Using fall and winter vegetables: Broccoli

Posted: November 24, 2015 at 3:04 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


On Monday We Find Tomatoes in Menu Plans for the Week

Posted: November 23, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Eat Local Thanksgiving



november tomatoes


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

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

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

Nibbles n’ Noshes/Mezze

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


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

Main Course

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


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

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

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

Posted: November 20, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Eat Local National Holiday


freshpicks - larger

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

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

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

What’s In Season Now



From the Hoops and other Indoor Means

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

From the Ground

      • Various wild mushrooms – look especially for chicken of the wood/maitake
      • Arugula
      • Lettuce
      • Brussel sprouts
      • Winter squash and pumpkins
      • Cauliflower
      • Fennel
      • Beets
      • Carrots
      • Cabbage
      • Rutabaga
      • Celery root
      • Broccoli
      • Sweet potatoes
      • Onions
      • Leeks
      • Potatoes
      • Radishes, including varieties like daikon and black–these are great storage items
      • Kohlrabi – another item that stores to near infinity
      • Greens including collards, turnips (often with turnip roots attached), and mustard

From the Trees and Bushes

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

Year Round

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

Where to Find Local Food


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

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

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

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


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


More than a few area farmers call Grayslake their home, so it’s no surprise that this market holds strong until December.  Saturdays – 10 am – 2 pm  - Centennial Plaza at the corner of Whitney and Center Streets


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


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


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

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A list of Downstate winter markets

Posted: November 18, 2015 at 8:26 pm

Downstate: You believe Illinois ends at the Ohio River.

Chicago: You believe Illinois ends at Interstate 80.

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

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

Peoria Methodist Atrium Farmers Market

Season: October-December

When: 1st and 3rd Thursdays each month

Time: 2- 5 p.m.

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



Streator Holiday Markets

When: Saturday, November 28th

Time: 10am-4pm

Where: Downtown Streator


Springfield Holiday Farmers Market

When: Saturday, Dec. 19th

Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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


Downtown Bloomington Indoor Markets

Season: December-April

When: 3rd Saturday of every month

Time: 10 a.m – 1 p.m.

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


Urbana Holiday Markets

Season: November 14-December 19 (six weeks)

When: Every Saturday morning

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

Where: Inside Lincoln Square in downtown Urbana


Urbana Middle Markets

Season: January-April

When: 3rd Saturday of every month

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

Where: Inside Lincoln Square in downtown Urbana


Carbondale Community Farmers Market

Season: Winter Indoor Market begins Nov. 7th

When: Saturdays

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

Where: Carbondale Community High School, Walnut Street Entrance


Some information provided by the Illinois Stewardship Alliance

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The Challenges of the Season this Menu Monday

Posted: November 16, 2015 at 11:10 am

Eat Local Problems

november roasted peppers

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

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

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

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

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

Posted: November 13, 2015 at 10:54 am

To Continue to Eat Local


winter radish

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

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

What’s In Season Now


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

From the Hoops and other Indoor Means

      • lettuces
      • spinach
      • kale, chard and other greens

From the Ground

      • Various wild mushrooms – look especially for chicken of the wood/maitake
      • Sweet peppers – although the harvests are done, you may be able to find some
      • Hot peppers – ditto
      • Tomatoes, including green tomatoes – ditto!
      • Arugula
      • Lettuce
      • Brussel sprouts
      • Winter squash and pumpkins
      • Cauliflower
      • Fennel
      • Beets
      • Carrots
      • Cabbage
      • Rutabaga
      • Celery root
      • Sweet potatoes
      • Onions
      • Leeks
      • Potatoes
      • Radishes, including varieties like daikon and black–these are great storage items
      • Kohlrabi – another item that stores to near infinity
      • Greens including collards, turnips (often with turnip roots attached), and mustard

From the Trees and Bushes

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

Year Round

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

Where to Find Local Food

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


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

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

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

St. John, Indiana

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


More than a few area farmers call Grayslake their home, so it’s no surprise that this market holds strong until December.  Saturdays – 10 am – 2 pm  - Centennial Plaza at the corner of Whitney and Center Streets


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


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

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Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links

Posted: November 12, 2015 at 11:13 am


Eat local, and we mean local!

Good news on local school lunches.

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

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

Start ‘em young.

But where’s the recipe for snake head gourd?

