of the week, composing a local Thanksgiving. For this Local Family, getting there is not very hard. The harder part, what not to make? We are awash in spinach, cabbage, carrots, turnips, radishes, some squash, some sweet potatoes, a stalk of brussels sprouts, and surely all the white potatoes and onions needed to fix the right kind of holiday meal. Our challenge is one of mixing and matching but really one of not over-doing. Abundance good. Food waste not so good. A few other things I have to tell you to understand the picture.  My sister and her family keep kosher, not a glatt kosher, but kosher enough that there’s no bacon in any dishes, let alone mixing of milk and meat–a huge hurdle on Thanksgiving.  More pressing, this is our first Thanksgiving without Mom. It will be major weird and major sad, as until her last Thanksgiving, when she was on oxygen, she always did at least some if not a lot of the cooking. Out this year, among other things, will be her rather recent creation of “stuffins”, stuffing baked in muffin tins, very good invention I have to say as everyone got their own crispy outer parts. Out also, will be the breads she used to bake. Not out but not the same, will the the lavish relish platter she did, all manner of home-made pickled goodies–chow chows, peppers, bread n’ butter chips, roasted peppers, etc., etc., etc.–along with a few extraneous store bought items like olives. I’m doing a few things as a substitute relish course. Yes, I have some of her stuff, and I will uncork it for the holiday. I also have some beets that I have been saving. She loved beets, and she always had pickled beets in the mix.  I’ll just roast them. So, there’s certain parameters to work around: no traif, no milk n’ meat,  don’t over do it and remember Mom.

And use some tomatoes. Anyone else having tomatoes this week? Here’s how I got to the idea of tomatoes on the Thanksgiving menu.  I may have mentioned this, but the Condiment Queen had major misgivings on having the meal at the Bungalow. She’s been freaked on meat since reading Eating Animals a few years back. Turkey’s the worst she explained. Boy what a relief to her when I said I had no problem making roast beef instead, beef being more acceptable to her morals not so much that she’d eat but OK that we could purchase. We got some sirloin roast from our friends, the Wettstein’s the other day, it’s shaped as I told someone today, like a dictionary. It would be great on the grill if I lived in a place where it’d be great to cook on the grill this week. Still, my ideas for condiments went in that direction regardless of how I cooked it. I was thinking first, a salsa verde, which I both make a great version and goes very well with beef. Then, it hit me. I have a cut a bit like classic Santa Maria tri-tip, and what goes with Santa Maria tri-tip? Salsa crudo or salsa fresca or pico de gallo, all the same thing basically, a relish of chopped onions, peppers, and tomatoes. I have around enough tomatoes and jalepenos to make this happen. Here then, is the current version of our holiday menu for 10, except for the obvious, chocolate and such, all the ingredients are locally sourced.

Nibbles n’ Noshes/Mezze

  • Assorted home made pickles
  • Crudite of radishes–two types
  • Beet salad
  • Spiced mixed nuts
  • Lentils w/goat cheese
  • Olives
  • Assorted Red Hen breads


  • Carrot ginger or some kind of squash – to be determine

Main Course

  • Roast sirloin w/red and green sauces
  • Olive oil whipped potatoes
  • Delicata squash w/honey and spices
  • Carrots and turnips roasted with maple and ginger
  • Sauteed brussels sprouts with grainy mustard and shallots
  • Spinach salad with apples and dried cranberries
  • Hard boiled eggs (for She)
  • Aunt Andie’s kugel


  • Pumpkin cheesecake
  • Parve chocolate jam cake
  • Halvah and assorted candies
  • Concord grapes

I’m looking forward to hearing of your local Thanksgiving.

What’s In Season is a Local Thanksgiving and Where to Shop for It

Posted: November 20, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Eat Local National Holiday


freshpicks - larger

Thanksgiving remains an odd bird even if turkey now tends to eaten more than once a year.  It is our national harvest fest, yet unless you live in California there’s not much harvesting left to celebrate.  Maybe because Thanksgiving has been a holiday to celebrate the harvest that happened, a traditional item on many tables has been a casserole made with canned green beans and canned fried onions (as well often, canned mushroom soup).   Before there was the wealth of shipped in produce it made sense that a late November meal would depend on preserved foods.  In more recent times, it is common to see asparagus on suggested holiday menus as “something green” and also capitalizing on asparagus’s long association as being somehow luxurious and upscale; like something you ate when you went to Chez La Maison du Francais.  Because Thanksgiving is this uniquely American holiday and an event tied  around food (and football too), we think it is an excellent opportunity to challenge ourselves to eat local.  It should be a local Thanksgiving, and there should not be any asparagus on your table unless your an expatriate on secondment in Peru.  

It is not difficult to make your Thanksgiving a local Thanksgiving.  Remove asparagus from the menu and nearly all that’s left can be sourced from local farmers this time of year.  An easy place to start is with our friends at Irv and Shelly’s Fresh Picks.  They’ve even put together a “fixin’s box” with local cranberries, local potatoes–sweet and yukon gold, local onions and more for your traditional feast.  You may still have time to get a local turkey from them.  Or just peruse their current stock for ideas.  ”Second” apples are on sale for pies.  There’s parsnips for roasting and watermelon radishes for your nibbles and noshes.   With snow on the way, why not given them a try.

