An Early Summer Ark of Taste Inspired Salad

As you may recall, Chef Katie Simmons (@chefkatiesimmons) cooked up a lovely end of season Brandywine tomato recipe that we featured on our blog as we got ready to say goodbye to outdoor farmers markets last year. Now that open air farmers markets are becoming part of our weekly routines again, Katie will be collaborating with us once again on some go-to recipes that we'll post throughout the season featuring Slow Food Midwest Ark of Taste ingredients. Her first recipe for a Turkey Red Winter Wheat Berry Cherry and Chard Salad is up first. Plus, head over to Katie's site - Plants-Rule, as she breaks down how Slow Food and the Ark of Taste seek to preserve delicious ingredients from extinction. The best way you can help? By eating them, and keeping them on your plates! And this early season salad is the perfect way to get started!


Turkey Red Winter Wheat Berry Cherry and Chard Salad

Turkey Red Winter Wheat Berries are part of the Ark of Taste movement to preserve and protect culturally significant foods that are in danger of extinction. Wheat Berries are the whole form of wheat, and they provide healthy protein and whole grain fiber in this hearty vegan salad. Red chard is braised oil-free with sweet apples, onion, and dried cherries for natural sweetness and fat-free flavor. This has the flavors of winter with the hope for spring color.

Servings: 6           Ready In: 70 minutes           Skill Level: Medium           Yield: 6 cups

Wheat berry cherry and chard salad by Chef Katie Simmons - Healthy, Whole Grain, Oil-Free, Plant-Based Vegan, and utilizing the bounty of the freshest ingredients the beginning of the farmers market season has to offer.  PHOTO COURTESY OF KATIE SIMMONS. SOURCE : PLANTSRULE.COM

Wheat berry cherry and chard salad by Chef Katie Simmons - Healthy, Whole Grain, Oil-Free, Plant-Based Vegan, and utilizing the bounty of the freshest ingredients the beginning of the farmers market season has to offer.

PHOTO COURTESY OF KATIE SIMMONS. SOURCE : PLANTSRULE.COM

Ingredients:

1.5 cups Turkey Hard Red Winter Wheat Berries

1 medium onion, diced

1 bunch chard, chopped

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup dried cherries

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Procedure

Gather ingredients. Cook the Turkey Hard Red Winter Wheat Berries: place the wheat berries in a medium pot with 4 1/5 cups of water. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the wheat berries "pop," about 60 minutes. (Tip : Soft wheat berries usually cook faster than hard wheat berries, usually tender in just 30-40 minutes.) Next, braise the apples: heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. (No oil necessary.) Peel and dice the onion. Core and dice the apple. When the skillet is hot, add the onions and apples. Let sear for a few minutes, to caramelize and bring out the natural sugars.

Whole grain wheat berries will "pop" open when done cooking. It will look like small balls, resembling large couscous, and should be tender like rice.  PHOTO COURTESY OF KATIE SIMMONS. SOURCE : PLANTSRULE.COM

Whole grain wheat berries will "pop" open when done cooking. It will look like small balls, resembling large couscous, and should be tender like rice.

PHOTO COURTESY OF KATIE SIMMONS. SOURCE : PLANTSRULE.COM

To prepare the chard: while the onions and apples sear, strip the chard leaves away from the stems. Set aside the leaves. Trim the chard stems and dice into 1/2-inch pieces. Rinse the diced chard stems under running water to wash off any grit. Roughly chop the chard leaves into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. Stir the caramelizing apples and onions every few minutes to ensure even browning. If the mixture seems like it's starting to burn, turn down your heat. You're looking for brown, caramel coloring. Once the apples and onions are brown all over, add the chard stems and let cook for 5-7 minutes. After the chard stems have some brown on the edges and the mixture starts to stick to the pan, add the cider vinegar. Using a spoon, scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the dried cherries followed by the chopped chard leaves. Cover and cook until the leaves are tender, at least 5 minutes. Let this keep cooking until your wheat berries are tender, up to 40-50 minutes more. Add water, as needed, to prevent burning. When the wheat berries are tender, they will plump up and "burst" open. Turn off the heat. When the chard leaves are tender, remove the lid. Let most of the liquid cook off. You want a fairly dry mixture. Combine the wheat berries with the chard mixture, walnuts, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and taste to adjust seasoning as desired.