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Really Big List of Chicago Area Winter Markets

Posted: November 9, 2015 at 10:01 pm

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


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

Chicago and Suburbs (one-time markets)

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


Sat, Nov 7, 9 to 1 – Chicago/Pullman

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


Sat, Nov 21, 9 to 1 – Geneva

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


Sun, Nov 22, 10 to 2 – Naperville

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


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

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


Sat, Jan 9, 9 to 1 – Oak Park

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


Sun, Jan 17, 10 to 2 – Lombard

Calvary Episcopal Church, 105 W Maple St, Lombard 60148


Sat, Jan 23, 9 to 1 – Park Ridge

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


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

Zion Lutheran Church, 8455 S Stony Island, Chicago 60617


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

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


Sat, Feb 13, 9 to 1 – Arlington Heights

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


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

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


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

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


Sat, Mar 5, 9 to 1 – Chicago/Beverly

Beverly Unitarian Church, 10244 S Longwood Dr, Chicago 60643


Sat, Mar 12, 9 to 1 – Bolingbrook

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


Sun, Mar 13, 10 to 2 – Palatine

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


Sat, Mar 19, 9 to 1 – Oak Park

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


Chicago/Andersonville (monthly)

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


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

Chicago/Beverly (weekly)

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

Chicago/Hyde Park-Woodlawn (irregular schedule)

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

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


Chicago/Lincoln Park (irregular schedule)

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


Chicago/Logan Square (weekly)

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


Chicago/Rogers Park (monthly, irregular schedule)

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

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


Elgin (one-time)

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

Sun, 12 to 3, Nov 8


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


Evanston (irregular schedule)

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


Frankfort (weekly)

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


Geneva (weekly)

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

Sat, 9 to 1, through mid-May


Grayslake (weekly)

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

Sat, 10 to 2, through Dec 19


Homewood (monthly)

Marie Irwin Center, 18120 Highland Ave, Homewood 60430         

Last Sat, 9 to 12, Jan through Mar

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


Morton Grove (one-time)

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

Sat, 9 to 2, Dec 5, Feb 6


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

Palatine (one-time)

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

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


Palatine (bi-monthly)

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


Woodstock (weekly)

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

Sat, 9 to 1, through April




brussels and rutabegas

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

Posted: November 9, 2015 at 10:24 am

Eat Local Carrots


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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted: November 6, 2015 at 11:14 am


Eat local food fights.

Tough nut to open, but it’s local.

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

Eating local meat has a cost.

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

Better eating through fairer farming, we love Chef Andreas.

Can we ever change a broken food system?

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

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

Posted: November 6, 2015 at 9:29 am

12187711_487380801443406_3210034745102139832_ngourdsFreedom ranger

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Local Calendar

November 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

FM - Evanston Downtown Evanston Farmers Market -(last outdoor market)  7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Intersection of University Place and Oak Ave. (just east of East Railroad Ave.) Free parking is available in the adjacent 1800 Maple Avenue Self Park

November 8

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

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

November 9

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

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

November 10

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

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

November 11-13

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

November 12

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

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

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

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

November 13

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

November 14

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

FM - Chicago (Hyde Park/Woodlawn) - 61st Farmers Market Outdoor (Through Dec. 19) 9am -2pm 61st and Dorchester Accepting Senior Coupons  and doubling LINK up to $25 The Chicago Southside’s premier farmers market, straddling the Hyde Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods.

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

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

November 15

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

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

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

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

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

November 17

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

November 18

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

November 20-23

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

November 20

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

November 21

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

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

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

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

November 22

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

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

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

November 25

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

November 26

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

November 28

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

December 5

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

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

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

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

December 13

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

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Help Us Grow Young Farmers!

Posted: November 4, 2015 at 10:14 am

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



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

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

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





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

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

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

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



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


From the Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network  (CISFN) Newsletter

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Illinois Stewardship Alliance bids farewell to Wes King

Posted: November 3, 2015 at 10:13 am


After six years of service the Illinois Stewardship Alliance is saying farewell to Wes King. Wes has served as Executive Director for the past three years.  As Executive Director, Wes oversaw a growing organization and, representing the Illinois Stewardship Alliance working with legislators, other governmental representatives and other groups, he was a prime mover behind many legislative and policy changes in the area of local and sustainable agriculture in Illinois. Among his accomplishments include,


  • Helped in the passage of legislation to create scale and risk appropriate rules for farmers markets that are friendlier to small farmers, including the creation of a Farmers Market Food Sampling Certificate program that will allow farmers and food entrepreneurs to provide food samples to the public at farmers markets throughout Illinois.
  • Helped to successfully secure changes that make the rules more scale appropriate and less onerous, and also successfully organized a legislative advocacy effort to stop legislation that would have banned raw milk sales in Illinois.
  • Served as President of the Governor-appointed Illinois Local Food, Farms and Jobs Council
  • Led efforts to support and fund the formation of the Band of Farmers: Chicagoland CSA Marketing Coalition.