If you do brave the weather, you have several options for markets this weekend, including some of these downstate.   For additional reference use our very big list of Chicagoland Winter Farmer’s Markets.  Don’t forget the Sugar Beet Coop and all these other stores for local food.  Finally, always check up on Jeannie’s Local Calendar for eat local events. 

What’s In Season Now



From the Hoops and other Indoor Means

      • lettuces
      • spinach
      • kale, chard and other greens
      • tomatoes–yes, more to come on this!

From the Ground

      • Various wild mushrooms – look especially for chicken of the wood/maitake
      • Arugula
      • Lettuce
      • Brussel sprouts
      • Winter squash and pumpkins
      • Cauliflower
      • Fennel
      • Beets
      • Carrots
      • Cabbage
      • Rutabaga
      • Celery root
      • Broccoli
      • 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

      • Black walnuts
      • Grapes
      • Apples
      • Asian pears a/k/a papples

Year Round

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

Where to Find Local Food


What have you put off?  In addition to their Saturday winter market, Green City has a market on Wednesday November 25 from 8 AM to 1 PM - The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum,  2610 N. Cannon Dr.

You cannot find the Condiment Queen here this week but Tomato Mountain and all the other vendors will be a-sellin’ at the Experimental Station Indoor Farmers Market on Saturday from  9am – 2pm. – 6100 S. Blackstone

We expect plenty still this time of year at the Logan Square Farmer’s Market, Sunday, 10 AM to 3 PM - 2755 N Milwaukee Ave,

Unlike some other web sites, we don’t miss what happens on that part of town.  Here’s another one for you, in Beverly, on Saturday, Olivia’s Garden has a market from 10 AM to 3 PM – 10730 S. Western


Here’s where you’ll find the Condiment Queen this week.  This market at Immanuel Lutheran Church is a great for the coming holiday as well as seasonal stocking.  Henry’s Farm will be well stocked with all sorts of roots and tubers.  Saturday from 7 AM to 1 PM - 616 Lake St


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


Faith in Place Market on Saturday at First Congregational Church of Geneva from 9 AM to 1 PM - 321 Hamilton St


Faith in Place Market on Sunday at DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church from 10 AM to 2 PM - 1828 Old Naperville Rd


Another stalwart of the winter markets, find plenty of farmers on Saturday from 9 AM to 1 PM – Building D, McHenry County Fairgrounds (11900 Country Club Rd)

A list of Downstate winter markets

Posted: November 18, 2015 at 8:26 pm

Downstate: You believe Illinois ends at the Ohio River.

Chicago: You believe Illinois ends at Interstate 80.

While living in Downstate Illinois, a common refrain that I have heard is that most of the focus in Illinois is on Chicago. Sometimes Downstate communities feel left out. We here at the Local Beet would like to show that Downstate locavores are as important to us as their Chicago Area brethren.

In that vein, the following is a list of upcoming holiday and indoor markets happening in Downstate Illinois. If you live Downstate, or you are traveling Downstate for the holidays, we hope that you will visit one of these fine farmers markets:

Peoria Methodist Atrium Farmers Market

Season: October-December

When: 1st and 3rd Thursdays each month

Time: 2- 5 p.m.

Where: Methodist Medical Center Atrium, 900 Main Street, Peoria, IL



Streator Holiday Markets

When: Saturday, November 28th

Time: 10am-4pm

Where: Downtown Streator


Springfield Holiday Farmers Market

When: Saturday, Dec. 19th

Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Where: Expo Building, Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL. (Changed from Illinois Building in the ad)


Downtown Bloomington Indoor Markets

Season: December-April

When: 3rd Saturday of every month

Time: 10 a.m – 1 p.m.

Where: U. S. Cellular Coliseum, 101 S. Madison St.


Urbana Holiday Markets

Season: November 14-December 19 (six weeks)

When: Every Saturday morning

Time: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Inside Lincoln Square in downtown Urbana


Urbana Middle Markets

Season: January-April

When: 3rd Saturday of every month

Time: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Inside Lincoln Square in downtown Urbana


Carbondale Community Farmers Market

Season: Winter Indoor Market begins Nov. 7th

When: Saturdays

Time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Where: Carbondale Community High School, Walnut Street Entrance


Some information provided by the Illinois Stewardship Alliance

The Challenges of the Season this Menu Monday

Posted: November 16, 2015 at 11:10 am

Eat Local Problems

november roasted peppers

This Local Family has six members.  The Condiment Queen of Tomato Mountain employ, two grown but homed daughters, their humble servant, me, and two critters.  Moe the cat spends most of his days outside screeching at other cats that enter his territory and very much living the eat local life off area vermin; yes he’s be best locavore of the brood.  But I call Molly, the last, the eat local dog.  See, for sixteen years, we owned Shotzie, a fetch-crazed bulldog of a dachshund.  Out for him meant opening and closing the back door.  As we quickly learned, open the door for Molly meant  thirty subsequent minutes of chasing her around the neighborhood since she could hop the fence.  Yard out, we needed to walk Molly, and walk Molly a lot to work off all that hop over the fence energy.  Where’s all this going?  Walking Molly meant acquiring a wardrobe of tweed, Filson, you know all that rugged outdoors clothes to battle the elements.  And country clothing makes me, at least, think of country living, long Sunday lunches that begin with soup and ends past the nuts with snifters of locally produced brandy.  Everything I dreamt about in the eat local life became encapsulated in walking that dog.  The walks these days, as you might have noticed, do not need quite as much of the hard wool, the scratchy stuff.  It’s a warm November.