Enjoy warm or at room temperature!

Chef's tip : You can use beautiful red chard for great color to compliment the dried cherries. You can also swap-in other dried fruits like apricot, golden raisins, and dried pears. Use yellow or white chard to compliment the color of dried fruit you prefer.  PHOTO COURTESY OF KATIE SIMMONS. SOURCE : PLANTSRULE.COM

Chef's tip : You can use beautiful red chard for great color to compliment the dried cherries. You can also swap-in other dried fruits like apricot, golden raisins, and dried pears. Use yellow or white chard to compliment the color of dried fruit you prefer.

PHOTO COURTESY OF KATIE SIMMONS. SOURCE : PLANTSRULE.COM

Learn more about the catalog of ingredients listed on the Ark of Taste here.

Love the recipe? Follow along with personal chef, Katie Simmons (and learn why Plants-Rule) via the links below!

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / Pinterest / YouTube

An End of Summer Tomato Recipe

Looking for a recipe to use up the last bits of tomatoes you gathered from the farmers market last weekend? The following recipe was created by Chef Katie Simmons. You can find heirloom varieties of tomatoes (like these Ark of Taste Sudduth Strain Brandywine tomatoes) at your local farmers market. These tomatoes were gathered from the Nichols Farm stand at the Lincoln Park Green City Market. I don't know about you, but after all the deliciousness that was enjoyed  this past weekend at the Farm Roast, I can't wait to get back in kitchen and cook up some everlasting tastes of summer before it slips away.

These tomatoes are one of the many unique foods in danger of extinction. One of the best ways to help prevent this from happening, is to eat them! By eating heirloom varieties and ingredients, livestock and dishes from the ark of taste catalog, you are encouraging producers to grow/raise them - and chefs to incorporate them into their menus. You can learn more about Ark of Taste, the Slow Food movement and what you can do to actively save these ingredients at: Slow Food USA.


BRANDYWINE TOMATOES STUFFED WITH GREEK CAULIFLOWER "RICE"

Juicy Brandywine tomatoes are one of the best-tasting heirloom tomatoes, with an intense, deep flavor. They make the perfect vehicles for this classic vegetarian Greek recipe. In this healthful, gluten-free version, cauliflower replaces traditional rice. It's a true vegetarian delight! 

Servings: 4            Ready In: 20 minutes            Yield: 8 tomatoes

Photo courtesy of Katie Simmons. Source : PlantsRule.com

Photo courtesy of Katie Simmons. Source : PlantsRule.com

INGREDIENTS

8 medium Sudduth Strain Brandywine tomatoes
1 medium head cauliflower
1 small onion
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 Tbsp currants
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS

-Gather ingredients. 

-To prepare the tomatoes: Working over a medium bowl, use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and ribs. Remove as much of the juices and seeds as you can, into the bowl. Place the scooped out tomatoes aside.

-To make the Cauliflower "Rice" Stuffing : trim the green leaves off the cauliflower and roughly cut into large chunks. Set up the grater blade on your food processor, with the wider holes facing up. Place the cauliflower in the opening of the food processor and run through the grater. In a wide pan, toast the pine nuts over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes, just until golden brown. Remove from the heat and place in a large mixing bowl. 

-Place the grated cauliflower into the pan, along with the oregano. Saute over medium heat, 5-7 minutes, just until the cauliflower softens and starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. Stir often to prevent burning. Remove the cauliflower from the pan, adding to the mixing bowl with the pine nuts. Return the pan to the heat.

-Peel and dice the onion. Roughly chop the scooped out tomato ribs. Add the chopped tomato and diced onion to the pan. Cook, partially covered, over medium-high, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and cook off the excess juices for another 3-4 minutes. The tomato onion mixture should have just a little bit of juice, but the onions and tomatoes should be completely soft. Use a spatula to break up any large tomato chunks. 

-Roughly chop the parsley.

-In the large mixing bowl, combine the toasted pine nuts, cauliflower "rice", tomato onion mixture, chopped parsley, currants, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine and taste to adjust seasoning.

-Fill each of the tomatoes with the Cauliflower "Rice" mixture. Use your hands to really compact the mix as tightly as you can. Serve and enjoy!