Wes King Photo: Illinois Stewardship Alliance

Wes King
Photo: Illinois Stewardship Alliance


Previously serving as Policy Coordinator for the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Wes was instrumental in working with state legislators in getting legislation passed that is instrumental to Illinois’ local and sustainable agriculture. This includes Senate Bill 840, the Illinois Local Food Entrepreneur and Cottage Food Operation Act, also known as the Cottage Food Bill. The Cottage Food Bill was a step in an ongoing effort to create policies that support the burgeoning local food movement. Wes also led efforts to expand the law in 2015.

In 2013, along with Illinois Environmental Council, he helped in the reform of composting laws that paved the way for the City of Chicago to adopt new ordinances in the spring of 2015 that support composting at urban agriculture and community gardens sites in the City of Chicago.

During his tenure, Wes also served as co-chair of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s Marketing, Food Systems and Rural Development Committee. In January 2016, he will be starting a new job with the organization in Washington, D.C. as a Policy Specialist working on Marketing, Food Systems and Rural Development issues. Previous Executive Director, Lindsay Record, will return to the role as Executive Director of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance after Wes departs.

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Composting: Why it’s easy and why it matters

Posted: November 2, 2015 at 9:23 pm

Photo courtesy Andersonville Development Corporation/The Urban Canopy

Photo courtesy Andersonville Development Corporation/The Urban Canopy

For some city-dwellers, composting may seem like something reserved for agrarian utopias. Though it has been around for ages – some say it has origins in ancient Mesopotamia, Rome and Greece – in recent times, communities have been slower to realize its environmental importance.


Part of why this concept may seem far-fetched to Chicagoans is that we have no citywide composting program. Seattle – unsurprisingly – fines residents and businesses that have more than 10 percent food waste or recyclables in their garbage. But this concept has also been embraced on the East Coast. The NYC Compost Project allows residents to purchase one of a selection of sanctioned compost bins that can be dropped off at sites throughout the city.

That being said, changes to city and state laws in recent years have given Chicago-area residents and businesses more options for pursuing composting on their own. The changes have also given rise to composting via local urban farming programs and community gardens.

Although Chicago may not have citywide composting, some suburbs – such as Oak Park, Evanston and Naperville – have seasonal or year-round composting programs that residents can enroll in.


As part of its eco-Andersonville program, the Andersonville Development Corporation has partnered with The Urban Canopy, offering composting to residents and businesses. The program began in February 2014.

“We’re trying to create a network of small-scale composting all over Chicago where these scraps go back into food production in some way,” said Alex Poltorak, founder of the Urban Canopy, an urban agricultural organization. “We have our farm in Englewood, another in Bronzeville and some school and community gardens to execute composting year-round.”

Poltorak said Andersonville’s program – which started with between 60 and 70 members – now has 150.

“We’ve enrolled even more households. The program is still expanding,” said Michael Ashkenasi, director of sustainability programs, Andersonville Development Corporation.

Poltorak said changes to city/state zoning and reclassification of food waste were also necessary, as food scraps were formerly considered toxic waste. Poltorak said these changes have encouraged many collection services to emerge who may have otherwise been hesitant to violate city and state laws.

“Places come out of the woodwork now that there is less risk involved with this,” he said.

In fact, The Urban Canopy collaborates with Nature’s Little Recyclers, a red worm farm in the city’s Back of the Yards neighborhood. Worms feed on compost material, recycling it into chemical-free castings that can be reused as fertilizer.

Poltorak created The Urban Canopy after working on a fellowship with Chicago Public Schools.

“It was the first time I learned that a lot of kids get their only meal of the day at school. A lot of kids aren’t graduating high school and I thought that food was one of those issues,” he said. “You can’t often reach a kid that’s struggling with food security. I really wanted to fight that.”