The locavore life challenges me this warm November.  On one end, I made it to the end of my bell peppers this weekend.  What you see up there is about all that’s left after roasting on Tamarday.  As I believe I mentioned, at the last Oak Park Farmer’s Market I bought a ton of peppers with the idea of flame-roasting them and putting them up in oil.  We always have more eat local plans than proceeds right?  With a batch of peperonata from my second to last spot of peppers still taking up room in the fridge, I had been hesitant to work more peppers into the menus.  That and the work involved in roasting peppers.  So, I used a few peppers here and there in salads and such, keeping the rest around for a roasting day.  That roasting day became nigh as nature started picking off the peppers.  I lost about four to outright spoilage and about three more, I had to cauterize parts, leaving them too unstructured for roasting.  They will be my salad peppers for about a week.  One challenge I face this warm November is coping with my loss of peppers.  I should say that I have about fifteen tomatoes left, and my problem is, that on one hand, I cannot face losing them too, but on the other hand, if I don’t eat them, they will be vulnerable to rot like those peppers.

I cannot let go of warm weather eating, but challenge number two comes from the fact that it won’t get cold. Normally by this time of year, I’d be stocking the root cellar in the sky and we would make good use of our unheated mudroom as an extra fridge.  A bag of brussels sprouts turned mostly to mold that was in the mudroom showed the challenges I face.  We do not want to eat all the food we have now, yet if we cannot put it away effectively, it’s a waste.  The obvious answer to this challenge is to re-think the methods of preservation.  I mean is global warming taking the root cellar out of the equation?  Many parts of the world put away without the benefit of cold storage.  I might need to freeze, pickle or ferment.

We live in cruel times, this Local Family.  On one hand, cold weather removed peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, cukes and zukes from my menu.  On the other hand, it cannot get cold enough to assist in the storage of carrots, cabbage, and radishes that are a pouring in from our CSA–last week we got watermelon radishes, which I like a lot, but we got like 18 watermelon radishes, how long does it take to eat 18 watermelon radishes?  All six of us have been a Local Family for many years.  Every time we think get the hang of it, we find new challenges.

What’s in Season and Where You Find It Are All a Matter of Perspective

Posted: November 13, 2015 at 10:54 am

To Continue to Eat Local


winter radish

This is the first time we are reporting on what’s in season and where to find it in November, and we have to say, we’re not quite sure where we stand. Do we present things as good or bad? Look below to see what you think. Are these the best of times because of what’s out there and where you can find it or is it a little worst of times, at least compared to seasons past where November still brought you City of Chicago markets in places like Daley Plaza, Beverly and Lincoln Square.

In deciding, don’t forget to use Jeannie’s Local Calendar for all sorts of eat local events, and maybe we’re putting our thumb on the scale but what other November had things like the Sugar Beet Coop and all these other stores.

What’s In Season Now


What gets us most frustrated about November locavorism is the disconnect between what’s in season and where to find it. Sure, if all you care for from farmers are tomatoes and gladiolas, things may look grim, but if you are interested in filling you root cellar with all manner of produce and enjoying what the earth can offers, you’re quite content. What is in season remains plenty.  Cold hearty plants like kale and leeks are still in fields and stocks of beets, carrots, apples, etc., remain high.  What’s in season continues to be based on production not on what’s left over.

From the Hoops and other Indoor Means

      • lettuces
      • spinach
      • kale, chard and other greens

From the Ground

      • Various wild mushrooms – look especially for chicken of the wood/maitake
      • Sweet peppers – although the harvests are done, you may be able to find some
      • Hot peppers – ditto
      • Tomatoes, including green tomatoes – ditto!
      • Arugula
      • Lettuce
      • 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

      • Black walnuts
      • Midwestern persimmons (best found by wandering back rounds in Southern Indiana!)
      • Paw paws
      • Grapes
      • Pears
      • Apples
      • Asian pears a/k/a papples

Year Round

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

Where to Find Local Food

Beet Reporter and project coordinator  for the Band of Farmers: The Chicagoland CSA Coalition, Robin Schirmer, put together a very big list of Chicagoland Winter Farmer’s Markets.  We’ve highlighted a few things below as well as some others that have newly come across our transom.