Chef's Tips: These taste delicious served slightly warm or at room temperature. If served too hot, the fresh flavor of the tomatoes gets lost. You can also make these with short grain brown rice or quinoa.

Photo courtesy of Katie Simmons. Source : PlantsRule.com

Photo courtesy of Katie Simmons. Source : PlantsRule.com


Learn more about the catalog of ingredients listed on the Ark of Taste here.

Love the recipe? Follow along with personal chef, Katie Simmons (and learn why Plants Rule) via the links below!

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr / Pinterest / YouTube

Slow Food Discount Partner Profile : Irv and Shelly's Fresh Picks

For members of Slow Food, you still have time to redeem your discounted order from February's partner - Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks as part of 2016's Year of Slow Food. Irv Cernauskas and Shelly Herman are on a mission to not only support local farms and farmers - but also to ensure that this fresh food is easily accessible to all. Read on to learn more about how they got started and why they keep fighting for good, clean and fair food for all.

What was the idea behind Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks? How did you start?

Our idea was to serve as a partner with local farms to increase the amount of local food reaching Chicago. Farmers often cited the challenges of marketing and distribution, and we thought if we could help on that, they could focus their knowledge and resources on increasing production. We started by visiting farms, and other similar businesses across the U.S. and Canada, then just diving in and "bootstrapping" our own savings and debt to build out our warehouse and website.

What would you be doing right now on a typical workday?

Every day we check in with farmers we know to find out what crops they have available and would be most helpful to their operations to sell to us. We also check our customer orders and make sure we have enough food lined up to fill them. And we make sure our staff has everything they need to get the work done, and help resolve any issues that come up.

What’s the best part about your job? The hardest part?

The best part of our job is the great relationships we have with the families who produce the wonderful food we deliver, and helping our customers make delicious and healthy choices. When farmers tell us how much the support they get from Fresh Picks means to them, and customers tell us how improving their diet has made them feel better, and that their kids are so excited when our deliveries arrive, it makes our day! The hardest part is when things don't go as planned. Like last Saturday, after the wind storm, ComEd lost power to our refrigeration and we had to scramble to protect our food. That wasn't a fun morning.

What do you think is the biggest obstacle for Chicago’s food systems to overcome?

We have to recruit more Chicago residents, to help them see, and taste, the value of local food, and make it easy and fun to vote with their dollars for something better. We have a lot of very loyal customers, but we are just scratching the surface of the potential we see. Big national companies with giant marketing budgets and slick technology challenge our local food system for the attention of consumers.
 

How does your work relate to the Slow Food objectives (good, clean, fair food)?

We are all about making it easy to act on those values.  It can be hard for folks to get to a farmers market or commit to a CSA membership, especially in the winter.  By offering convenience, choice and great customer service, we work to make it possible for more people to have good, clean and fair food a part of everyday life.  Even if they can't meet their farmer face-to-face every week, visitors to our web site can click through a product to see a page with pictures of the families who grow the food, where the farm is located, and descriptions of their practices.  That way they know where there food is coming from, and where their dollars are going, and can feel good about the choices they are making.

What do you think is in store for 2016’s trendiest food item- kale’s successor?

hmmm...my crystal ball says maybe aquafaba. Cauliflower and beef bone broth still seem to be going strong. We always sell out of the bones before any other beef cut!

Why Chicago? If not Chicago, where?

The Central Valley of California, after generations of unsustainable water and soil depletion, and often unfair labor practices, is potentially facing the end of a long run as the green grocer of the nation.  But with abundant water and fertile soil, and a great tradition of family farming, Chicago and our region has a great historical role to reclaim as a center of food production and distribution.  

Is there anything else you’d like us to share about your business?

It is a challenging world out there!  We need all of your members help spreading the word so we can keep on fulfilling our mission.  We are approaching our ten year anniversary and will have an Open House on April 10 at our facility (just off the Edens and Touhy Ave), and we would love to have people come join us to celebrate, sample some delicious chef creations and mingle with farmers.     


