11 shocking things you didn’t know about beer! (It’s a parody, folks.)

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Posted: December 14, 2014 at 7:08 pm

BeerClipart

There are many sites on the interwebs that purport to tell you “shocking” things that “you didn’t know” about all sorts of things. They often start with semi-truths, and then extrapolate the hell out of them to get to silly, meaningless conclusions.

Here’s our version of one of those sites about my personal passion, beer.

Beer isn’t just a liquid. It’s also a gas. Most beer has carbon dioxide dissolved in it. Without the carbon dioxide, you couldn’t vigorously shake the beer bottle and then spray beer all over your unsuspecting friends. And by doing so, at the same time, you’ll be releasing CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming, which, if it really works, is much appreciated here during winter months.

You may be drinking a fungus. Many beers are filled with fungi. Not so much the highly-filtered macro brews, but many craft beers are chock full of saprophytic fungi. Ewwww. (Some people may call these saprophytic fungi “yeast.”)

Beer is a significant source of silicon. Dietary silicon from beer can help increase bone density. And, for decades, many eyeglasses were made from glass — which is made from silicon. So splashing a little beer on your spectacles may actually make them a little stronger. It’s certainly easy to accomplish late at night at your favorite bar.

Beer depletes the world’s supply of fresh water. Most beers are between 90% and 95% water. Many areas of the country — and the world — are experiencing drought. Cute little kids are dying. By not drinking that beer, you might actually save someone from perishing of dehydration. Of course, guys can return that water — somewhat processed — into the nearest urinal. I have no idea what women do.

Beer makes members of the opposite sex appear much more attractive. This is totally true. Note that for members of the LGBT community, use of the word “opposite” is optional.

Cans used for beer almost always have their insides coated with Bisphenol A (BPA). A 2010 report on BPA from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified possible hazards to fetuses, infants, and young children from BPA. There’s absolutely no evidence that any more than negligible, harmless levels of BPA from cans actually get into your beer, but why risk it, especially when you’re serving beer to your fetuses, infants, and young children?

Beer is often sold in glass battles. Those bottles can occasionally shatter, especially if you hit them hard enough with a sledge hammer. Do you really want to risk dangerous, gut slitting glass shards in your belly by drinking beer?

The beer you drink today, you may not be able to drink tomorrow. That beer glass won’t refill itself. Especially with some of Chicagoland’s best craft breweries, you’ll find out they frequently make one-off versions of their excellent specialty beers. A few weeks later that special beer won’t ever be available again. We’re looking at you, Pipeworks.

Most heroin users tried beer before they tried heroin. Do you really want to become a heroin addict by consuming that next glass of beer?

You probably can’t drink as much beer as you’d like. When you go to your favorite taproom, you might walk out with a few growlers of beer. Most growlers contain approximately 1/2 gallon of beer. So, if it’s a Barley Wine or Imperial Stout, despite what you’d like, most doctors recommend you should limit yourself to less than four growlers per hour.

Beer may kill you. In one single undocumented study, men in their 80s and 90s who drank even a single glass of beer per day had a significantly higher 10-year mortality rate than children between 6 and 8 years of age, who didn’t drink any beer. So, if you value your life, don’t drink beer. (Note that coffee, milk, juices, water, and all other liquids also showed higher mortality rates among the 80 year old plus population who drank them, compared to 6 to 8 year olds. Thus, if you really want to live a long time, you should probably avoid consuming any liquids. And avoid solids, too.)

 

More of Tom’s musings on beer can be found here.


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The Local Calendar 11/19/14 Indoor Markets Open This Weekend Then A Short Break, Food Film Fest, Holiday Rock N Roll, Pilot Light, Cider Summit 15

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Posted: November 19, 2014 at 11:34 am

BrusselBourbon-red-turkey-tomsChestnut Provisions

2015 events have started to fill the Local Calendar, tickets have gone on sale for the 3rd Annual Cider Summit Feb 7 and of course, circle March 19-21 for The Good Food Expo.

Brussel sprouts were the trending vegetable last weekend at the Green City Market, stalks were flying out the door of the Nature Museum by the wagon full. One secret to sweetness, cut the sprouts off the stalks right before cooking.

If you have any last minute Thanksgiving day needs or just don’t have time to cook,  there are local purveyors who have the stuffing, vegetables, turkey done for you using local, sustainable produce as much as possible.  Check out The Green Grocer, Floriole Cafe and Bakery(orders need to be in by November 21), Publican Quality Meats,  Honey Butter Fried ChickenButcher and LarderProvenance Food and Wine, Tete Charcuterie, Local Foods, Sauce and Bread Kitchen and River Valley Farmer’s Table, are some of our favorites. Whether it is a heritage breed turkey like a bourbon red from Caveny Farm or heirloom vegetables like fingerling potatoes from Nichols Farm, these folks have you covered.

Chef Greg Biggers of the Sofitel Chicago has overseen the creation of Chestnut Provisions, an artisanally-driven kitchen to table concept featuring an assortment of cave aged cheeses and charcuterie, jams and preserves. They are curing meats and aging cheese with their own cheese cellar. The philosophy behind Chestnut Provisions is simple. Biggers, already a proponent for seasonal and local ingredients, took this notion one step further by producing the best and freshest product in house, just steps from the dinner table. The result is a conscious approach to ingredient-sourcing, creating an authentic dining experience for guests.

Put Cafe Des Architectes Holiday & Roll which benefits Share Our Strength, Monday December 15 from 6pm to 8pm on your calendar. Hosted by Chef Greg Biggers & Pastry Chef Leigh Omilinsky  Featuring Chicago’s top pastry chefs in a Buche de Noele contest, a very entertaining, live band, Rod Tuffcurls and the Bench Press, to get you in the holiday spirit.  Enjoy tasting each pastry chef’s creation as well as savory dishes and cast your vote for the best Yuletide dessert!

The crazy people of the Chicago Food Film Fest are in town, as usual, their agenda is packed full of films and food and beverages. All events take place at Kendall College, Thursday through Saturday and tickets are still available. Feed Your Mind Gala, the 2nd Annual Benefit for Pilot Light which empower children with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to have a healthy relationship with food, looms on the horizon December 5.

Last chance to shop at the Saturday farmers markets before Thanksgiving!! Most of the markets will be closed the following Saturday,

The cold weather months are the time to seek out resources because people are more available. Need more info on urban ag, gardens, plants, farmers markets, local food, these organizations are good resources for you to bookmark and utilize:  Illinois Stewardship AllianceAdvocates for Urban AgricultureThe Plant Chicago, Edible AlchemyAngelics Organics Learning CenterWeFarmAmericaThe Peterson Garden Project  and The Talking Farm. Now on to the weeks ahead!

 The Week’s Local Calendar and Beyond

Wednesday – Saturday November 19-22

Chicago - The Chicago Food Film Festival - This event sells out, is always crazy, inventive and tons of fun! This year includes chicken wing madness, sriacha, the night aquatic, food porn and a night of beer. All events take place at Kendall College - 900 N North Branch Street

Thursday November 20

Chicago - Good Greens Meeting sponsored by the USDA Food and Nutrition Office. Open meeting in the Loop at FNS offices devoted to sustainable food issues and farmers markets. 10-noon  Agenda: Urban agriculture. They’ve invited urban ag leaders from across the Region to share their stories. Aside from growing food, understanding the economics of farming is critical in building a financially sustainable business. Todd Jones, Every Last Morsel, will discuss three free tools that farmers can utilize to improve their businesses. Urban Agriculture Discussion: Rodger Cooley, International Network for Urban AgricultureTyson Gersh, The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, Jessica Surma, Advocates for Urban Agriculture, Megan Baumann, Chicago Botanic Garden, Barry Andersen, Holland Community Garden, Jeff Roessing, Eighth Day Farm Contact Alan Shannon if you are interested in attending. alan.shannon@fns.usda.gov

Chicago - Adler After Dark – 6-10pm Adler Planetarium Galatic Gastronomy Enjoy the musical stylings of Fifth House Ensemble, Chicago’s dynamic narrative chamber music group, and learn more about Chicago’s culinary (and sustainability) renaissance with special partners SHE Cocktail Consulting,  Violet HourGreen City MarketChicago Market CoopJeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, and Foodseum. Each of these organizations will be showcasing their unique products and services for guests.

Saturday November 22

Champaign - Prairie Fruits Farm - The Un-thanksgiving Meal: Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens The colder weather has us pining for our grandmothers’ cooking.  For this menu, we’re travelling back across the Atlantic Ocean to the “Old Country” for some eastern European and German food traditions.  Expect peiroges, pickles, borscht, spaetzle, goulash and more.  We most definitely WON’T be serving turkey!

FS - Chicago (Bridgeport)Growing Power Iron Street Farm Store -  9am-3pm, located at 3333 S. Iron Street

FM - Chicago(Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - 61st Farmers Market (Indoor) 6100 S. Blackstone 9am – 2pm Market runs (12/6, 12/13, 1/10/15, 2/14, 3/14, 4/11) The Chicago Southside’s premier farmers market, straddling the Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods, offering the freshest produce, meat, eggs, cheeses and prepared foods from local and regional farms. This year’s lineup includes Mick Klug Farms, Mint Creek Farm, Peerless Bread and Jam, Growing Power, The Urban Canopy  and many more. Directions and CTA info The 61st Street Farmers Market accepts LINK and Senior Farmers Market Coupons. They also match LINK purchases up to $25 per cardholder, per market day, as long as funding lasts. This means that LINK cardholders can double the value of their LINK purchases each week at the Market.