Great stuff from Windy City Harvest, Belli’s juices and more at the Pilsen Community Market.  Sunday from 11 AM to 3 PM – Honky Tonk BBQ – 1800 S. Racine

Missing the Condiment Queen already?  Right now she’s there with Pleasant Home Bakery and all the other vendors at the Experimental Station Indoor Farmers Market on Saturday from  9am – 2pm. – 6100 S. Blackstone

Unlike some other web sites, we don’t miss what happens on that part of town.  Here’s another one for you, in Beverly, on Saturday, Olivia’s Garden has a market from 10 AM to 3 PM – 10730 S. Western

St. John, Indiana

Garden centers seem the place to be this time of year for us guys.  The Alsip Home and Nursery is having a market on Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM – 10255 Wicker 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


Looking to brave the cold?  This “French” market meets one last time on Saturday from 9 AM to 2 PM - Metra parking Lot NW corner of South Street and 4th Street


Another stalwart of the winter markets, find plenty of farmers on Saturday from 9 AM to 1 PM – Building D, McHenry County Fairgrounds (11900 Country Club Rd)

Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links

Posted: November 12, 2015 at 11:13 am


Eat local, and we mean local!

Good news on local school lunches.

We suppose the path to more farmers runs through the 4 major sports leagues?

Interesting that the model for local food hubs is around here.

Start ‘em young.

But where’s the recipe for snake head gourd?

Really Big List of Chicago Area Winter Markets

Posted: November 9, 2015 at 10:01 pm

Editor’s Note: City of Chicago farmer’s markets may have closed shop for the season, and most community markets around Chicagoland are now also closed.  That does not mean your eat local opportunities end.  Beet Reporter and expert on all things off-season, Robin Schirmer, now also  project coordinator of Band of Farmers: The Chicagoland CSA Coalitionput together this fantastic list of markets going on now all the way until next April.  Additional assistance and research also provided by Roxanne Junge.   


Cary/Crystal Lake (bi-monthly)
Algonquin Township Offices, 3702 U.S. Hwy 14, Bldg 6, Crystal Lake 60014
1st and 3rd Sun, 9 to 1, through May

Chicago and Suburbs (one-time markets)

Faith in Place coordinates a schedule of one-time markets in faith communities from Nov through Mar:


Sat, Nov 7, 9 to 1 – Chicago/Pullman

Greenstone United Methodist Church, 11211 S St Lawrence Ave, Chicago 60628


Sat, Nov 21, 9 to 1 – Geneva

First Congregational Church of Geneva, 321 Hamilton St, Geneva 60134


Sun, Nov 22, 10 to 2 – Naperville

DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church, 1828 Old Naperville Rd, Naperville 60563


Sat, Dec 5, 10 to 2 – Chicago/Lincoln Square

Berry United Methodist Church, 4754 N Leavitt St, Chicago 60625


Sat, Jan 9, 9 to 1 – Oak Park

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 611 Randolph St, Oak Park 60302


Sun, Jan 17, 10 to 2 – Lombard

Calvary Episcopal Church, 105 W Maple St, Lombard 60148


Sat, Jan 23, 9 to 1 – Park Ridge

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 205 N Prospect Ave, Park Ridge 60068


Sun, Jan 31, 10 to 2 – Chicago/Avalon Park

Zion Lutheran Church, 8455 S Stony Island, Chicago 60617


Sat, Feb 6, 10 to 2 – Chicago/Hyde Park

Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park, 5500 S Woodlawn Ave Chicago 60637


Sat, Feb 13, 9 to 1 – Arlington Heights

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 1234 N Arlington Heights Rd, Arlington Heights 60004


Sun, Feb 21, 10 to 2 – Chicago/Jefferson Park

Congregational Church of Jefferson Park, 5320 W Giddings St., Chicago 60630


Sun, Feb 28, 9:30 to 1:30 – Chicago/Lakeview

Temple Sholom of Chicago, 3480 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago 60657


Sat, Mar 5, 9 to 1 – Chicago/Beverly

Beverly Unitarian Church, 10244 S Longwood Dr, Chicago 60643


Sat, Mar 12, 9 to 1 – Bolingbrook

Church of Saint Benedict, 909 Lily Cache Ln, Bolingbrook 60440


Sun, Mar 13, 10 to 2 – Palatine

Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist, 1025 N Smith St, Palatine 60067


Sat, Mar 19, 9 to 1 – Oak Park

Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church, 405 S Euclid Ave, Oak Park 60302             


Chicago/Andersonville (monthly)

Andersonville Farmers Market, Swedish American Museum, 5211 N Clark St, Chicago 60640
3rd Sun, 11 to 2, Jan through Apr


Chicago/Back of the Yards (monthly)
The Plant, 1400 W 46th St, Chicago 60609
1st Sat, 11 to 2, through May

Chicago/Beverly (weekly)

Olivia’s Garden Farmers Market, 10730 S Western Ave, Chicago 60643
Sat, 10 to 3, through Dec 19

Chicago/Hyde Park-Woodlawn (irregular schedule)

61st Street Farmers Market, Experimental Station, 6100 S Blackstone Ave, Chicago 60637