Hungry for more? Follow the Fresh Pick's team via the links below.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

Canning Series : Winter Edition Recap

On Saturday, Slow Food Chicago Board Member, Kim Werst led a canning workshop at Kendall College. Participants learned about pickling, preserving, and even took home blueberry preserves they made themselves. Couldn't make it? Relive it via the photos below. Or get to it in your own kitchen with some of our favorite recipes. And don't forget to reference our favs, Pomona's Pectin for extra tips and tricks of the trade. There's truly nothing better than a fruity preserve to remind you of summer in the midst of a midwestern winter. 

****Please note - the linked recipes incorrectly state the use of "2 tbsp" of Pomona's Pectin. This should be adjusted to 2 tsp (as per the Pectin package instructions).****

 

Slow Food Discount Partner Profile : Chef Chris Davies of Homestead on the Roof

Chris_Davies.jpg

The new year is just about upon us. And with another month, comes another local discount partner for Slow Food Chicago members. By becoming a Slow Food member, you are not only showing your support of a good, clean and fair food system - but you are also opening yourself up to being connected with a growing community of those who share your interest in food, the environment and local purveyors who also support this grassroots movement. One of the most tangible ways this sense of connection comes to light, is with the Slow Food Chicago chapter's Year of Slow Food. Recently launched on our website, Year of Slow Food rewards you with a year-round schedule of member discounts available for each of the upcoming 12 months in 2016.

This January, as we enter a new year, members will receive a discount off their total bill at West Town's very own farm to table restaurant, Homestead on the Roof. We had the pleasure of speaking with the restaurant's executive chef, Chris Davies. Read on to learn more about the operation of this rooftop garden restaurant - and to learn what Chef Davies thinks might be kale's successor for trendiest food item of the new year.

What was the idea behind Homestead on the Roof? How did you start?

The idea behind Homestead on the Roof was to bring a unique farm to table experience to the heart of Chicago. The concept is based around our 1,000 square foot garden on the roof and our close relationships with local farmers and artisans.

I started as a Chef de Cuisine in May of 2014. Upon our chefs departure, I slid into his position.

What would you be doing right now on a typical workday?

It could really be anything from prepping for dinner service, menu planning, communicating with various farmers or it could be various office work.

What's the best part about your job? The hardest part?

The best part about my job is definitely teaching and training the staff, watching them grow and surpassing even their own expectations. 

The hardest part of the job is the multitasking aspect of the job.

What do you think is the biggest obstacle for Chicago's food systems to overcome?

I feel the biggest obstacle still relies in educating and empowering the citizens who might not have the resources to always obtain healthy and nutrient rich food.

How does Homestead on the Roof's work relate to the Slow Food objectives (good, clean, fair food)?

I have always been a big believer in purchasing locally and supporting local charitable endeavors and farms.

What do you think is in store for 2016's trendiest food item - kale's successor?

Seaweed or sunchokes.

Why Chicago? If not Chicago, where?

I moved here with my wife in 2009 (she is from the south suburbs). If I wasn't in Chicago, I would probably be living in a smaller city such as Portland (where I am from) or Louisville.

Second favorite Chicago food related social media account to follow? (Can't be first, because of course, SFC is your first favorite.)

Chicago Food Game... it is run by a friend of mine, Corey Nunn.


Hungry for more? Catch up with Chef Davies and the Homestead on the Roof team via the links below.

Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter 

Want in on the discount action? Learn more about becoming a member here. See the full calendar of Year in Slow Food steals and deals here.

Slow Chicagoan Profile : Jen Moore of Meez Meals

The following is a guest blog post by local Chicago writer and illustrator, Emily Torem.

It's that time of year. Life gets - well, busy. And sometimes, even thought you might not like to admit it, our hectic lives (whether during the holidays or not) might get in the way of slowing down to enjoy a quality, healthy, fresh cooked, or even locally sourced meal. Meez Meals founder Jen Moore realized that working parents, busy people and practically everyone in between could relate to this struggle. Her idea, to found a company which delivers prepped and pre-measured ingredients to homes all over Chicago helps scores of busy folks slow down and sit down to a delicious dinner each night with friends and family. Moore's facility is one of the prized few in Chicago to be a Certified Green Restaurant Association location and her mission helps connect subscribers with their food, the people around them, and being present in a fast paced world - something that speaks to the very core of the Slow Food Chicago mission. Read on for our interview with Jen and to learn more about how Meez Meals is helping it's Chicago members reconnect with mealtime. As we close out the year, many of us had the pleasure of gathering with family and friends around a communal table to enjoy a meal together during the holiday season. With the help of companies like Jen's, this act of slowing down and enjoying your food can become habit the whole year through.

