Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Without Farmer's Markets this season?

Unlike the beautiful summers, the windy city's winters are not a place local growers like to stand with huge smile promoting their local, nutritious produce. So do we Chicagoans have to turn to corporate, processed grocery store produce? Even Whole Foods, I know my diet of mostly fruits and vegetables would be vastly different.

We are in luck, however. The Green City Market runs all year long. The winter market is held at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum from November 6th to December 22 on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8am to 1pm. (Two great organizations in one place to go for Holiday volunteering too!)

From my own experience, I ordered organic produce boxes from Newleaf Natural Grocery. Not only do they supply you every week or two weeks with a wide assortment of fruits and vegetable to get creative with, they also deliver it your door for $5 extra! That saved me tons of money and time! (it would take forever to drive up to Loyola once a week!)

As I was searching for more options, you always have to give yourself options! I came across an article in the Huffington Post introducing me to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

From Family Farmed.org:
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs offer an opportunity for farmers and consumers to truly connect. CSA farms are usually small enterprises, often family farms, growing food sustainably and committed to fresh,high-quality products. Consumers purchase a share of the farm’s harvest at the beginning of the season. The farmer then delivers periodic (usually weekly) boxes or “shares” containing the best of what the growing season has to offer. Many CSA farms offer opportunities to visit the farm, further enhancing your connection to your food. Here are some CSA programs accessible to Chicagoland residents.

So don't give up this winter and resort to bland produce, grow deeper relations with your food and community. Contact a local farm and see what they are offering this winter. Ask about volunteering opportunities too!

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