Sat, 9 to 2, on the following dates: Nov 7, 14, 21; Dec 5, 12, 19; Jan 9; Feb 13; Mar 12; Apr 9


Chicago/Lincoln Park (irregular schedule)

Green City Market, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N Cannon Dr, Chicago 60614
Sat, 8 to 1, on the following dates: Nov 7, 14, 21, 25; Dec 5, 19; Jan 9, 23; Feb 6, 20; Mar 5, 19; Apr 2, 16, 30


Chicago/Logan Square (weekly)

Logan Square Farmers Market, 2755 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago 60647
Sun, 10 to 3, through Mar 20 (excluding Nov 29) 


Chicago/Rogers Park (monthly, irregular schedule)

Glenwood Sunday Market, The Glenwood Bar, 6962 N Glenwood Ave, Chicago 60626

Sun, 9 to 2, on the following dates: Nov 8, Dec 13, Jan 10, Feb 14, Mar 13, Apr 10, May 15


Elgin (one-time)

Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin, 39W830 Highland Ave, Elgin 60124

Sun, 12 to 3, Nov 8


Evanston (weekly)
Ecology Center at Ladd Arboretum, 2024 N McCormick Blvd, Evanston 60201
Sat, 9 to 1, Dec through Apr


Evanston (irregular schedule)

Immanuel Lutheran Church, 616 Lake St, Evanston 60201
Sat, Nov 21, 7 to 1 (annual Thanksgiving Market)
Sat, 9 to 1, on the following dates: Dec 5, 19; Jan 16, 30; Feb 13, 27; Mar 12, 19; Apr 9, 23


Frankfort (weekly)

Alsip Nursery, 20601 S LaGrange Rd, Frankfort 60423
Sat, 10 to 4, through Feb or Mar TBD


Geneva (weekly)

First Congregational Church of Geneva, 321 Hamilton St, Geneva 60134

Sat, 9 to 1, through mid-May


Grayslake (weekly)

Centennial Plaza, corner of Whitney St & Center St, Grayslake 60030

Sat, 10 to 2, through Dec 19


Homewood (monthly)

Marie Irwin Center, 18120 Highland Ave, Homewood 60430         

Last Sat, 9 to 12, Jan through Mar

Huntley (monthly, irregular schedule)
American Legion Hall,
11712 Coral St, Huntley 60142
1st Sat, 9 to 1, through May (note Jan date is Jan 9)


Morton Grove (one-time)

American Legion Memorial Civic Center, 6140 Dempster St, Morton Grove 60053

Sat, 9 to 2, Dec 5, Feb 6


Mundelein (weekly)
Dakotah’s Indoor Farmers Market, St Andrew Church, 10 S Lake St, Mundelein
Sat, 9 to 1, through Dec 19

Palatine (one-time)

Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist, 1025 Smith Ave, Palatine 60ddd

Sun, 10 to 2, Nov 8, Mar 13 (latter is part of the Faith in Place schedule of markets)


Palatine (bi-monthly)

Palatine Train Station, corner of N Smith St & W Wood St, Palatine 60067
1st and 3rd Sat, 8 to 12, through April


Woodstock (weekly)

McHenry County Fairgrounds, 11900 Country Club Rd, Bldg D, Woodstock 60098

Sat, 9 to 1, through April




brussels and rutabegas

One Comment

On Menu Monday I Wonder How I Once Resolved to Eat More Carrots

Posted: November 9, 2015 at 10:24 am

Eat Local Carrots


No vegetable is more ubiquitous than the carrot, right? We whittle them down into stubbies and entice by calling them baby. We color up peas with little cubes of them. A French chef could not make do without her mirepoix, one-third being of carrot. Yet, for years, a devotee to local foods, to one confined to eating what came from around me, I found myself parsing out my carrot enjoyment. Carrots are a four season component to kid’s lunch bags, but in my CSAs and such for a long time, they came like twice a year. Really. It was like last week kohlrabi; this week carrots. The limited amount of carrots I accumulated needed to be stocked up and store away for when we did need to make soup. God forbid we enjoy a little glazed carrot or worse, drag them through some hummus. Carrots were a luxury for this Local Family.

One year, in the spirit of self-improvement and world harmony I made two resolutions: to get people to stop saying arugula and use the correct term, rocket and to eat more carrots. Of these, I did get around to a post on rocket but was never able to raise quite the uproar. The latter, though, the carrots, I made even less traction. All my best intentions to buy more carrots, put away carrots from the market, to not treat carrots as a rare delicacy faded as we kept up with stocks of spinach and the like but were still not supplied with many carrots.  I’m telling you, for years, I could never get enough carrots to fulfil my desire to eat more carrots. Dreams of Moroccan style salads and enhanced vision remained just dreams.

Then Chris Covelli, the owner and savant behind Tomato Mountain Organic Farm had an epiphany. He could stoke his own dreams, a dream of providing a four-season CSA, by planting gobs of carrots. He knew, like I know, that certain foods, especially carrots, store for long periods (i.e., forever) if kept in good conditions. From one fall harvest, the stalwart of boxes to come could come. And yes, carrots would come in the fall and carrots would come in the Spring. Chris once wrote in his newsletter that he was subsisting on his, that is last fall’s carrots during a summer bike tour. I was a free man.  I was getting my carrots.

