Monday, June 11, 2007

In a Hurry for Old Fruit

Oak Park Farmer's Market June 9, 2007

For sad reasons (death of a friend's mother), I could not spend much time at the Oak Park Farmer's Market this week. I did not even bring the camera. A donut, two types of Nicholl's stawberries, ordered my lamb from the Wettsteins, and I was about done. Except for the biggest reason I got up early.

Last week, when also in a rush, I espied keeper apples at the stand of Walt Skibbe. Interestingly enough, also last week, I had some e-mail correspondence with another eat local fan, and she wondered specifically about apples. Apples are the potatoes of fruit. They keep. Well. Especially varieties like red and yellow delicious. With good facilities, the previous crop can stretch almost until the next crop. The local zone for Chicago includes the ample fruit farms of Michigan, where many apples grow and many apples wait. It is common to find Michigan apples off-season at Caputo's, Costco, even Trader Joes (although never (ever) at Whole Foods. My friends at Serrelli's on North Avenue stocked leftover's from Berry's Berries most of the winter. I advised her that local apples were quite available--just pay attention to the label, box or package.

Even more available as Skibbe is selling them right now, along with his strawberries, asparagus and lettuce at the Oak Park Farmer's Market. In general, I'm a fan of his stuff, including his apples. I do not know how long these keepers will last, if they will be there next week, but I'm getting them while I can. The kidz never tire. I really appreciate he kept some of last year's fruit for me this year.

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