FM – Chicago (Lincoln Park) -  Green City Market (Indoor)  8am – 1pm Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Fullerton and Cannon Drive The Indoor market will take place (12/6, 12/20, 1/24/15, 1/24, 2/7, 2/21, 3/7, 3/21, 4/4, 4/18) Green City Market is a marketplace for local, sustainable food that educates, promotes and connects farmers and local producers directly to chefs, restaurateurs and the greater Chicago community. All of their purveyors undergo a rigorous application process that details their farming and/or production practices. Green City Market, a 501(c)(3) organization, is the only Chicago farmers’ market to provide free resources and educational opportunities about local sustainable issues to shoppers, sprouts, and farmers. It’s the only way to achieve a sustainable future. Their mission is to make quality, healthy, delicious food available for home cooks, restaurants, schools, and healthcare facilities.

Chicago - DIY Trunkshow Broadway Armory - Broadway and Thorndale  10am – 5pm The Peterson Garden Project will be there

FS - Elburn - Heritage Prairie Farm Farm Store9am – 3pm 2N308 Brundige Road Open seasonally, their Farm Store is home to a variety of products including raw and infused honey, their seasonal, organically grown produce, and a number of great items created by their Farm Kitchen. You will also find fresh products such as milk, eggs, meats, and cheese. They ,also, offer a great selection of specialty beverages. You can also find unique gift ideas, anywhere from locally made pottery to heirloom seed sets, or stop by to try one of our in house cafe drinks, like their signature honey latte! They are located just west of Randall Road on Highway 38.

FM - Grayslake – Grayslake Farmers Market10am – 2pm Saturdays through 12/20. Located in historic downtown Grayslake on Center Street.

Sunday November 23

FMChicago (Logan Square) - Logan Square Winter Market (Indoor) 10am -3pm  2755 N. Milwaukee Ave. This is one of the few winter markets that takes place every Sunday (except next week 11/30) through March 29. Over the years this is the one place where I know I can pick up microgreens and wheat grass, and sometimes find intriguing canned goods like a special version of kimchi or sauerkraut and the collaboration with the NOSH means that I can always find a filling snack or something for a late breakfast, brunch, lunch. Food stamps (Illinois Link/Snap cards) and credit cards are now accepted at the market.

FM - Chicago (Pilsen) - Pilsen Community Market11-3:30 Honky Tonk BBQ on 18th/Racine Pilsen Community Market strives to provide fresh, quality farm products, arts and crafts, music and information to a diverse community while embracing and connecting with surrounding neighborhoods.  Products Local and organic produce, meat, eggs, cheese, honey, freshly baked breads and other pastries, tamales, handmade jewelry, and more! Email info@pilsencommunitymarket.org

FM - Chicago (Roger’s Park) - Glenwood Sunday Market Indoor  (Indoor) -  The Glenwood Bar, 6962 N. Glenwood Avenue (12/14, 1/11/15, 2/8, 3/8, 4/12, 5/3) Glenwood Sunday Market’s mission is to make sustainable, regionally produced foods available to our whole community.  They believe that through an integrated relationship of food, education and community we will achieve our vision of an environmentally engaged neighborhood. This market continues to grow and get stronger every year. Vendors  The market proudly accepts Discover, MasterCard, Visa and Link/SNAP cards.

FM –  Deerfield - Faith in Place Winter Market –  North Shore Unitarian Church 9am to 1pm  2100 Half Day Rd

November 27

HAPPY TURKEY DAY!!!!

November 29

CLOSED – Green City Market, 61st Street Market

OPEN – Heritage Prairie Farm Store, Grayslake Market

November 30

CLOSED – Logan Square Market                                                                                                                              

December 5

ChicagoFeed Your Mind 2nd Annual Gala Benefit For Pilot Light - Pilot Light welcomes our friends and supporters to gather and enjoy our Feed Your Mind event at the Chicago Cultural Center!  The special evening will feature chef tastings, silent and live auctions, and great music!  Join us at Feed Your Mind to support Pilot Light’s work in Chicago schools to empower children with a healthy relationship with food.

December 6

ChampaignPrairie Fruits FarmWinter Holiday & Solstice Dinner It’s cold outside, but enter the Prairie Fruits Farm Dining Room inside our barn and you’re enveloped in wood stove warmth.  We like to create a festive atmosphere to get everyone in the winter holiday spirit: lots of small plates loaded with comforting holiday foods, warming beverages and great conversations around the communal table.  This dinner brings an end to our farm dinner season and eases us into winter slumber.  We will also have some great farm products available for holiday gift giving.

FM - Chicago (Ravenswood) - Faith In Place Winter Market10am – 4pm Berry United Methodist Church 4754 N. Leavitt Street

FM - Evanston - Evanston Market - Ecology Center Winter Market Saturdays, December 6, 2014 through April 25, 2015, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Ecology Center at the Ladd Arboretum, 2024 N McCormick Blvd. ContactDiane Khouri Joseph, info@sheekardelights.com

FMMorton Grove - Morton Grove Farmers  Market Wintermarket – 9am – 2pm  Village of Morton Grove American Legion Memorial Civic Center, 6140 Dempster Street

December 13

Chicago - Good Beer Hunting Holiday Pop-Up Shop -12-4pm 2557 W. North Ave.

December 15

Chicago - Maddys Dumpling House Pop-Up - 7-9:30pm Ampersand in Kinmont Restaurant 419 Superior St. $65 includes beverage pairings

ChicagoCafe Des Architectes Holiday & Roll - 6-8pm Sofitel Chicago Benefits Share Our Strength. Hosted by Chef Greg Biggers & Pastry Chef Leigh Omilinsky  Featuring Chicago’s Top Pastry Chefs in a Buche de Noele, live band Rod Tuffcurls and the Bench Press to get you in the holiday spirit.  Enjoy tasting each pastry chef’s creation and cast your vote for the best Yuletide dessert!

December 17

Chicago – Stuff Stuffed with Stuff – Stew Supper Club at Sauce and Bread Kitchen 7-10pm $50 6338 N. Clark Just to name a few these are delicious things stuffed with delicious things Bao, Paczki, Pierogi, Soup Dumplings, Mini Brie en Croute, the Chimmichonga, Oh my.  Eat the things Stuffed with Stuff with the Stew Supper Club because you can and should.

December 21

Registration opens for the January 18, 2015 Chicago Food Swap, this fills up fast!

ChicagoAll Chili Considered - 12-4pm The Empty Bottle 1035 N Western Need a way to warm up on a chili day in December? The people from Graze Magazine has just the thing! Sixteen home and professional chefs will compete for the Most Outstanding Chili award, as judged by their panel of esteemed culinary experts, and YOU, the people.  Get your tickets ahead of time to ensure that you have a place among all the chili and bread, music, and coziness we can offer. PLUS it’s a dollar off the ticket price at the door! ($9 advance tickets/$10 day-of)

January 11

FM – SkokieFaith In Place Winter Market 10am – 2pm Temple Judea Mizpah 8610 Niles Center Road

January 18

Chicago (Edgewater) – Chicago Food SwapFearless Food Kitchen Peterson Garden Project Broadway Armory 5917 N. Broadway

February 7

Chicago – The 3rd Annual Cider Summit - Artisanal ciders from around the world. Navy Pier This event sells out!!

March 19-21

Chicago - The Good Food Festival and Conference sponsored by Family Farmed

 


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Doctor, Your Tomato is Ready in Surgery

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Posted: November 13, 2014 at 10:55 am

Languishing Over Languishing Produce

last of the last tomatoes

This has been an odd year for tomatoes in the Local Bungalow. Our normal supplier (and employer of the Condiment Queen side of the Local Family), Tomato Mountain, had one rough year, fraught with hail and blights. The so-sweet sun golds came late and the bumper crop of pink ladies and estivas barely materialized. We loved the organic fruits we got, but it ended early. To my rescue I found one of the farmers at Oak Park, one I tend to go to more for peas and giant cauliflower than tomatoes. Yet there, well into late fall, I found them selling giant hillbilly and brandywine heirloom tomatoes at low prices. I bought five a week for the last few weeks of the market season. Now that supplied has dwindled to three tomatoes. Worse, because I cannot bare to part with them, because I know once they are gone, the flavor of local tomatoes, the flavor of real tomatoes, will be gone for a long period. So I do not gorge on these tomatoes. Rather, I treasure them and eat them only when feeling especially generous to myself. The problem, the more I let these tomatoes sit around, considering they sat before I got them, they spoil. Not all the way, just the tops, the sides, the bottoms and sometimes well into the middle. I must surgically remove the cancerous cells before enjoying these tomatoes. I realized it was surgery, however, not by the cutting, but from the delicate nature of these tomatoes. Late-late season tomatoes taste of ripening on the counter, not of sunshine. They lack the intensity, the substance of peak season tomatoes. What these tomatoes have is texture. Can a tomato be called ethereal? Just get rid of the bad parts.

last peppers

We had controversy in our choice of local fare last night. I put up half a package of Breslin Farms black beans. When the beans were ready, I drained them and made salad. I am accused by my wife of making too many salads. This accusation hurt. Why not a black bean stew. It was the peppers my dear, the peppers. Lingering peppers. Too few peppers to roast. I should say, too few red peppers left to roast. I got a huge last minute reprieve on peppers. My first plans for stocking failed. At the last Oak Park Market of 2014, all that was left were reddish peppers. The farmer selling the reddish peppers (his words not mine) felt they would stay mostly green. He turned out to be wrong about this, they ripened, but the warning kept  me from stocking. Likewise, I found no jalapenos at the last market. I found a week later, a couple selling Michigan produce from the same spot I normally buy my raspado–their apples and tomatoes looked very Michigan, so I trust the peppers were too. At $1/lb, it as a lot of peppers for $6 as you can see. What you cannot see are any red sweet peppers. I did well in hot banana, hot jalapenos and kind of hot, ripe poblanos. I needed something else to parse out those last reddish, now red peppers. A bean salad, chock full o’ chopped peppers seemed to recipe. With surgically sliced tomatoes, there was dissonance in our meal and in our family harmony.