Can you tell from that picture above how many carrots came in the CSA box last week. It was the first carrot bag of the season. The first of many, many carrot bags. I can now imitate Bugs Bunny. I can make boeuf aux carottes if my wife decided to eat beef again. I can put a little color on a fall side salad. I can do any damn thing I want because carrots are no longer a luxury for me.

Living as a Local Family causes you to make odd compromises, reveal in things you did not thing you would relish–mmmm sprouts! If your farmer only gives you a few carrots, they become as precious as caviar. If you get Chris’s CSA, they’re as common place as you’d expect.

Weekly Harvest of Food Fights, Get-aways and Other Eat Local Links

Posted: November 6, 2015 at 11:14 am


Eat local food fights.

Tough nut to open, but it’s local.

Not exactly a Dolinsky deep-dive…so we learn that local pizza had nothing to do with it.

Eating local meat has a cost.

Are Bittman’s best his most viewed?  NYTimes says goodbye to their Minimalist vegan columnist.

Better eating through fairer farming, we love Chef Andreas.

Can we ever change a broken food system?

Eat local get-aways not to far away in Michigan.

The Local Calendar 11/6/15 Meat Matters, Ramenfest, Green Grocer and Local Foods Turkey Tastings, Chicago Market Co-op Pop-Up

Posted: November 6, 2015 at 9:29 am

12187711_487380801443406_3210034745102139832_ngourdsFreedom ranger

The calendar will be updated during the month so check back often. (Last updated 11/20) Resource Center Fundraiser at the Green ExchangeThe Lincoln Park “bookstore” Read It & Eat It has a SLEW of demos coming up in their kitchen! Healthy Eating On a Dime-sponsored by Chicago Market

Need some ideas for Thanksgiving? On Saturday, November 21, Chicago Market is hosting a Thanksgiving Co-op Pop-Up at The Foxhole in Ravenswood. Get your turkey directly from  Mint Creek (aztec)   or the Dill Pickle Coop turkeys from TJ’s Poultry.  At Publican Quality Meats (you can choose between a Slagel farms, Nicholas White Turkey or Carey Adamiec Blue Slate and White Hollands)  can take care of your entire meal as well and we can’t forget out friends at Sauce and Bread Kitchen who make some pretty yummy food!  The Sugar Beet Food Co-op in Oak Park is offering Ferndale or Garden Gate turkeys. Can’t forget Bang Bang’s pies for the big day or of course all that there is at Baker Miller in Logan Square. Artizone will deliver to your door, and check your favorite restaurant, Frontier Chicago has smoked turkeys for you to go , for example. 

Let’s Talk Turkey. Mint Creek Farm is offering aztec turkeys this year. From Mint Creek’s website “ The Aztecs (and surely other less famous Mesoamerican peoples also) first domesticated turkeys. This year our flock out on Mint Creek pasture is about half black Spanish turkeys. The stock these turkeys descend from was raised by both the Aztecs, originally, and then the Spanish, who brought them back to Europe. At Mint Creek, one of the most important parts of our farm are our flocks of turkeys. Turkeys are often forgotten and overlooked and the mainstream turkeys you’d find in a grocery store are conventionally raised in cruel confinement. Our turkeys at Mint Creek are vigorous, pasture-foraging birds with mysterious sounds and habits. There’s a video here where you can hear some of their sounds for yourself. You will have to go to Mint Creek’s website to talk more turkey with them.

Ferndale turkeys are popping up at Local Foods as well as the Sugar Beet Food Co-op. Farmer John Peterson from Ferndale made these comments, “ Our turkeys are Broad Breasted Whites and we choose a specific variety that’s well-suited to life outdoors with good skeletal structure and strong curiosity.  As you may have seen on our website, we continue to grow our birds outdoors and without the use of antibiotics.” Gunthorp Farms is offering broad-breasted whites as well.

Peterson Garden Project continues to grow in leaps and bounds, so go to this link to find all that is on their plate for November and December in growing your own food and cooking it too.

Lots on the calendar as we build up to Turkey day. Ramenfest is Saturday, VIP tickets are still available, Meat Matters, our friends at Graze magazine celebrate their final issue, the AUA’s Fall Gathering is at Loyola on 11/10, a culinary garage sale at NAHA next week for the Green City Market, of course, the farmers markets and more, on the monthly local calendar!

The Local Calendar

November 7

Chicago (Back of the Yards )The Plant Market  (First Saturdays, Oct. – May) 11am-2pm

FM - Chicago (Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - Experimental Station Indoor Farmers Market (Through Dec 19)- 9am – 2pm The market is open year round inside Experimental Station (6100 S. Blackstone).

