Friday, January 11, 2008

How to Eat Local

Cheater's Paradise

Not that I've conducted a comprehensive survey or anything, but the feeling seems to be, you cannot eat local all the time in Chicago. After all, our growing season is just too limited. Farmer's markets do not get rolling until late May and close up shop come October. Cannot be done. Maybe, if you cheat.

What if you have a super-secret source that grows vegetables for you during the dead of winter. She also parcels out crops kept well stored including giant onions and red apples. Is it cheating because she only sells her wares to a few?

Don't care. I'm damn lucky to be friends with Farmer Vicki of Genesis Growers, and I'm damn glad she trucks out to Oak Park even in January. The picture is of the haul. Head lettuce, mesculun, turnips, carrots, celery, rosemary and broccoli all grown in her greenhouses; plus an onion and apples from storage. I cannot be that pissed that she cut but forgot the parsley. It was so nice to sit down the other day, in a the bungalow well insulated from the cold, to a nice, locally grown, just picked, green salad.

Eating local year round in Chicago is not easy. It is possible. It helps, of course, to cheat.


cesar said...

Root cellar, cold box, and careful planning can keep you eating all winter long! But it gets much more difficult when one is limited to buying local versus growing local.

rachael said...

I've been getting the Fresh Picks single box since early December and it's been wonderful. So far everything has been local - including some gold turnips from Genesis this week - and the produce has been lovely.