The last lingering item in our larder, this year’s fennel crop. We get one good shot of fennel each year from Tomato Mountain. I appreciate CSA fennel because market fennel is so expensive; more pricey because you only use about a third of the fennel you purchase. I am filled with fennel recipe ideas. I do this fennel marmalade where I slowly cook it down; I like it grilled, roasted, also raw. I make too many salads she says, but here that’s what she wanted. Thin ribbons of fennel mixed with the season’s first oranges. If she liked olive cured oranges, I would include those too. As the embargo on eating the oranges in the bowl eases–”don’t they’re for salad”–the fennel window may be closing. I fear I did the same thing as last year. Giddy with CSA fennel, overwrought it fennel plans, I let them languish. At least old fennels make good additions to vegetable stock.

Languishing over the last seasonal produce leaves me making dishes others do not want. Languishing over lingering produce leaves me paralyzed in process. I know what will come next. Next is the time when you don’t find the raspado man and you don’t find some Michigan produce in place of the raspado man. I must move along to rutabagas, in the box this week, and much frost kissed spinach in boxes to come. In the meantime, I will get every last bit of usable tomato left from what languishes on the table.




Let’s Start with Some Links – Weekly Harvest

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Posted: November 10, 2014 at 10:38 am

We’re getting back into this whole posting thing, but it’s been a while since we harvested some eat local links.  See what we reaped from around the locavore-verse.

Urban gardening beats back autisim.

I think a problem with the department of agriculture in Wisconsin is that it’s so much power focused in just a few people.”  Exhibit one of shoe dropping on local food movement in Wisconsin.   Exhibit two next week.

Breaking the chain, why you may want local pork instead.

What kind of national food policy should there be?

10 steps to becoming a locavore.

And some good reasons to be a locavore.

 




The 2014-2015 Local Beet Guide to Chicagoland Winter Markets

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Posted: November 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Eat Local Year-round

Photo: IFMA

Photo: IFMA

You want to continue to eat local. You appreciate the quality of home-grown food. You take pleasure in more than five kinds of potatoes or eight kinds of apples. You seek to lessen your impact on the enviroment. You want to support area artisans and producers. You do not need to hold yourself to strict locavorism, but you want to do what you can, as long as you can. For you, Chicagoland has a range of winter farmer’s markets within the city and around the area. Some of the markets listed below will run all winter, others will run through December. In addition to the Chicago area winter markets, there are winter markets in Milwaukee, South Bend, Madison and other places within a short drive. We will cover these roadtrips in another post. Check back often as we will add additional market information as we learn of it.

Green City Market
Solidly esconsed in its winter home, Green City Market brings nearly all their coeterie of farmers and food crafters to several spaces winthin and around the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Green City Market remains active year-round, with markets scheduled from now until April indoors. Market fixtures like Tomato Mountaina and Nichol’s should have produce all winter. We hear that Nichol’s is looking for a big hoop-house harvest of cold-weather spinach, and Tomato Mountain should be especially long in carrots, including purple ones. Other vendors will have bread, mushrooms, meats, sprouts, etc.  Green City does not meet every week, and not always on Saturdays, so check their calendar for dates. 2430 N. Cannon Dr. Chicago.

Logan Square Farmer’s Market
Our friends at the Logan Square Chamber of Commerce have built quite a competitor to Green City, adding to, not overlapping in, sources for quality eat local fare.  This market meets weekly on Sundays in a building on Milwaukee that used to house a Mexican bakery, a fitting statement for the changing area, no.  Over the course of the season, the selection of produce will ebb and flow.  Excpect much now.  All the time, however, there will be outstanding breads, interesting cannded goods and a lot of fun things to eat organized by Nosh.  2755 N. Milwaukee Av., Chicago.

Glenwood Sunday Market
This committed market will hold eight indoor sessions between November 9, 2014 and May 3, 2015. See here for details. We know our good friend, Jimmy Hardin, will have his Michigan apples there until he runs out. 6962 N. Glenwood Av., Chicago.

61st Farmer’s Market
Calling itself “Chicago’s Southside premier farmer’s market,” and run by the folks at Experimental Station, this will run indoors until December 13. Find meats from Friend of Beet Kim Synder’s Faith’s Farm, Peerless breads and jams, local grains from Hazzard Free and more. 6100 S. Blackstone, Chicago.

Grayslake Farmer’s Market
The Saturday Fall market will have18 vendors with produce, beef, bison, pork, chicken, fresh eggs, baked goods and specialty gourmet products. Located in historic downtown Grayslake on Center Street.

Evanston Farmer’s Market
One of the largest Chicago area markets, it will meet outdoors on November 8 then go on hiatus for a bit, returning, indoors, at the Evanston Ecology Center on Saturdays from December 6, 2014 until April 25, 2015. Wisconsin based Geneva Lakes should have a steady supply of storage crops and indoor produce to meet your eat local needs, amongst other vendors. 2024 N McCormick Blvd, Evanston.

Morton Grove Farmers’ Market
This area market run by friends of The Beet will have two winter Saturday events – December 6, 2014 and February 7, 2015. 6210 Dempster, Morton Grove.

Faith in Place Winter Markets
A driver in developing and creating off-season locations for local food, Faith in Place has organized winter markets around the Chicago area for several years. The markets are held at various churches (anad synagougues) on Saturdays and Sundays from November 9 through March 28. See their calendar for exact locations and times. Various.

Geneva Community Winter Market
We have a special place in our heart for this little market that’s been going cold well before the rest. Produce, meat, honey, and more, all promised from within 200 miles of Geneva, Saturdays from November 1, 2014 through May 2015. 327 Hamilton, Geneva.

Woodstock Farmer’s Market
This is another far-away suburban venture that has existed for many years off the foodie radar. A producer only market, it will meet indoor at the McHenry County Farm Bureau on the first 3 Saturdays in November and the first 4 Saturdays in December. Then, there will be markets on the first Saturdays in January, February, March, and April. 1102 McConnell Rd., Woodstock.

Portage Park Farmer’s Market
Worth coming to peek inside the vintage Portage Theater, this Northwest-side market is scheduled to take place on various Sundays from November 2014 to April 2015. 4050 N. Milwaukee, Chicago.

Pilsen Community Market
We know this market will be indoors, on Sundays, at Honky Tonk BBQ starting November 23, but it is unclear to us how many markets will remain through the winter. 1800 S. Racine, Chicago.




Make Your Own Root Cellar/Store Your Own Food

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Posted: November 4, 2014 at 7:15 am

As our classic Making the Most of the Seasonal Bounty post shows, there are many ways to approch eating local later.  Canning gets attention, but it is best used for frills, condiments, food around the edges.  Freeze, but you also change the nature of the item, leaving it soft and drippy.  Only cold storage keeps things close to nature.  It hardly requires work, but it is the preservation method probably least used in urban-suburban homes.  It’s not very complicated.   

 

Store your own food. It is an easy way to ensure supplies of local food into the fall, winter and beyond. While most of us have no root cellar to store our foods, we can create the conditions of root cellars. For most of your food, you need someplace pretty cold and moist.  For the rest of your food, you need someplace cold and dry. Except for squashes, which can be pretty much stored as decorations. See our ideas for creating your own root cellar. Please also share with us your ideas and experiences.

COLD & MOIST – The following foods should be stored as cold as possible, between 32 and 40 degrees and in moist conditions: potatoes, most root vegetables including turnips, beets, carrots; cabbage, apples

COLD BUT DRY – The following foods need to be stored in a cool and dry area: onions, garlic

LEAST COLD REQUIRED (BUT DRY) – Winter squashes

The key to storage is to 1) find some place in your house/apartment that has those conditions 2) create those conditions 3) construct those conditions.

  1. Some place in your house – Maybe you are lucky enough to have a genuine root cellar in your house.  Maybe all you have to do is pry open a long sealed door to find it.  Maybe.  Still, many houses without true root cellars have spaces that can serve as very serviceable root cellars.  Look to your attics or crawlspaces first, you may find they meet your needs.  Does your basement have unheated areas?  Canning rooms?  Be creative.  What about a window well, which works well?  Remember, store based on your conditions.  If you have a space that is a bit cold, but not that cold, store only onions and squash.  If you have colder areas, you can store potatoes, apples, etc.
  2. Create a root cellar – There are several ways you can create the conditions of a root cellar.  The two easy ways are to put your food in your refrigerator and put your food in coolers.  A refrigerator has the cold part down, yet fridges tend to be dry.  Find ways to keep stored food moist such as wrapping in wet cloth or keeping in sand.  A cooler can be kept outside, like on a deck or in a garage.  Find a place for the cooler that lets it draw some heat from your house.  You do not want to food to freeze.  A cooler can also be dragged around or dragged in depending on outside conditions.
  3. Construct your own root cellar – A little googling will find you plenty of design options for building your own root cellar on your property.  Survivalist sites are good places to start!  If you have the land and tools, it’s not a bad idea.  Still, there are also designs out there for quasi-root cellars that amount to mostly digging a hole in the ground.  I especially like this idea of burying a garbage can.