Chicago (Lakeview)Graze Magazine Final Issue Release Party – 8pm Fizz Bar 3220 North Lincoln

FMChicago (Lincoln Park)Green City Market Indoor – The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum 8am – 1pm

Chicago (River West)RAMENFEST – It’s back!!!!!!!!! 12pm Urbanbelly

Chicago (West Town)Taste All That You Can Order for Thanksgiving at the Green Grocer including Gunthorp Farms turkeysGreen Grocer Chicago

FM - Evanston Downtown Evanston Farmers Market -(last outdoor market)  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

November 8

FM - Chicago (Logan Square) - Logan Square Winter Farmers Market (Through 3/20/16 except 11/29/15) – 10am -3pm 2755 N. Milwaukee

FM – Chicago (Rogers Park) - Glenwood Sunday Market - (12/ 13, 1/10/16, 2/14, 3/13, 4/10, 5/15) 9am – 2pm The Glenwood Bar 6962 N. Glenwood

November 9

Chicago(Lakeview)  - A Night with Koval at Beef and Barley – 7-1pm

Chicago (West Loop)Sparkling Wine Dinner with L. Mawby Wines from the Leelinau Penisula in Michigan at City Winery

November 10

Chicago (Edgewater) - AUA Fall Gathering at Loyola 6-9pm

Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Chef’s Collaborative presents Meat Matters at Local Foods - Chefs Paul Fehribach (Big Jones, Chefs Collaborative Board Member), Rick Bayless (Frontera, Topolobampo, Xoco, Founding Member of Chefs Collaborative), and 12 other nationally-known chefsand food professionals are coming together for an intimate taste experience at Local Foods in Chicago. Meat Matters is a rare opportunity to explore The Butcher & Larder and Local Foods, learn about and celebrate responsibly-raised meat, and connect with leading change makers in the culinary world.

November 11-13

***New!!! Chicago (North Center) – Trout Kitchen Pop-Ups Lunch 11am -3pm Dinner 5-10pm

November 12

Chicago (Lincoln Park)Outside The Bun:How to Cook with Sausage at Local Foods

***New!!! Chicago (Loop) - Luxhome Chill -An International Wine & Culinary Event

***New!!! Chicago (West Town)Green Grocer Pot Luck

*NormalLocal and Regional Food Summit at Heartland College sponsored by the Illinois Farm Bureau and the Illinois Department of Agriculture

November 13

Chicago (Edgewater)Fancy Pie Party at the Fearless Food Kitchen Supporting Peterson Garden Project Grow2Give campaign. 

November 14

Chicago (Bridgeport) – Bridgeport’s Got Beef - Help LumpenRadio setup their antenna

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 Indoor Market at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (11/21, 11/25, 12/5, 12/19, 1/9, 1/23, 2/6, 2/20, 3/5, 3/19, 4/2, 4/16, 4/30) 8am – 1pm

Chicago (Rivernorth) - Green City Market Culinary Garage Sale 8am – 12pm Naha 500 North Clark St. ust in time for the Holidays, Green City Market’s Culinary Garage Sale! Come shop the treasures of top Chicago Chefs. All proceeds benefit GCM’s Educational Programming.

November 15

Chicago (Fulton Market)Shawnee Hills Midwest Wine Dinner at Publican Quality Meats -  A five-course Midwest wine dinner celebrating wines from Southern Illinois’ Shawnee Hill Wine Trail. Not only will it be a festive and delectable occasion, it’s also for a good cause. Part of the evening’s proceeds will go to Misericordia, an organization close to our hearts.

***New!!! Chicago (Logan Square) - S’Mores and More at Bang Bang Pie

FM - Chicago (Logan Square) - Logan Square Winter Farmers Market (Through 3/20/16 except 11/29/15) – 10am -3pm 2755 N. Milwaukee

***New!!! Chicago (North Center) - Healthy Eating On a Dime – Sponsored by Chicago Market 2-3pm Real Life Weddings 4330 N. Lincoln Ave.

Chicago (Riverwest) - Marinarathon 1-5pm Morgan Manufacturing

November 17

Chicago (Pilsen) - Illinois Farmers Market Association Fundraiser at Lagunitas Brewery

November 18

Chicago (Bucktown) - Thanksgiving Cooking Class The Bristol Chef Sean Pharr will guide you in creating your best turkey yet, and demonstrate incredible seasonal sides and more. The evening is $75 per person (inclusive of tax and gratuity) and includes the class, dinner and wine. Class starts at 6:30 p.m., dinner starts at approximately 7:30 p.m.Please RSVP or call 773.862.5555 - Seating is extremely limited.

November 20-23

Chicago (River West) - Cassoulet Dinners at Publican Quality Meats Chef Paul Kahan and Chef David Campigotto of Chez David in Castelnaudary France collaboration Speaking from experience these dinners are as close as you can get for eating and drinking like you are in France without having to fly there!

November 20

***New!!! Chicago (Logan Square)Resource Center Fundraiser at the Green Exchange

November 21

FM - Chicago (Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - Experimental Station Indoor Farmers Market (Through Dec 19)- 9am – 2pm The market is open year round inside Experimental Station (6100 S. Blackstone).

