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

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)