Want to do more research, this 1966 guide from the USDA is pretty cool.   Here’s something a bit more modern from Michigan State University.

Few spaces come these days with root cellars.  Figure out how to make your own then.  You will be rewarded with a supply of local food for many months.  And one more piece that’s old, long and complicated.

Please share you root cellar ideas and tell us what you are doing to eat local this winter.




The 3 Tastes of Winter

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Posted: November 3, 2014 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.  As the weather may finally turn cold for good, soon, we want to remind you what winter will taste like.  We have, however, updated our thinking on winter eating based on current market conditions.

Honey

 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 brasicas 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.

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. 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.




It Got Cold, Stock Up

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Posted: November 3, 2014 at 8:51 am

Eat Local Later

Winveg14

As noted, our fall planning posts have been lacking both from personal reasons that delayed blogging and weather reasons that delayed stocking.  Our hail drenched Halloween changed the weather patterns.  Our archives give us the material to match the season.  This is a slight modification on post on stocking up.  You have many options to get your local food for later.  Sources still for local produce include Green City Market, Logan Square and Evanston, which remains outdoors for one more week (plus there is the special November market at Immanuel Luthern Church, a great source for cold weather stuff).  You should be able to find the produce listed below.

FALL FOODS WITH LIMITED STORAGE

You will find the following items at area markets but consume these within a week or two.

  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuces
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Collard greens
  • Bok choi and related
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Smaller radishes

FOODS FOR STORAGE – SHORT TERM

The following items will last with good handling for about a month:

  • Pears, especially Asian style pears
  • Larger radishes such as black radishes
  • Cabbages
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Grapes

FOODS FOR STORAGE - MEDIUM TERM

The following items will last through winter with good handling:

  • Kohlrabi (use the greens within a week)
  • Turnips (use the greens within a week)
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Beets
  • Rutabaga
  • Celery root
  • Parsley root
  • Onions
  • Winter squash
  • Sunchokes

FOODS FOR STORAGE - LONG TERM

The following items will last you through early spring or beyond with good handling:

  • Apples (Note: McIntosh apples are poor keepers)
  • Potatoes

See what you may find.

 




Late Season Shopping List

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Posted: October 31, 2014 at 9:47 am

Consider a CSA

This week ends the Oak Park Farmer’s Market for 2014. There are other markets open this weekend including Evanston, which will be going next week too, and Green City, while now indoors, will be full with fall produce. I have my list for this last day of shopping in my community. My list may look different than yours because I already have a strong backstop for my fall, winter and spring local eating. I subscribe to a year-round CSA. Before you make your shopping list for this weekend, consider signing up for a CSA. Use the Local Beet’s list to find options, nut you can do no worse than Tomato Mountain, my wife’s employer, who does an outstanding job of winter farming–that pic above is an example of a cold weather delivery.

How can you eat local year round in a place like Chicago. The question faced anytime I present on my family’s journey. A simple response: we put away food and we find sources of food. Over the ten years of being a Local Family, the ratio of we store to go to the store has changed. I like not having to rely so much on our root cellar in the sky. Relying on someone else to hold the food gives us two benefits. First, it saves us money. When we cold store our own food, we have a certain amount, what they would call in the retail business, shrinkage. That is, we expect some of the stored food to go bad before we can eat it. Buying as we need eliminates a lot of that problem. Second, as good as our root cellar in the sky functions, I believe others can do it better. If possible, leave it to the pro’s. My year-round CSA provides me an array of storage crops like onions, turnips and carrots. Moreover, my CSA provides me something green even on those darkest of days, like frost-kissed spinach. If you do not have a cold-season CSA, put one on your shopping list now.

My list for the week: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers both sweet and hot, and maybe onions. As you can see aside from the onions, my focus remains on ending summer not starting winter. I have, however, used nearly everyone of my inventory of summer onions.onions

That’s all the onions I have right now.   At least I won’t need to get a CSA too.




The 2014 Garden in Review

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Posted: October 30, 2014 at 9:49 pm

A secondary goal of my gardening hobby is to see how long I could feed my family of four (plus a vegetable-loving dog) from the nearly 450 square feet of fertile soil in my front and back yards, should the need ever arise. When I began this experiment, I might have kept us from starving for a few weeks. As my skills improved, I might have staved off cannibalization for well over a month, then two months. By 2014, I figure I’ve grown enough to feed us all for nearly four months. Although the reality is that the dog and I would have gobbled up the veggies while the kids held out for the promise of microwavable burritos. Even better, though, I’ve learned to preserve and can food. Although this requires an investment in vinegar and sealing lids, if I could convince everybody to eat pickles, dilly beans and thawed collard greens, we could extend our hypothetical, miserable, vegan lives another few weeks. Then the dog would envision us as large, walking turkey drumsticks and probably eat us while we sleep.

Fortunately, I don’t need to worry about these prospects. My primary goal with gardening has never been survival, but

  • To enjoy the freshest organic produce possible
  • To secure bragging rights on my ability to grow lots of stuff
  • To help build a sustainable northern Illinois food system

I like that my kids understand what crops grow well in this climate and that we can make a spontaneous breakfast of peapods and cherry tomatoes on a July day when the weather is right and the harvest seasons overlap for these two easy-to-grow treats. I have overloaded neighbors and friends with bags of heirloom lettuce and other expensive treats. And in my own modest way, I feel like every pound of food I growin Cook County is one less pound that must be shipped from a drought-stricken acre in Fresno County, California. I also help run a farmer’s market, and help introduce residents of my village, neighbors, and passers-by to the charms of locally grown produce.

Below are the results of my 2014 growing attempts, ranked from worst to best.

2014 Worst Results

Artichokes
I tried growing these indoors last winter and hoped to plant them outside by spring. They didn’t survive past January. I even bought a special LED growing light, but to no avail. Total investment in artichokes: $15

Brussel Sprouts
One lesson I’ve learned again this year is the capriciousness of climate. For several years now, former Brussels sprouts haters have changed their tune after eating my fresh-from-the-stalk sprouts and became Brussels sprouts players. My dependable Brassicas yielded ginormous harvests every fall. But the 2014 excessive rain combined and early attacks by caterpillars conspired to blacken and destroy the budding sprouts on the stalks before they could repair themselves. In prior years, wasps rescued me by destroying the larvae before they could grow and reproduce.
But this year, the entire crop reached a point of no return, and the remaining gnarly, knobby stalks look like misaligned spinal columns. At best, they may serve as creepy Halloween decorations.
Total investment in Brussels sprouts this year, $10.

Potatoes
The taters were delicious but few. I planted these in pots rather than in raised beds so as to isolate them and limit the spread of soil disease. However, the top soil I planted them in may have been too dense and lacking nutrients. Each pot yielded two or three decent spuds. Barely a single meal and not worth the investment of $6.50.

Eggplant
These nightshades didn’t do so great either. Although the stalks and leaves looked healthy, the flowers didn’t see much pollination and the heat and sunlight didn’t arrive when needed. We harvested four or five medium-sized eggplants for an investment of $4.

Not So Great Results

Tomatoes

Some heirlooms with a carrot

Some heirlooms with a carrot

Other gardeners I know had a great year for tomatoes. Most of us did not. Of my 10 plants, I probably harvested no more than 4 lbs. of heirloom and run-of-the-mill fruits. I think this may be the result of bees not being available when the flowers opened. Even as the cold weather approached, some unpollenated flowers were desperately calling out for insects that never came. And the bulk of the crop were tough and green by the time I pulled them out of the soil. Although I saw a last-minute bumper crop of red cherry tomatoes on a few plants, the frost hit them, and they tasted awful. Tomato plant investment was about $15.

Peppers

Green but not as tasty

Green but not as tasty

As fall sank in a few weeks ago, the nightshades took advantage of any warm sunny days to make a last-ditch effort to reproduce by sprouting a whole bunch of tiny fruits. The peppers made a desperate attempt at this and gave us just enough to pickle and sautee a few. They did not taste terrible, but were not memorable either. Total cost: $8.

Raspberries

After two lean years, we finally got a cup of raspberries out of the thorny bush. We only discovered this because Tesla found them first. Guess that’s one more fence we have to build. The original plant was free–taken from a relative’s yard, so even a single berry is a bonus. But after Tesla took his share, there wasn’t enough for the humans to enjoy even a small pie. Total investment: $0.

Wheat Grass
I have previously written about Ringo and the aquafarm. I am happy to report that he found a new home with our dog sitter, but they disposed of the plastic fish tank and growing medium because it was attracting small insects. Plus, nobody in my house (except the dog) likes wheat grass that much. Total investment: $100.

Good Results

Carrots

Carrots, cukes and beans

Carrots, cukes and beans

In the loose, well-fertilized raised beds in which my carrots grew, they did wonderful. Some were purple; some were orange. All were tasty. I was loathe to give them away because I enjoyed eating them so much. If they hadn’t been so hard to clean, few might not have made it as far as the kitchen before being eaten. We ended up with five or six healthy bunches. Even the kids enjoyed snacking on these. There’s nothing like a home-grown dragon carrot to remind you what a farce those nubby little pre-cut orange things really are. Total investment: $6.