FM - Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Green City Indoor Market at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum ( 11/25, 12/5, 12/19, 1/9, 1/23, 2/6, 2/20, 3/5, 3/19, 4/2, 4/16, 4/30) 8am – 1pm

Chicago(Ravenswood) - Chicago Market Thanksgiving Co-op Pop-Up at the Foxhole

FM – Geneva - Faith In Place Winter Markets First Congregational Church of Geneva321 Hamilton St, Geneva 9am-1pm

November 22

FM - Chicago (Logan Square) - Logan Square Winter Farmers Market (Through 3/20/16 except 11/29/15) – 10am -3pm 2755 N. Milwaukee

Chicago (Logan Square)SURF/TURF 5: Logan Square All-Star Thanksgiving at SINK/SWIM Their upcoming rendition will be a friendly gathering of neighborhood chefs, and will also serve as an homage to the year’s greatest meal: Thanksgiving Dinner! Chefs Jason Hammel of Lula Cafe, Hunter Moore of Parson’s Chicken and Fish, Alfredo Nogueira of Analogue, and Patrick Cloud of Bang Bang Pie Shop, along with their own Matt Danko will each bring a unique take on a classic Thanksgiving dish—tehy’ll be mixing a variety of flavors from the sea, as usual — to make a full on Thanksgiving Menu spread across six courses.  Seats are just $60 each and sure to fill up soon. Reservations are required, so book your spot today

FMNaperville - Faith In Place Winter Markets DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church 1828 Old Naperville Rd 10am-2pm

November 25

FM - Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Green City Indoor Market at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (12/5, 12/19, 1/9, 1/23, 2/6, 2/20, 3/5, 3/19, 4/2, 4/16, 4/30) 8am – 1pm

November 26

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

November 28

FM - Chicago (Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - Experimental Station Indoor Farmers Market (Through Dec 19)- 9am – 2pm The market is open year round inside Experimental Station (6100 S. Blackstone).

December 5

FMChicago (Lincoln Square) –  Faith In Place Winter Markets Berry United Methodist Church 4754 N Leavitt St, Chicago, 60625 (Lincoln Square neighborhood) 10am-2pm

Chicago (West Loop) - Tasting Table Open Market at Revel

FMEvanstonEcology Center Winter Market (Through April 30) – 9am – 1pm

FM – Morton Grove – Morton Grove Winter Farmers Market – Morton Grove Civic Center 9am -2pm

December 13

FM - Chicago (Rogers Park)Glenwood Sunday Market Winter (1/10/16, 2/14, 3/13, 4/10, 5/15) 9am – 2pm The Glenwood Bar 6962 N. Glenwood

Help Us Grow Young Farmers!

Posted: November 4, 2015 at 10:14 am

FamilyFarmed has launched a fundraising campaign to support Direct Market Success — the latest expansion of the Chicago nonprofit’s major efforts to train farmers across the United States and help them achieve sustainable success.\



The campaign, staged on the IndieGoGo crowd-funding site, is titled “Help Us Grow Young Farmers!” Its goal is to raise $60,000 in tax-deductible contributions by Dec. 6. To learn more about the program, please click here.

These resources will be used to produce Direct Market Success, the definitive manual for farms selling in direct market venues such as farmers markets, CSAs and farm stands. The manual will become the core of a program to directly train farmers — including many of the generation of newer and younger farmers who our nation so needs — in workshops to be held across the nation.

The Direct Market Success program will be useful to producers at all age and experience levels. But as the campaign name “Help Us Grow Young Farmers!” implies, the program addresses a critical need: a new generation of food producers. With the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reporting that the average age of farmers is approaching 60, promoting the success of newer and younger farmers is urgent.





“If we don’t grow young farmers, the nation is going to be headed down a very risky path,” Family Farmed President Jim Slama said.

There is a fun side to this very serious campaign, though. Supporters making tax-deductible donations may choose from an exciting list of “perks” offered by FamilyFarmed.

They include meals and other donations from award-winning chefs such as Chicago’s Rick Bayless, Paul Kahan, Carrie Nahabedian, Sarah Stegner, Paul Fehribach and Paul Virant, pioneers in “farm to table” cuisine. There are donations from Chipotle Mexican Grill, Whole Foods Market and Farmhouse Chicago. And for a $1,000 donation, you can make like the president and pardon a Thanksgiving turkey, which will live out its natural life on the organic pastures of Illinois’ Mint Creek Farm.

Direct Market Success is modeled directly after FamilyFarmed’s impactful Wholesale Success manual and program, which has been used in workshops in 35 states to train more than 7,000 farmers who are selling or want to sell into wholesale markets.



For more information about Direct Market Success and the Help Us Grow Young Farmers! campaign — or to arrange for a media/newsletter interview about it with FamilyFarmed President Jim Slama, please contact Leah Lawson at 708-763-9920 or email


From the Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network  (CISFN) Newsletter

Illinois Stewardship Alliance bids farewell to Wes King Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015
Composting: Why it’s easy and why it matters Monday, November 2nd, 2015
The Return of Inventory on the Menu this Monday Monday, November 2nd, 2015