How did Meez Meals come about?

I was working in brand management at Unilever when my sister and I were talking about dinner, and what a challenge it is. We grew up with a mother who cooked dinner from scratch for us every night, and we both loved cooking. But as a working mom with a small child at home, my sister said that preparing dinner wasn't any fun anymore. She didn't want someone to cook for her, she just wanted someone to do all the prep work.

It was like a lightbulb went off - that was a business that should exist. So, I left my job in marketing to start Meez!

How do you come up with Meez Meals recipes? 

Our recipes are all fun and creative, typically with a twist on a classic to make it healthier, faster or just a little unexpected. This means that cooking with us is always a culinary adventure, and dinner is more fun than just cooking up your same mental inventory of recipes.

To develop the recipes, I work closely with our chef, brainstorming twists on recipes I've discovered in my own cooking, favorites from his personal repertoire, requests from members, articles we've read, restaurant menus we've tasted. Basically, any place we can get ideas, we do!

How does your work with Meez Meals relate to the Slow Food objectives (good, clean, fair)?

Most people love the idea of cooking dinner from scratch. They know that there's something special about it, but it's just too hard for so many of us because of the realities of life. After long hours at work, helping the kids with homework, getting laundry in, dinner just seems to fall to the bottom of the priority list. I founded Meez to help make it possible for people to do what they've been wanting to: enjoy sitting down to a meal they cooked themselves.

So many people go to the grocery store each week with great intentions of cooking dinner and buy all the necessary ingredients, only to find that they don't actually feel like cooking, and much of their purchases end up spoiling before they get to them. Or, they have an entire head of cauliflower and the recipe only calls for half, and they let the other half go bad before they use it up.

As a certified Green Restaurant Association location, can you walk us through how you got this certification and some of the green aspects of your business?

We reached out to the Green Restaurant Association for our certification 2 years ago. In our first year, we were certified as a 2-star green restaurant. And then this year, we achieved the 3-star rating. (We're just 1 of 10 organizations in Chicagoland to meet this level, and we're proud of our achievement!)

Some of our "green" efforts include:

-Composting food waste - Meez Meals takes a proactive stance in reducing waste by composting kitchen waste and adhering to comprehensive recycling activities, including donations to local food banks.

-Reusing delivery containers - Meez Meals reuses its insulated cooler bags every week. Through its personalized delivery service, previously used coolers are collected each week to be cleaned and reused for future deliveries.

-Meatless meals - A large number of Meez Meals are meatless, which translates to lower carbon dioxide emissions and water usage, making it a smart choice for the Earth and personal health.

-Cage-free chicken and responsibly fished seafood : Our recipes which do include meat use only hormone-free, cage free chicken and responsibly fished seafood.

-Water and electrical efficiency : Meez Meals uses low-flow plumbing fixtures and energy-saving features in it's production facility.

-Local, routed deliveries : Meezl Meals delivers to a 1,000 square-mile area around Chicagoland in efficiently routed deliveries, minimizing the carbon footprint to deliver meals from it's facility.

-Sourcing local : We work with local suppliers, particularly for our produce. We stay in regular contact about the produce market, what's had a good crop, where we need to adjust our recipes, etc.

Obviously you appreciate the importance of sitting down to a meal and communing - two things that Slow Food is all about. Can you explain why this is important - so much that you created a business model around it?

Research abounds that families that sit down and eat together end up happier and healthier. Beyond those studies, though, we all know something special happens when families slow down and take time together. The challenge in this day and age is getting folks to slow down. We've found that when the house has been filled with wonderful smells of food cooking, when someone has taken some time to prepare the meal, people are just more likely to sit down together and talk. Dinner becomes about more than the food. It's an occasion and a time in your day to be savored, not rushed through.