Beets

A mature beat pops up above the soil, ready to harvest
A mature beat pops up above the soil, ready to harvest

 

As I write this, my second planting of beets–growing under glass in a raised bed–is doing quite nicely. Between the delicious greens and the sweet roots, we had several wonderful meals and two large pots of Russian borscht soup. The third pot was a snafu because I accidentally planted turnips and they were hard to distinguish from the beets until we tasted the result and agreed it was best to dump the entire pot down the sink. It was THAT bad. And I HATE to waste food. Total investment: $6

Parsley

I planted the herb at the end of the growing season, and as of November 1, several lush, green bouquets of aromatic parsley are spread out among the garden. I can’t give the stuff away fast

enough. As a garnish, most of us can only consume a little bit of it. A co-worker froze and dried a bag, but even he protested that I gave him too much. Total investment: $3.

Peas
Can a person get sick of eating sweet peas right off the vine each morning for breakfast and then as an after-work snack? You betcha. Fortunately, a co-worker LOVED them and would share a handful each day for about a month. These things wouldn’t stop growing! In late August, they should have been long gone, but they kept coming back over and over again, tasting just as fresh as they would have in late spring. I saved a huge pile of shelled peas to plant in 2015, but I hadn’t let them dry enough, and mold set in. I dumped them out, but my co-worker offered to buy seeds next year just to ensure I’ll keep growing more snacks for him. Total investment: $4

Asparagus

Fresh asparagus grows among kale

Fresh asparagus grows among kale

Yay asparagus! When we first planted these years ago, there was no guarantee we’d ever see a return on our investment. After a fallow year, though, these have been springing up reliably each spring. Oddly, we were getting new shoots in September! I let these fern out and collect the sun insead of eating them. Hopefully this will contribute to an even healthier crop in 2015. Total investment: $0.

Kale
As with other produce, we grew morethan we wanted to eat and had only a few people who would take it off our hands. Even in November, these continued to grow. Some grew through the fence that we use to keep the dog out of the garden, and he nibbled the leaves down to the stub. Total investment: $6.

Sunflowers
Sunflowers are also volunteers that I’ve let grow where they want to help attract pollenators. The birds and the bees and the squirrels clean the flower heads of seeds pretty quickly, and the sturdy stalks provide ladders for climbing vines. Total 2014 investment in dill: $0.

Wildflowers
I’m not a flower kinda guy. I like to plant practical edibles. But I’m aware that I need bees to help me out, so I devoted an entire 4 x 10 bed in the alley to what looks like a hot mess of brightly colored petals planted by absent-mindedly scattering a bag of seeds with no plan whatsoever. The result was a lot of bees buzzing around the flowers and hopefully my vegetable flowers as well. Although the bees did not show up in early spring when they were needed. Nonetheless, the flowers worked, and if the bees live to see 2015, maybe they’ll remember me and come by earlier. Total investment: $6.

Green Onions and Chives
I planted these years ago and they keep coming back. I love their flowers and I love the audible POP they make when I break off the stem. They are mild and tasty, hearty and they grow back quickly (what with being hollow like bamboo and all). They’re one of the first plants to appear in the spring and the last one available in the fall. Total 2014 investment: $0.

Fantastic Results

Lettuce

We had far more lettuce than we could deal with. Because the cool and rainy spring stretched into the summer, and because we planted lettuce in a semi-shady zone, the tender leaves grew back as quick as we could tear them off. We gave bags of the stuff away, ate until we could eat no more, and left the bulk of it to grow unharvested until it finally bolted in August. If I estimate a value of $3 a lb. and that we harvested and gave away at least 30 lbs. of lettuce, I’m guessing the value of the harvest was $90. Even in November, arugala continues to grow on the front lawn and tastes as fresh and delicious as the expensive bags you find at specialty grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Total 2014 investment in lettuce: $12.
Cucumbers

Two ways to dispose of extra cucumbers

Two ways to dispose of extra cucumbers

We would have given more cucumbers away, but most people who tried growing them this year DID grow them, and didn’t need any handouts. I overplanted cucumbers from a single packet of seeds, and almost every seed wound up as a vine so thick that its leaves concealed some of its offspring and many fruits were able to grow to ridiculous sizes before we found them. Although they tasted better small, the big ones came in handy and my sons chided me several times, “Please, dad. Don’t make ANOTHER gazpacho!” Total investment: $3

Beans
Growing among the cucumber plants, these bush beans were equally as hard to find sometimes amidst the overgrown leaves. Often when we did, they had grown to gigantic proportions. Some of them were almost a foot long. Some tasted good raw. We roasted and sauteed others. I canned a lot. The dog enjoyed them as well. We gave some away, but found few takers. Just not a popular vegetable, but really easy to grow. And I saved enough so I don’t have to buy new seeds in 2015. Total investment: $6.

Garlic

Garlic dries on the porch

Garlic dries on the porch

The garlic harvest was wonderful. I didn’t pay a dime for the cloves because I planted the biggest from last year’s harvest. I was able to give a garlic bulb to anybody who asked, make a whole
bunch of jars of dill pickles and beans and still have plenty leftover to plant again in the next few weeks for next year’s harvest. Total 2014 investment in garlic: $0.

Dill

Dill weeds grow amok

Dill weeds grow amok

Dill is also a plant that I spent nothing to grow. It is officially a weed (or a volunteer, if we’re trying to be politically correct) and has gained a foothold all over our back yard and alley. The woody
stalks help the cucumber vines find sunlight and the seeds and fronds go into the dill pickles and beans. Total 2014 investment in dill: $0.

On top of the money I spent on seeds and seedlings, I purchased a little organic fertilizer, top soil and wood to build new raised beds. However, I feel I’ve managed to limit my spending on perennials and to save seeds and thus cost year after year.




Cut Along Dotted Line

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Posted: October 30, 2014 at 10:14 am

Eat Local Squash

cut along dotted line

 

My theory, unsupported by diligent research, is that a reason people do not eat local is because they do not want to eat the foods required of eating local.  See, by the end of October, the Chicago locavore’s diet tends towards roots and squash.  Do you want to eat roots and squash?  The work involved in preparing winter squashes keeps it off shopping lists.  Easier to make asparagus or green beans no matter how wooden or banal they taste over 365 days.   The answer to easier squash comes right on the plant.

There are three ways to deal with hard squashes: one difficult, one often leading  to insipid or puerile concoctions, and a better, yet less used way.  Try peeling hard squashes.  It starts like an M.C. Esher enterprise as you keep on turning and twisting , trying to figure out where it should stand, how you should proceed.  Then, you loose half the meat as you try to remove its skin without removing your skin.  I like to use big chunks of squash in recipes, for instance, roasting and tossing in a bowl with honey and jalepenos (or some kind of dried pepper if you’ve run out of fresh).  I do peel, but I abhor the work involved in getting to chunks.  To many, squash is that soup served at Thanksgiving to quell the guests while the turkey rests (or to make the meal seem “elegant” by presenting it in courses?).  Mostly, to me, squash soups do not work.  The Swanson canned broth sneaks into the flavor too much.  Some cooks ladle out something more like dessert.  Yes, squashes stand up well to sweet flavors.  Most pumpkin for pies, the stuff in cans, come from squashes.  I just do not like watered down candy-puree in hope of re-creating something Martha Stewart did years ago on Good Morning America.  And purees, that is another way to use squash.  The principle issue with many attempts, is they use the wrong squash.  Commonly found squash like acorn and butternut can often make thin, flat tasting purees.  Great squash purees come from heirloom squash, especially the blue hubbard.  That, my friend, can be a lot of work, but the resulting fluff will be worth your trouble.   This post, though, is about avoiding trouble.

The least difficult way to approach an acorn squash is to wedge it.  Just cut on the dotted lines.  What makes acorn squash impossible to peel makes them easy to slice.  It is all in the valleys. The outside of an acorn squash is a series of undulating hills.  In between those highs you thrust your knife.  The first plunge may scare, but soon you are following the safety of that Goddess created guide.  She won’t let you err.  Make your first cut all around, cleaving the squash in two.  Place the flat side on a cutting board, now use your lines, you know them now, to cut slabs.  You want about an inch and a half of squash per slice.  Remove the seeds.  Keep as much of the stringy bits as you can as that part tastes good.  All it takes from here is a little olive oil and salt.  Coat and lay on a baking tray.  I like to line my pan with parchment to ease the mess.  Preheat your oven to a roaring 425.  It will take less than a half-hour, use your nose to guide you to when they are toasty, but not burnt.  The resulting flesh will be soft with a honeyed crust.  They require no additional seasoning, although my instinct is to add hot peppers.  Done this way, often, you can even, often, eat the skin.

In the lessons I gave the other day, I told you to fill your own box of winter squash to prepare for the months with limited supplies of local food.  You do not need a root cellar to store squash.  They will live long, at house temperature.  After you have your squash, you will know what to do with it.  Cut along the dotted lines.




Last Minute Locavore Lessons

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Posted: October 28, 2014 at 10:37 am

Eat Local Later

box o' acorns

That’s a box o’ acorn squash getting us ready for local eating all winter. Filling your own crate of squash is one of the last minute lessons I have for you as run out of time, with our Chicago area markets winding down. It takes no special abilities, no arduous tasks to put away hard squashes. Just fill a box. Before getting to other lessons, however, I want to get a few housekeeping matters out of the way. I promised a “Cooking For Two” post that would explain the huge lapses in posts. I have exacerbated that by avoiding the Cooking For Two post. You will see, soon, I hope, the reason, a decent one, for the disappearance of the Local Family in blog. Second, of more mundane matters, this time of year, I would normally be all over root cellaring, my own and the bibliography of Local Beet posts from prior years of the topic. The freakish late Indian Summer has limited cold storage and the usefulness of talking about cold storage. I’ll get to it when I get to it. What I need to get at are things to do now.