Here’s a breakdown of Chicago’s composting laws – minus the legal jargon.

-WHAT CAN I COMPOST? Organic waste! Those leftovers in your fridge that you didn’t get to. Landscape clippings. This does NOT include utensils, packaging or containers from food. Feed those to your recycle bin.

-WHAT DO I PUT IT IN? Compost material – which cannot exceed 5 cubic yards – must be stored in a fully-closed container with air holes no larger than 1/4 of an inch. This is important, as strong odors can attract furry neighbors – and annoy your human ones. If you want to compost a larger amount, fill out an application with the city.

The city also requires special permitting for: meat, bones, fish, dairy products, grease, grains and legumes. Obviously – don’t put sewage and/or hazardous waste in there.

There are a variety of containers you can use – check out Melissa Graham’s Local Beet post with some great options – and they can be as simple or technologically advanced as you please, so long as they adhere to the city’s specifications. If you choose to go through a retrieval service, check if they provide you with a container.

-MAINTENANCE: Don’t let it sit in water (that can get gross). But make sure to mix the materials to maintain a moisture level of 40-60 percent. Here’s how the city measures that.

-WHAT IF I’M A BUSINESS? Commercial composting in Chicago requires permitting. Read more here.

Regardless of whether you compost via a collection service or on your own, composting is a small and attainable change humans can make to their waste disposal habits that could help preserve the well-being of our planet. The process not only diverts waste from landfills, but produces nutrient-rich fertilizer for regrowth.

The Urban Canopy:
City Farm:
Collective Resource:
Green City Market:
Illinois Food Scrap Coalition:
University of Illinois Extension:

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The Return of Inventory on the Menu this Monday

Posted: November 2, 2015 at 5:25 pm

Eat Local November and Beyond


november peppers


Roast peppers. That’s what you do in the November kitchen, right? Well, after roasting cauliflower and zucchini, and slow cooking some broccoli with the secret ingredient (a/k/a anchovies) this weekend , I have some time blocked off this week for roasting peppers. That’s how I’m getting this Local Family ready for winter.


“I like that list you do of all the stuff you’re storing.”


That was Michael Morowitz to me many years ago when we were planning and establishing the Beet. Perhaps, in retrospect he was saying do less recipes and more lists, this being well before he sold his idea of building a website around 11 ways to list lists to Buzzfeed, but regardless of the statements deeper meanings, I always relish the fact that someone noticed. People ask, people have asked, how can you remain a Local Family given our climate. The answer never changes. We find things to buy year-round, and we store local food to have year-round. Getting that answer and wallowing in the details, though, are two different things. Yes it can be done. Look how it is being done. I will add, the mix between stored and store bought changes year to year, and has especially altered with the launch a few years ago of Tomato Mountain‘s twelve month CSA. Things will be even different this year with the addition of Local Foods and Sugar Beet-Coop to the mix. Put it this way, we have no good excuses not to be a Local Family.

november tomatoes

There is such a thing as keeper tomatoes, but the time we tried doing that it did not really work. Most of then turned mushy or otherwise rotten while we were still using up our “regular” tomatoes.   Tops in my inventory then are a whole bunch of tomatoes to be eaten.  This is one of three plates we have in the dining room of tomatoes.  We have the final tomatoes that came in our CSA, and the last two weekends, I made a point of being generous in my tomato purchases.  Yes, a freeze hit a few weeks ago stopping tomato production.  That freeze did not kill what was already ready.  Stocking up may seem like an exercise in being ready for the worst.  I guess the worst to me is having no more tomatoes.

The emphasis of my inventory remains backwards, towards warmer weeks.  It is there because I never tire of peppers, cukes and zukes, and any decent tomato.  It is also there, as today’s El Nino driven weather shows, because it’s really not time yet to put-away.  We have no root cellar yet.  Our inventory right now is spread around the bungalow and out to the garage.  Besides the tomatoes, here’s what else we have put aside right now–that is here’s what we have right now that’s meant for the longer term; there’s things like eggplants, collard greens, lettuce that we plan on eating soon:

Dining Room

  • Tomatoes – 3 platters worth
  • Acorn squash – 5
  • Spaghetti squash – 1
  • Bell peppers – 1 large platter
  • Hot peppers – 1 big bowl