Hungry for more? Follow Jen and the Meez Meals crew via the links below.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Blog 

 

Slow Food Chicago Board Alumni Profile : Waleed Al-Shamma

Time for another Chicago Board Alumni Profile. Today we bring you a glimpse into the "slow" lifestyle of former board member Waleed. Perusing his profile, it becomes clear that he lives the good, clean, fair mission on both professional and personal levels and we couldn't be more impressed by his contributions as a board member and beyond. And on the heels of board member applications being due, it seems appropriate that we give his efforts to revamp the board recruitment process an honorable nod today. Read on to understand why his definition of access to "good" food can even include that scrumptious pain au chocolat you may have found yourself indulging in this morning...!  

Why did you join the Slow Food Chicago board? How did you learn about it and what motivated you to get involved?

I joined the SFC board shortly after I moved to Chicago. I had been involved in reviving a dormant chapter, Slow Food Western Mass, and I knew this would be a good way to meet like minded people and help grow the local, sustainable food movement

What project or initiative are you most proud of during your time with Slow Food Chicago? 

I worked on a lot of great projects during my tenure on the board, but I am most proud of my work reinventing the board recruitment process. It's not sexy, but it's crucial to the development of our organization and it's paid big dividends with some great board members who replaced us!

What are you up to these days?

I still work daily to help grow the local, sustainable food movement as best I can. I started LOST Foods (Local Organic Sustainable Traditional) six years ago to help local farmers and producers, who are committed to improving our food system, to grow their businesses. And for the past two years I have been working for Natural Direct - a local distributor in Chicago that has been committed to distributing Organic and/or all natural, locally produced food throughout the Chicago area since 2007.

Does Slow Food still impact your work, life, eating habits? Tell us more!

The idea of Slow Food is still very much alive in my everyday work, life and eating habits. Lamentably, I have not had time to attend nearly as many SFC events as I would have liked to over the past few years. But I keep in touch with some board members, new and old as best I can and I am as committed as ever to the principles of Slow Food.

Good, Clean, Fair. What does this mean to you?

Good food is pleasing to the palate and healthy for the mind, body and/or soul. The "or" is important, because unhealthy food can still be good in moderation - like charcuteries or pain au chocolat!

Clean food is ideally Organic and grown, raised or produced in a manner having a positive to neutral environmental impact. In processed foods, clean means being able to eat each ingredients by itself.

Fair food recognized those hardest working men and women among us who grow, raise and harvest the food we eat. This recognition must include a middle class wage, a broader appreciation of the importance of their work and the humane treatment and dignity that we all deserve, regardless of citizenship.

What advice would you give people who want to get more involved with Slow Food? Where can they start?

I would advise someone to spend a year attending SFC events and getting to know a few current board members. Slow Food means a lot of different things to different people and it's important for potential board members, or active volunteers, to get a sense of how well represented their values will be in the work they will be doing.

Anything else you want to tell us that we missed?

Keep up the good work!


Follow Waleed's Good, Clean and Fair lifestyle on Instagram (@walshamma).

Slow Food Chicago Board Alumni Profile : Jennifer Polk

The deadline for Slow Food Chicago Board Member positions has come and gone. But that doesn't mean you missed out on your chance to get involved and join this powerful movement. In an attempt to inspire you to take that first step, we bring to you another board member alumni profile. Today's dose of encouragement comes in the form of some insights and reflections from past SFC board member Jennifer Polk. Jennifer began as a preSERVE garden volunteer and her participation grew from there. As you will see as you read on - the influence of Slow Food on her personal life also blossomed (pun intended). To give you a preview - as her passion for the Slow Food movement grew, so did it's impact in her personal life - as she graduated with time from a few sad containers of plant growth on her back porch balcony to a robust backyard garden. Read on for more food for thought from Jennifer!

 

Why did you join the Slow Food Chicago board? How did you learn about it and what motivated you to get involved?

I got involved in Slow Food Chicago through the preSERVE garden partnership in North Lawndale. What appealed to me about preSERVE was the hands-on aspect of the work -- building a new food-production garden in a neighborhood with a strong community gardening history. As a gardening novice, I wanted to learn more about planting food crops -- and the opportunity to get my hands dirty in a space larger than the few sad containers on my sunless back balcony was a bonus! Through my volunteer work with preSERVE, I decided I wanted to get more involved with Slow Food Chicago at the board level.

What project or initiative are you most proud of during your time with Slow Food Chicago?