Back in those halcyon days when I occasionally posted  instead of not at all, I provided some easy ways to eat local later. Let’s continue that path because by Halloween no one’s canning 50 pounds of tomatoes or looking to put away the season’s bounty. It’s more like, OMG, this is the last week, what do I do. Without buying up mason jars (even if they may now be on sale) or packing up the freezer, there are several ways to extend your market. Start with tomatoes.

are these the last tomatoes 2

Not all my current inventory of tomatoes look pretty. The pain of cutting away unusable tomato flesh gets mitigated by lesser price I have been paying for these late season heirlooms. The photo lesson here is that you do not need a perfect tomato to have a good tomato, especially when you can eat any tomatoes in November. The other lesson, not apparent in the picture is that some of these tomatoes were purchased less than fully ripe. Or to be more clear on the lesson, as long as a tomato is harvested with the ripening process started, no matter how green and hard the tomato starts on your counter, it will eventually get somewhere closer to edible. Sure, these will not be your peak Caprese salad tomatoes, but as I say, the base level for a good tomato falls as your diet otherwise fills with roots and other cold weather crops. Believe me, there is pleasure left in those last tomatoes. So, stock up on what you find. Be patient with them. Coax as much red as you can. Cauterize around the parts that go bad too soon. That’s your first lesson.

Second lesson, know what survives. I told you above that root cellaring would be left for another time. Before you fill your cellar, fill your fridge. The essential lesson of root cellaring is that with a lot of cold, a decent amount of moisture and enough darkness, many fruits and vegetables can stay succulent and edible for long periods. Your fridge is cold. As long as its door is shut, your fridge is dark. What it’s not, though, is dank. There’re workaround for that, you can use a fridge as a root cellar, but remember, this is not a root cellaring post. Today’s lesson is all about good enough. Your fridge is good enough for grapes, for Asian pears, for ABA. See in a month or so, your local fruit selection will be apples or apples. Which means, for me at least, you want now, ABA, anything but apples. Local grapes, Concords and what not, stay just fine for long periods in your fridge. Cram as many as you can in there to keep from getting to your apple supplies. Second lesson is easy to learn.

Third lesson and last lesson for today requires work. I’m talking the bane of my locavore existence, roasting peppers. There is nothing I love and loathe more. Exquisite enjoyment in eating, exquisite torture in preparation. Yes, after many years of experimentation in methods, I have mastered the roasted pepper. Step one, flame-roast the peppers. Ensure a good, even, total char, think the New Zealand rugby team, all-black. Step two, put cooked peppers in a bowl, seal tight with plastic wrap. Wait. This process will loosen the skins and make the peeling much easier. If. You. Wait. Step three, with a knife, scrap off the black, the seeds, the pith, the stems, anything you don’t want to eat. I’ve tried fingers, which makes a huge mess and running water which sacrifices an enormous amount of flavor. The knife does not remove effort or time, but it’s the best you can do. There’s a fourth step in there if you want, save the pepper juice, but I never find I get enough to follow that step. Step five A/five B, make the magic happen. There’s roasting peppers and there’s roasting peppers for the season. With this extra work, you can make your peppers last a long time. Option A, make a weak pickling solution, maybe 1/2 water to vinegar, pack your peppers in there with a small amount of sugar to balance the flavors. Or use oil. If you submerge your roasted peppers in oil, you will have an effective barrier from rot. In the fridge, both styles of peppers will last for at least six weeks. You can find lots of peppers left in these last markets, follow this lesson to get the most of your purchases.

Beyond the time it takes to roast peppers, we’re not talking much to do to follow through on this week’s lessons. Stock up on squash, let tomatoes ripen, fill your fridge with grapes. Do not regret what could have been as you enter the darker days.




2014 LOCAL AND REGIONAL FOOD SUMMIT

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Posted: October 26, 2014 at 2:25 pm

From the Illinois Farm Bureau website:

Attend the fourth annual Local and Regional Food Summit and learn from leaders in the local and regional food industry on all the different projects taking shape. Speakers will include those from the retail grocery, foodservice distribution, university foodservice, food hub, specialty crops, meat processing, dairy, value-added products, community supported agriculture organization and more!

The event will be held at Heartland Community College, Astroth Community Education Center, 1500 West Raab Road, Normal, IL. from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Nov. 13, 2014.  This one-day event is hosted by the Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Department of Agriculture and Heartland Community College.

local_image

Conference registration fee is $20 per participant and includes all conference materials, lunch, and breaks. A buffet lunch will feature several local and regional foods prepared by Chef Scott Rowan and provided by Heartland Community College. Due to limited seating, registration must be completed by November 6, 2014. Registration is first come, first served.  There is NO ON-SITE REGISTRATION.  Register here: http://www.ilfb.org/ifb-news-and-events/conferences-events/2014-local-and-regional-food-summit.aspx

A special Meet the Farmer/Meet the Buyer function will take place in the afternoon.  We have several buyers attending and some of them include Mariano’s, U.S. Foods, Local Foods, Inc., Schnucks, County Market, Testa Produce, Standard Market, CH Robinson, Medici’s Restaurant, Whole Foods, and more. Buyers will be looking for all types of products such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, value-added products, nuts, and more.

 

2014 Local and Regional Food Summit

Planned Speakers

WELCOME

Mary Beth Trakinat, Vice President of Advancement, Heartland Community College

LOCAL AND REGIONAL FOOD OVERVIEW

Cynthia Haskins, Manager of Business Development and Compliance, Illinois Farm Bureau

ILLINOIS PRODUCTS

Kendra Schilling, Local Food Liaison, Illinois Department of Agriculture

HOW TO MARKET YOUR FAMILY’S SECRET RECIPE AT FARMERS’ MARKETS, GROCERY STORES, AND RESTAURANTS

Zina Murray, Owner, Logan Square Kitchen

OVERVIEW OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION PROGRAM

Dr. George Czapar, Associate Dean and Director of University of Illinois Extension and Outreach, Ron Duncan, Extension Educator, Community and Economic Development and

Bill Davison, Extension Educator, Small Farms and Local Food Systems

THE DEMAND FOR LOCAL FOOD AT GROCERY STORES

Steve Jarzombek, Vice President of Produce at Roundy’s (Corporate Headquarters for Mariano’s)

GETTING STARTED SELLING FRESH PRODUCE TO FOODSERVICE DISTRIBUTORS

Joan Daleo, President, Ole Tyme Produce, Inc.

WHAT DOES A MICRO-FOOD HUB PROJECT AND SERVING FRESH SWEET CORN IN SCHOOL HAVE IN COMMON?

Brad Uken, Manager, Champaign County Farm Bureau, Champaign, IL., and Roman Fox, Agriculture Teacher, Rantoul Public Schools

LOCAL FARMER APPEARS ON ABC TELEVISION NETWORK’S SHARK TANK

Dave Alwan, Owner, Echo Valley Meats

HOMEGROWN BY HEROES™

Michael O’Gorman, Executive Director, Farmers’ Veteran Coalition

Ben Shaffar, Director of Business Development, Kentucky Department of Agriculture

FORMING A LOCAL FOOD HUB DISTRIBUTION BUSINESS

Evan Smith, Chief of Operations, Cherry Capital Foods

WHOLESALE SUCCESS: GROW YOUR SKILLS, GROW YOUR CONNECTIONS, GROW YOUR BUSINESS!

Jim Slama, Founder and President, Familyfarmed.org

HOW DO RESTAURANTS AND INSTITUTIONS RECEIVE THEIR FRESH AND FROZEN PRODUCTS?

Paula J. Bruck, Director National Accounts, Healthcare & Education, U.S. Foods, Streator, IL

OPENING UP THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN FARMERS AND BUYERS

Dianne Feasley, Registered Dietitian, Associate Director, and Matt Horton, Executive Chef of Campus Dining, Illinois State University

MEAT LABELING AND RAW MILK UPDATE

Jim Fraley, Livestock Program Director, Illinois Farm Bureau, Bloomington, IL

ASSESSING BARRIERS TO COOPERATIVE FORMATION AND OVERALL SUCCESS IN COMMUNITY AGRICULTURE ENTERPRISES

Christopher D. Merrett, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, Western Illinois University

MEET THE FARMERS, MEET THE BUYERS NETWORKING EVENT (3:15-5:00 PM) (farmers and buyers only)

NETWORKING AND WINE TASTING

Presented by the The Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association

PORTRAIT OF A SOLDIER

The Portrait of a Soldier exhibit is a traveling display of hand-sketched portraits of fallen service members from Illinois who have been killed since September 11, 2001 in the Global War on Terror and will be on display during the Summit. Artist Cameron Schilling, a Mattoon native, drew the first portrait in August 2004, after Army SPC Charles Neeley, also of Mattoon, was killed in Iraq. Schilling gave the sketch to SPC Neeley’s parents to convey his sympathy for their loss. In October 2005, while a student at Eastern Illinois University, Schilling decided to draw a portrait of every Illinois service member who has fallen during the Global War on Terror. The portraits are copies of the original, which has been given to the fallen soldiers next of kin. The exhibit travels throughout the state of Illinois.