Kitchen – All in decent quantities

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Shunkyo radishes
  • Beets

Basement Canning Room

  • Onions/Garlic/Shallots – A lot
  • Potatoes – about 10 lbss

Basement Fridge

  • Fortune apples (for baking) – 12
  • Kohlrabi – about 8 good ones
  • Hakuri turnips – tons
  • Red cabbage – 2
  • White cabbage – 1


  • Grapes – 1/2 bushel
  • Apples – 1 bushel  of various keeper apples


  • Whole roasted tomatoes – Tomato Mountain
  • Various jams and jellies
  • Misc items in freezer – We have not made any efforts to freeze vegetables this year.  I’ll come back to this in another post.

What have you put aside for later eating?

*One of the Local Family works for Tomato Mountain.

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What’s In Season is Time to Say Goodbye and Where to Do It – Sponsored by Vera Friday, October 30th, 2015
How the West was Local Thursday, October 29th, 2015
The About Every Week’s Harvest of Eat Local Links Tuesday, October 27th, 2015
On the Menu This Monday, the Tastes of Summer Monday, October 26th, 2015
What’s Still in Season and Where You Can Still Find It – Sponsored by Vera Friday, October 23rd, 2015
What’s In Season Now: Your Root Cellar Tuesday, October 20th, 2015
A Crop of Midwestern Cuisine in The Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Friday, October 16th, 2015
What’s In Season and Where to Find It Are Changing – Sponsored by Vera Friday, October 16th, 2015
Screw Fall Flavors – Eggplant, Peppers on the Menu this Monday Monday, October 12th, 2015
The Inside Scoop: A Webinar For Working with the Media to Tell Your Farming Story Friday, October 9th, 2015
The Local Calendar 10/9/15 Time to Think Turkey, Feed Your Mind, TOTN, Pumpkin Season Friday, October 9th, 2015
Local Cheese in the Guardian and Other Things to See – Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Wednesday, October 7th, 2015
You Can Make the Lunches a Lot More Local Than I Did Tuesday, October 6th, 2015
UPDATED! – Think About What’s In Season Now and Where to Find It – Sponsored by Vera Friday, September 25th, 2015
This Week There’s a Harvest of Eat Local Links Thursday, September 24th, 2015
Growing the Ground: My Weekend on an Organic Farm Retreat, Part 2 Monday, September 21st, 2015
What’s In Season Can Be Had Later & Where to Find It – Sponsored by Vera Friday, September 18th, 2015
Chicagoland Brewery Updates Wednesday, September 16th, 2015
Downstate fundraiser benefits local food awareness Tuesday, September 15th, 2015
Growing the Ground: My Weekend on an Organic Farm Retreat – Part One Tuesday, September 15th, 2015
Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Friday, September 11th, 2015
The Local Calendar 9/10/15 Know Your Funding, Farm Aid 30, Spence Harvest Feast, Chicago Gourmet, Heritage BBQ, TOTN Thursday, September 10th, 2015
Lagunitas – Craft Beer’s Next Phase? Wednesday, September 9th, 2015
Making the Most of the Seasonal Bounty Wednesday, September 9th, 2015
Let’s Give Every Child Healthy Food Every Day! Get to the Taste of the Nation 10/11 Tuesday, September 8th, 2015
Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Friday, September 4th, 2015
Local Food Still in Season and Where to Find It – Sponsored by Vera Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
The Beet Goes on a Retreat Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
RECYCLED – The Many Ways to Put Away Tomatoes Tuesday, September 1st, 2015
Cochon 555 Heritage Breed BBQ is Back! Sunday 9/27 Morgan Manufacturing Monday, August 31st, 2015
Pining for Peppers on Menu Monday Monday, August 31st, 2015
Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Sunday, August 30th, 2015
It’s Busy Season – What’s in Season and Where to Find it Sponsored by Vera Friday, August 28th, 2015
What’s In Season Now – Local Food – (Hey John B) Thursday, August 27th, 2015
What’s in Season Now – Preserving the Seasonal Bounty – Learn How Aug 29 with Angelic Organics Learning Center Wednesday, August 26th, 2015
RECYCLED – Damien Casten’s Thoughts on Canning Garden Tomatoes Wednesday, August 26th, 2015
On the Menu This Monday, Peppers That Taste More Serbian? Monday, August 24th, 2015