I continue to be most proud of the preSERVE garden, particularly the partnerships and relationships we've nurtured over the garden's five growing seasons. preSERVE is a collaboration between the North Lawndale Greening Committee, the Chicago Honey Co-op, Neighborspace, and Slow Food Chicago. Each organization adds something essential to the success of the overall project.

What are you up to these days?

I still go to as many volunteer workdays at preSERVE as I can - and now I also drag my husband and new baby daughter along! Never too early to learn about Slow Food!

Does Slow Food still impact your work, life, eating habits? 

Absolutely. Once you get involved with Slow Food, it becomes a way of life! From that first sad container garden, I've graduated to a pretty robust backyard garden with five raised beds. I'm also a farmers market junkie and a home canner.

Good, Clean, Fair. What does this mean to you?

To me, it's a vision of the ideal world I want to help create for my daughter -- a place where nourishing, delicious food is available for everyone, and all those involved in its productions are treated fairly and with the respect they deserve.

What advice would you give people who want to get more involved with Slow Food? Where can they start?

Come volunteer at the preSERVE garden! Ok, so I am a bit biased, but I truly think it's the best way to get started. You can help with almost every aspect of the Slow Food meal -- planting the seeds, tending the crops, and helping with the harvest. You'll take home a bag brimming with the freshest produce, and feel the satisfaction that comes with having participated in the creation of your meal from start to finish!

Anything else you want to tell us that we missed?

I'm proud to have been part of the Slow Food Chicago board - it was an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone who wants to make a difference in the food world, in Chicago, and beyond.

 

Slow Food Chicago Board Alumni Profile : Eve Lacivita

The application deadline for the Slow Food Chicago board is today! Did you apply? Still thinking about it? There's still time! Do it to it! Need more convincing? Well, we have another very inspiring member profile for you. This time, coming from Slow Food's current regional Governor in the Midwest - Eve Lacivita. Don't think you can make a difference? Eve's here to tell you otherwise. She is proof that involvement in Slow Food may start small - perhaps as a volunteer but has the potential to grow to something much bigger - from board member to beyond. Read on to learn a little more about Eve's Slow Food story.

Why did you join the Slow Food Chicago board? How did you learn about it and what motivated you to get involved?

I was drawn to Slow Food by the "Good, Clean and Fair" message. I'd actually known about the Slow Food movement for a long time - I have vague memories of hearing about the protest at the Spanish Steps on the news - but didn't know it was anything more than a dinner club until meeting some Chicago board members at the Good Food Festival, which is also where I first heard the phrase "Good, Clean and Fair." That phrase resonated with me immediately - it captured so perfectly what food and the food system should be. I immediately started volunteering (to run the volunteer program, ironically), joined the board the following year, and haven't looked back.

What project or initiative are you most proud of during your time with Slow Food Chicago?

I'm most proud of something I achieved as regional governor, actually - getting presence for Slow Food Chicago and all the Midwest chapters at Terra Madre 2014, with a table featuring several delegate producers and a huge map of the tons of people doing good food work throughout the region. Outside of this country, there isn't much awareness of the vast diversity and quality of food production in the Midwest, and it was really great to watch people tasting all the products and their delighted surprise. You would not believe how excited people get about maple syrup!

What are you up to these days?

I'm still involved in Slow Food. I'm the Illinois Governor, and I'm also pitching in on Indiana, Missouri and Iowa. Professionally, I'm a product manager at Motorola Mobility, developing some pretty cool mobile software experiences. And I've joined a new board, Project Exploration, which brings extracurricular STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education to kids in low-income communities who don't have the best access to that education in their schools.

Does Slow Food still impact your work, life, eating habits? Tell us more!

For sure. Aside from still being involved as regional Governor, it's hard not to be permanently changed once you've been part of Slow Food. Every food decision I make is colored by the knowledge I gained being a part of Slow Food. I don't make perfect decisions - far from it - but I grow food, and cook as much as I can, and buy from my local farmer's market. Above all, I'm always thinking about the impact my decisions have on Good, Clean and Fair.

Good, Clean, Fair. What does this mean to you?

"Good, Clean, Fair" represents an ideal that is very hard to achieve but very necessary to work toward. I think of the old "time, quality, money" triangle - you know, "you can have any two?" Right now, the status quo is that you can have any two of "Good, Clean and Fair." But we know that the right end game is all three - and so our work needs to be focused on how to make all three happen, as challenging as it is. It requires technical innovation, policy change and cultural change - and that's pretty exciting.

