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

November 20, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Eat Local National Holiday


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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)