 

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The Local Calendar 10/15/14 Huckleberry, Graze Golden Delicious, Food Swap, The Northman Pop-Up, Fund A Farmer, Green Pumpkins, A Mostly Veggie Affair

By
Posted: October 15, 2014 at 10:06 am

IndiancornCornAmaizeBeetsFult

The corn pictured above is pretty a-maizing and can be found on the tables of Nichols Farms at the Green City, Division Street, MCA and Daley Plaza market to name a few. The colors are real and the variety is called glass gem, some call it stained glass or Indian corn. “Glass Gem corn is a stunning variety selected by Carl Barnes, a part-Cherokee farmer and breeder, from several traditional corn varieties. This variety was entrusted to Native Seeds/SEARCH by one of his students, Greg Schoen.  A non-profit organization, Native Seeds/SEARCH conserves, distributes and documents the adapted and diverse varieties of agricultural seeds, their wild relatives and the role these seeds play in cultures of the American Southwest and northwest Mexico.  Glass Gem corn produces a diversity of gorgeous translucent, jewel-colored ears, each one unique. A type of flint corn, the kernels may be ground into cornmeal or popped.”(From the Glass Gem Corn facebook page) Chicago may be named after the ramp, or wild onion, but we are the land of beets aka beetroot. There are plenty of beautiful beets on the farmers market tables! From a reliable source, I heard that many of the Black Hawks are crazy about beet juice, it is one of their nutritional weapons to enhance their endurance on the ice.

Alas, winter is coming and Green City Market moves indoors to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum on Saturday November 1.We have moved into the produce of fall: apples, squash, sweet potatoes, beets, pumpkins, onions, turnips, and the “prehistoric” looking vegetables, celery root, rutabagas, sun chokes and the “squash on steroids” gourds.

Now on to this week and the weeks ahead: tonight the WBEZ 7th Annual Chef’s Battle at Kendall College, Thursday Huckleberry at Floriolethe Graze Magazine Issue 6 Golden Delicious Release Party on Saturday, The Northman Pop-Up 10/20, Fund A Farmer at Uncommon Ground Devon 10/22, Green Pumpkin Gala 10/23 and 11/13, the always super creative A Mostly Veggie Affair supporting the Green City Market.

                                                                      The Week’s Local Calendar and Beyond

October 15

Chicago - Chicago Ideas Week Food The Path To Your Plate - 12pm – 1:30pm Presented by Edelman

ChicagoWBEZ 7th Annual Chicago Chef Battle - 6pm Kendall College You have a chance to check out Chef Chrissy Camba’s dumplings that will be featured at her up and coming Maddy’s Dumpling House.

ChicagoEataly Wine Around: A Walkaround Tasting With 40 Select Italian Producers 6-10pm

FM – Chicago (Lincoln Park) - Green City Market - 7am – 1pm  For anyone who has the time, visiting the market on a Wednesday is a luxury!!!!!! Chef demonstration 10:30am-11:30am Christine Cikowski and Joshua Kulp Honey Buttered Fried Chicken 

October 16

Chicago(Lincoln Park)- Huckleberry Cookbook Dinner with Zoe Nathan 7-10pm Floriole Cafe and Bakery 7-10pm

FMEli’s & Wright College’s Farmers Market 7-1pm

FM – Chicago - Daley Plaza Farmers Market (Through Oct. 30) 7am-3pm Katherine Ann ConfectionsNichols FarmsRiver Valley Kitchens and more.

FM – Chicago (Uptown) - Uptown Farmers Market at Weiss Memorial Hospital - 7am – 1pm (Through Oct) 4646 N. Marine Drive

October 18

Chicago (Lakeview) - Graze Issue 6 Golden Delicious Release Party – 8pm – 11pm Lincoln & Southport

FM – Chicago (Lincoln Park) -  Green City Market 7am – 1pm Right across from the Hotel Lincoln  Chef demonstration 10:30am – 11:30am Chef Ina Pinkney

Chicago(Lincoln Park)Edible Gardens - Workshop at the Edible Gardens Time to Hit the Hay: Putting the Garden to Bed – 9:30am – 10:30am Bundle up and join us as we put the Edible Gardens to rest for the winter.  We’ll pull the remainder of our plants, lay hay, compost, and tidy our rows.  We will also save seed for next year’s garden, focusing on dried beans and flower seeds.  Please bring pruners if you have them. WORKSHOPS ARE BY RSVP ONLY.  To RSVP please email RSVP@greencitymarket.org and specify which workshops you will attend.  Space is limited.

FMChicago (West Loop) Green City Market Fulton St. Market is located at 222 N. Halsted, on the southwest corner of Halsted and Fulton.  Parking is available along Halsted and in the lot on the southeast corner of Fulton and Halsted

FM – Chicago(Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - 61st Farmers Market ( Through 12/13, goes indoors as of Nov.) 9am – 2pm

Chicago - Growing Power Iron Street Farm Stand - 10am – 3pm 3333 South Iron St. Pick up your salad greens and they are selling at select Walgreens on the south and west sides!!

FM – Elgin - Market Elgin - 9am -1pm 800 North State St.

FM - Evanston - Downtown Evanston Market - (Through 11/8) 7:30am – 1pm Located Intersection of University Place and Oak Ave. (behind Hilton Garden Inn, east of East Railroad Ave.)

FM – La Fox – Heritage Prairie Saturday Farmer’s Market  9am – 1pm 2N308 Brundige Road

FM - Oak Park – Oak Park Farmers Market (through 11/1) - 7am – 1pm 460 Lake St.

October 19

Chicago(Edgewater) - Chicago Food Swap2pm Fearless Food Kitchen Broadway Armory Fieldhouse 2nd floor 5917 N. Broadway

Chicago(Lincoln Park) - Sunday Supper at Floriole Cafe and Bakery  Onion Soup, Coq Au Vin, Tarte Tartin, alas SOLD OUT

FM – Chicago (Pilsen) - The Pilsen Community Market  9-3pm 18th and Halsted

FM – Chicago (Logan Square) - Logan Square Outdoor  Market  (Through 10/26) 10am–3pm

October 20

Chicago(Avondale)The Northman Pop-Up Dinner Series - 7pm Influences of England & Spain Join The Northman as they journey through cider and dishes influenced by England and Spain.  Chef Cleetus Friedman will be joined by The Northman’s Cider Director Brian Rutzen and the rest of the crew for two days of menu testing and overall spreading the gospel of the first cider pub in Chicago. The focus for these dinners will be on ciders of English and Spanish origin.

October 21

FM – Chicago - MCA Farmers Market - 7am – 3pm Downtown at the MCA (Every Tuesday through Oct. 28)

SAVE THE DATE

October 22

Chicago(Edgewater)FACT’s 4th Annual Fund A Farmer Uncommon Ground Devon - At the party, you can enter their raffle, bid on unique online auction items, nosh on locally sourced bites, listen to live bluegrass by The Lantern Kickers, and meet Carole Morison, a Fund-a-Farmer grantee and farmer featured in the acclaimed documentary Food, Inc.  Tickets are $25 and include two drinks and light appetizers. They hope to see you there!

October 23

Chicago(Lakeview) - Green Chicago Restaurant Coalitions Green Pumpkin Gala – 6-9:30pm Greenhouse Loft 2545 W. Diversey

October 25

Champaign – Prairie Fruit Farms O”Best of the Harvest:” Chef Paul Virant, Perennial Virant and Vie Restaurant—Chicago and Western Springs, Illinois  Paul Virant has been at the forefront of the farm to table movement in the Midwest, and we’re honored to welcome him back to our farm for his fifth farm dinner season.

October 29

Chicago(Andersonville) - Cantina de la Granja Fundraiser for the Green City Market 6:30pm at The Wooden Spoon – 5047 N. Clark St.

November 1

Chicago(Lincoln Park)-  The Green City Market starts their indoor season at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

November 8

Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms “Autumnal Bliss:” Chef Bruce Sherman from North Pond Restaurant, Chicago, IL Chef Bruce Sherman has been a long-time supporter of Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery.  He’s bringing former chef and current farmer, Tracey Vowell (former chef at Frontera Grill and current owner of Three Sisters Garden in Kankakee) to craft a delicious, autumnal meal.  His farmer-inspired food is pleasing to the eye AND the palate, and we’re excited to have him here.  

November 7-9

Milwaukee, WI - A Conversation with Will Allen and Michael Pollan

Milwaukee, WIGrowing Home’s National-International Urban & Small Farms Conference - Growing Power is proud to announce another inspiring conference with workshops that will focus on the 2014 theme “Building a Fair Food Economy to Grow Healthy People”. This conference will showcase the best practices and principles in sustainable agriculture and the innovations underway that will grow a healthier tomorrow. Conference workshops will be innovative and multidisciplinary facilitated by growers who are currently operating urban and small farms, as well as those who are working in areas that support this emerging area of agriculture and local economic development. These workshops are intended to enhance the skills and broaden the perspective of participants.

November 8

Chicago(Riverwest)RAMENFEST - 12pm BellyQ Owner and Executive Chef Bill Kim is gathering chefs from around the city  both ramen experts and novices  to prepare their culinary interpretations of the classic dish. Twenty chefs will try their hand at ramen for the event.   A portion of all proceeds from the event and silent auction will benefit Common Threads, a non-profit charity founded by Chicago Chef Art Smith that focuses on educating children about different cultures through food and art.

November 9

Chicago(Lincoln Park) - Middlewest Talks:Dorie Greenspan Cookies and Conversation with a Baking Legend 7-9pm Floriole Cafe and Bakery 1220 West Webster

November 13

Chicago – A Mostly Vegetarian Affair Cheat On Meat or Go Whole Beast – 7-10pm Chop Shop & First Ward Events 2033 W. North Ave.  the Green City Market Junior Board will present its ever-so-local and seasonal fall fundraiser.Throughout the evening, guests will enjoy a walk-around stationed tasting, featuring local chefs’ all-vegetable dishes made with Green City Market vendor produce. Complimenting the array of delicious vegetarian fare, Junior Board member chefs Jared Batson, Scott Manley and Eric Mansavage will also prepare three whole pigs “Three Little Pigs-style,” incorporating straw, wood and bricks both in their cooking methods and for creative inspiration. With all the great local food on offer, attendees will be able to Cheat on Meat or Go Whole Beast!

