Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Eat Local Strawberries - Now!

The by product of eating locally is eating seasonally. Us locavores will not partake in the ample asparagus or strawberry supplies found around town. Nor would we think of eating a sugar snap about now. Would we?

We would. Well, certainly not the asparagus, but what if there were local strawberries, local snow peas. Now. What if there was someone in Northern Illinois who planted fall crops of these things. Would you eat? Well you can. There's a fella, Bob, he has, it's not a u-pick, rather it's one of those u-pay things (unless he's around). In a room on his property you can find an array of produce he grows, with prices, a scale, and a money box. Be honest!

Here's what he has now:
Red Raspberries Fall weather is their favorite. They are really producing full force now and will continue to do so until the first hard frost (28 degrees or lower).

Strawberries They too like this weather. Likewise they are full of blooms making new berries and will produce abundantly until that hard frost.

Green Beans Beans should be available until the first frost.

Red Potatoes Plenty on hand.

Sweet Potatoes We just started digging and will have an abundant supply.

Tomatoes Plenty available but only until any kind of frost.

Bell Peppers Like tomatoes, any kind of frost will kill these plants. Don’t expect any after frost.

Honey We have an abundant supply obtained from a local bee keeper from whom we rent the hives for pollination purposes. We then buy honey from him for re-sale. We are receiving excellent feed-back from customers regarding this honey.

Egg Plant Plenty available until frost.

Beets Only a very limited supply is left in the field.

Okra We have plenty of okra. Because we want okra when it is still rather small, it is picked 3 times per week.

Snow Peas We planted for a fall crop and it too enjoys the fall weather. Plenty of snow peas available.

Apples There are plenty of Red Delicious apples in storage; however, the supply of Granny Smiths is limited. All other varieties are sold out.

Pumpkins We only have pumpkins available upon advanced notice as we do not grow pumpkins, but they are available from a fellow grower.

Watermelons Like pumpkins, we are obtaining melons from a fellow grower as our supply is exhausted.

He's not too far from the Southern reaches of Chicago. He encourages you to call him (815)428-7382 or cell (815)471-7383 to see what he has, and also to give you good directions. I'd add that when you are driving around this section of Eastern Illinois, you might find a few other farmers with stuff for sale in their front yards. It might not be as unseasonable as Bob's stuff, but it will still be good.

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