We’re up to 148 top breweries in Chicagoland! Monday, August 24th, 2015
The Harvest is in Season and Where You Can Find it – Sponsored by Vera Friday, August 21st, 2015
The Little Over a Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Wednesday, August 19th, 2015
What’s In Season Now – Corks & Crayons – Sunday August 23 Wednesday, August 19th, 2015
Chicago Food Trucks: Who’s Locally sourcing? Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
Menu Monday has Pepper Possiblitities Monday, August 17th, 2015
Prepping the CSA Box Friday, August 14th, 2015
Many Local Tomatoes in Season and Where to Find Them – Sponsored by Vera Chicago Thursday, August 13th, 2015
It’s Grand! – Official Opening of Sugar Beet Coop Thursday, August 13th, 2015
RECYCLED: Eat Local Heirloom Tomatoes Wednesday, August 12th, 2015
Eat Local Cheese and Call It Turkish Breakfast Tuesday, August 11th, 2015
All is Not Gorgeous on Menu Monday Monday, August 10th, 2015
From Mercado to Market Saturday, August 8th, 2015
The Local Calendar 8/7/15 Runoff The Movie, Veggie Fest 8/15-16, Purple Asparagus 8/23, Food & Wine Festival 8/28-29 Friday, August 7th, 2015
We Harvest Jeannie and More in this Week’s Summer Bounty of Links Friday, August 7th, 2015
The 2015 Garden Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
Accelerate the Good Food Movement – Are You a Good Food Business Who Wants to Launch or Expand Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
We’re Number 2 – Eat Local Cheese Tuesday, August 4th, 2015
Smilin’ with the Bros at Smylie Bros. Tuesday, August 4th, 2015
The Best Place to Start Monday, August 3rd, 2015
Celebrate 16th Annual National Farmers Market Week! Monday, August 3rd, 2015
Neat Things in Boston; David Hammond, Visionary; Good Work Stewarts, and More – Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Friday, July 31st, 2015
HB2486 Cottage Food Expansion Bill – Signed into Law by Governor Rauner Friday, July 31st, 2015
Rain of Ruin Downstate Thursday, July 30th, 2015
Sugar Beet’s In Season, What Else and Where to Find It – Sponsored by Vera Thursday, July 30th, 2015
The Best Way to Eat Your Vegetables Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
NCR-SARE Announces 2016 Farmer Rancher Grant Call for Proposals Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Eat Local Cheesecake – July 30, August 1 & 2 Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Menu Monday Writes Itself Monday, July 27th, 2015
What Do You Know in this Week’s Harvest of Eat Local Links Friday, July 24th, 2015
What’s In Season and You Can Find It at the Regulars or Not – Sponsored by Vera Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
On Menu Monday It’s Apple Season Monday, July 20th, 2015
But Now We Have a Bigger Tent – Additional Tickets Available for Angelic Organics Peak Harvest Farm – July 25 Monday, July 20th, 2015
The Great Tomato You Won’t Have and Other Eat Local Links Friday, July 17th, 2015
What’s In Season Now, Other Markets – Sponsored by Vera Chicago Thursday, July 16th, 2015
How to Tell If You Have a New Potato – RECYCLED Thursday, July 16th, 2015
Proudly Proud to Announce Another Sponsor – Chicago Market – Join Their Proud Independent Owners Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
A Lot of Fruit and Beet Greens Cooked Monday, July 13th, 2015
It Can Grow in Chicago and It Can Use Your Support Friday, July 10th, 2015
The Insidious Japanese Beetle Thursday, July 9th, 2015
Not all the Local News Comes from Here in This Week’s Harvest of Eat Local Links Thursday, July 9th, 2015
The Prophecies of the Local Beet – Using Recycled Freezer Materials Thursday, July 9th, 2015
The Local Calendar 7/9/15 LOCAL FOODS Open For Business, GCM BBQ 7/16, AUA Summer Soiree 7/23, Sugar Beet Opens 7/31 Thursday, July 9th, 2015
Everything I Knew About Storing Herbs Was Wrong!! Tuesday, July 7th, 2015
Did Not Dress the Beets and Other Things Done in the Kitchen Last Week Monday, July 6th, 2015
What’s In Season and You Can Find it on the 4th of July – Sponsored by Vera Chicago Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
It’s Not all Good News in Our Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
What’s In Season Now – Greek Salad (Kinda Recycled) Tuesday, June 30th, 2015