November 18-20

Chicago – The Chicago Food Film Festival - This event sells out, is always crazy, inventive and tons of fun!!

Need more info on urban ag, gardens, plants, farmers markets, local food, these organizations are good resources for you to bookmark and utilize:  Illinois Stewardship AllianceAdvocates for Urban AgricultureThe Plant ChicagoAngelics Organics Learning CenterWeFarmAmericaThe Peterson Garden Project and The Talking Farm.

November 22

ChampaignPrairie Fruits FarmThe Un-thanksgiving Meal: Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens The colder weather has us pining for our grandmothers’ cooking.  For this menu, we’re travelling back across the Atlantic Ocean to the “Old Country” for some eastern European and German food traditions.  Expect peiroges, pickles, borscht, spaetzle, goulash and more.  We most definitely WON’T be serving turkey!  

December 5

Chicago – Feed Your Mind 2nd Annual Gala Benefit For Pilot Light - Pilot Light welcomes our friends and supporters to gather and enjoy our Feed Your Mind event at the Chicago Cultural Center!  The special evening will feature chef tastings, silent and live auctions, and great music!  Join us at Feed Your Mind to support Pilot Light’s work in Chicago schools to empower children with a healthy relationship with food.

December 6

Champaign – Prairie Fruits FarmWinter Holiday & Solstice Dinner It’s cold outside, but enter the Prairie Fruits Farm Dining Room inside our barn and you’re enveloped in wood stove warmth.  We like to create a festive atmosphere to get everyone in the winter holiday spirit: lots of small plates loaded with comforting holiday foods, warming beverages and great conversations around the communal table.  This dinner brings an end to our farm dinner season and eases us into winter slumber.  We will also have some great farm products available for holiday gift giving.




Let’s Get Back with This Week’s Harvest of Eat Local Links

By
Posted: October 6, 2014 at 3:02 pm

I shall explain my absence in beeting in a post soon.  Until then, enjoy some links from the eat-local-verse.

wpa food poster

 

Eat local frogs.

Chicago area beers score well.

Root cellar renaissance!

Another eat local challenge.

We want to call our swiss cheese, swiss cheese.

Aren’t we all loca-busy?

Eat local Toronto (eh).

Lest you think California is the locavore’s paradise.




The Local Calendar 9/17/14 Chicken Coop Tours, Talking Farm Hullabaloo,The Beaver Dam Pepper Celebration and Lots More! Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
Happy Tamar-Day Monday, September 15th, 2014
Save a Pepper, Eat a Pepper – 3rd Annual Beaver Dam Celebration September 20 at Green City Market Saturday, September 13th, 2014
Easy Ways to Eat Local Later Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
Eat Local Eggplant Monday, September 8th, 2014
Making the Most of the Seasonal Bounty Friday, September 5th, 2014
Weekly Harvest Has a Some Maps and Other Eat Local Links Thursday, September 4th, 2014
Eat Local Fry-Up Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
Chicago Market – A Community Co-op Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Weekly Harvest of Places Where they Are Eating Local + Other Links Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Eat Local Peppers Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
The Local Calendar 8/27/14 Cochon Heritage BBQ Goose Island Brewery Sat., Put Spence Farm Foundation Harvest Feast On Your Calendar Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Another Harvest of Eat Local Links (with Unfortunate Sad News) Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Farmers Markets: Rules, Regulations and Reforms – Webinar on current and future farmers market regulations Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Illinois Stewardship Alliance is celebrating its Annual Harvest Celebration! Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
This Week’s Harvest of Eat Local Links is Today Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
Tomatoes Make Everything Taste Better/Eat Local Tomatoes Now Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
The Many Ways to Put Away Tomatoes Monday, August 11th, 2014
Morton Grove Farmers’ Market 2014 Sunday, August 10th, 2014
A Week and a Day Since We Harvested Our Eat Local Links Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
A 2014 Embarrassment of Local, Organic Riches Friday, August 1st, 2014
Epic Labor Day Feast Heritage BBQ Presented By Goose Island Cochon 555 Friday, August 1st, 2014
Another Harvest of Eat Local Links Monday, July 28th, 2014
The Local Calendar 7/23/14 Angelic Organics Harvest Dinner, TOTN Chicago 8/13, Spence Farm Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
Farmers Markets Celebrated on U.S. Postage Stamps! Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Monday, July 21st, 2014
What’s In Season Now, Whole Roasted Tomatoes Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
This Week’s Harvest of Eat Local Links Monday, July 14th, 2014
July’s Rooftop Movie & Mingle Night at the Weiss Memorial Hospital Rooftop Farm Monday, July 14th, 2014
What’s In Season Now: Stale Bread Thursday, July 10th, 2014
Time Passes, Time to Tamar Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
It’s Another Week of the Summer Harvest of Eat Local Links Monday, July 7th, 2014
About a Betta Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
The Local Calendar 7/2/14 Merry Berry Happy Fourth!! Fermented Foods at Sugar Beet Co-op Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
Just Enough Coals, Plenty of Water and Some Really Old Produce – It’s Tamaring Time Again Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
Start Your Week Off With Our Harvest of Eat Local Links Monday, June 30th, 2014
Tails From The Prairie Friday, June 27th, 2014
The Will to Locavore Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
Governor Quinn Approves Legislation Supporting Farmers Markets Monday, June 23rd, 2014
Getting a Head Start on Your Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Monday, June 23rd, 2014
Good Greens Meeting Agenda 6/26, Grants, Jobs, Resources Friday, June 20th, 2014
Getting to This Week’s Harvest of Eat Local Links – Wood, Cheese and Plenty to Drink Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Forward Local Calendar: Green City Market BBQ, Taste of the Nation, Farm Dinners, Fermented Foods, Permaculture Workshops and More Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
The Local Calendar 6/18/14 Meet The Market Kinmont, Support Spence Farm at BrownTrout, Moody Tongue debut Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
Green City Market Announces Chef Lineup for Their Annual BBQ July 17 Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
If It’s Thursday There Must Be an Interesting Speaker at Eli’s Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
Time Again for Our Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Monday, June 9th, 2014
Wine To Water™, Support the Right to Clean Water and Taste Top Wine Picks At The Same Time Monday, June 9th, 2014
We Need You To Sign This Petition Today!!! Armchair Advocacy for Good Cheese! Thursday, June 5th, 2014
Be a Local Food Star Today! Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
The Local Calendar 6/4/14 What Is Your Favorite Market? Piggy Benefit at Big Jones Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
Only One Day Off from a Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014
Local Flavors – Downstate Farm-to-Table Series of Lunch and Dinner Events Kicks off Today Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014
What Irv Gets Right Friday, May 30th, 2014
The End of the Lazy Locavore and the Return of Tamarday Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
Illinois General Assembly Approves Smarter Rules for Farmers Markets Legislation Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
I Keep on Harvesting Your Eat Local Links Tuesday, May 27th, 2014
The NRA Show 2014 Some Local, Sustainable Light Amid All The Main Stream Food Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
The Local Calendar 5/21/14, Memorial Day, The Start of the “Summer” Market Season Wednesday, May 21st, 2014
Deadline for Applications Alma MBA Food and Wine June 30th Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
On a Roll, The Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Monday, May 19th, 2014
A Streak of Two – The Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Monday, May 12th, 2014
Fearless Food: From Plot to Plate! Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
The Local Calendar 5/7/14 Wednesdays at Green City, Beats at Iron Street, Mother’s Day at Mint Creek Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
A New Streak of Weekly Harvests Starts Now Monday, May 5th, 2014
Fences Make Good Puppies Sunday, May 4th, 2014
New Local Food Systems and Small Farms Program Website Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
Local Calendar 4/30/14 Green City Market Outdoor Opens, Morel Fest, New Wave Brewer’s Bash, Slagel Farm Dinner With Chef Paul Virant Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
Not much space to garden? Try tomatoes in containers! Friday, April 25th, 2014
If It’s This Week, It’s Weekly – Eat Local Links Thursday, April 24th, 2014
The Local Calendar 4/16/14 One Last Soup and Bread, Mint Creek Brunch, Green City Market Wednesday, April 16th, 2014
Vegetables are People Too! Wednesday, April 16th, 2014
Next Weekly Harvest of Flawed Indices & More Eat Local Links Monday, April 14th, 2014
Eat This Friday, April 11th, 2014
Fruit Vendor Wanted for PCC Austin Produce Market Friday, April 11th, 2014
What’s Not in Season is In Season Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
The Local Calendar 4/9/14 CoffeeCon, Cochon 555, Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Cheesemonger, Know Your Cheese! 4th Annual Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival Monday, April 7th, 2014
Each Week, We Harvest Some Eat Local Links for Your Extra Reading Monday, April 7th, 2014
Local Purveyors on the Top of the List for The Sugar Beet Co-op Products Monday, April 7th, 2014
The Talking Farm Holds Fundraiser To Support Expansion of Urban Farm Friday, April 4th, 2014
Asparagus – a Springtime Delight and a Great Addition to Any Garden! Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
Irv and Shelly Welcome You to Fresh Picks + Farmers, Pig Roast & More – Sunday April 6 Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
Jeannie’s Here With the Other Eat Local Links We’ve Harvested Monday, March 31st, 2014