What advice would you give people who want to get more involved with Slow Food? Where can they start?

Show up! Do whatever you can! Take the initiative! It's not hard to get involved. I started as a volunteer; then joined the board; then led the board (with the wonderful Megan Larmer); and am now regional Governor. Slow Food is very open to anyone who really wants to contribute. And board work isn't the only way - you can partner with us on a workshop, or lead a farm tour, host a dinner, donate money, spread the word, and above all - vote with your fork by eating food that is Good, Clean and Fair. The thing about the food movement is that everyone participates on average three times a day. So that's a whole lot of opportunity to be involved in Slow Food.


Catch up with Eve on facebook for more about how she lives "Good, Clean and Fair."

Slow Food Chicago Board Alumni Profile : Jeanne Calabrese

Ready for another Slow Food Chicago board member alumni profile? Thought so. Today, we're highlighting our chat with Jeanne Calabrese. She gets right to the heart of the matter - talking about when she first heard about the movement in Italy, her involvement in Chicago with educational programming and how she still lives and breathes "good, clean, and fair". Read all about it!

Why did you join the Slow Food Chicago board? How did you learn about it and what motivated you to get involved?

I first learned about the movement in 2007 when I attended a lecture given by Carlo Petrini in Chicago in 2007. He was on a book tour promoting his book "Good, Clean and Fair." I was delighted to learn there was an existing group (Slow Food) that subscribed to the lifestyle and principles I felt passionate about. I began attending the Chicago chapter's gatherings, volunteering for their events, and getting to know the Chicago members. Shortly after this, I was asked to serve on the board.

What project or initiative are you most proud of during your time with Slow Food Chicago?

My main focus on the board was developing educational programming. We did this through a series of lectures, events and workshops including cooking, food preservation and tree grafting. These programs were and continue to be successful. By empowering people with this knowledge we promote food security and ensure these skills are not lost.

What are you up to these days?

I've been working on an urban micro-orchard in my yard. It allows me to experiment with organic growing techniques and hone my grafting and propagating skills. I grow Liberty and Sweet 16 apples, paw paws, Korean Giant, Shin Li and Naju Asian pears, a variety of currants, berries and small tree fruits along with seasonal vegetables and herbs.

Does Slow Food still impact your work, life, eating habits? Tell us more!

The basic principles behind the Slow Food philosophy is engrained in my own personal philosophy. I support local food growers and I grow myself. I have perfected a few food preservation techniques and I am always learning more. My larder is stocked and it's so nice to crack open a jar of summer tomatoes in the middle of winter or a jar of fermented fall fruits and vegetables to extend the seasons.

Good, Clean, Fair. What does this mean to you?

My talking points have always been simple:

good = our food should taste good

clean = we should grow in a way that does not harm the environment

fair = we should pay the people who grow/produce/cook food for us a fair wage

What advice would you give people who want to get more involved with Slow Food? Where can they start?

Start by examining your own approach to eating. Get to know the folks who grow and produce your food. Ask where and how it was grown. Support local farmers and eat in season. Get to know your local chapter and check out an event or two.

Anything else you want to tell us that we missed?

I sit on the Midwest Ark of Taste committee and I believe it's some of the most important work Slow Food is doing today. The Ark of Taste is a living catalog of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction. By identifying and championing these foods we keep them in production and on our plates. The Ark of Taste is a tool for farmers, ranchers, fishers, chefs, grocers, educators and consumers to seek out and celebrate our country's diverse biological, cultural and culinary heritage.


Keep up with Jeanne on instagram (@barefeats) to see how she lives Good, Clean and Fair.

Slow Food Chicago Board Alumni Profile : Elizabeth David

This week, we are continuing with our feature of Slow Food Chicago board member alums. It's a chance to get a sneak peek at what it means to be a board member, taps you into the magic behind the Chicago team (past and present), and gives us all a chance to catch up with previous board members and see what they're up to now. Our board and membership might not be what it is today if not for those who blazed the trail before us...! Today's profile is Elizabeth David - who we caught up with to chat about her experience with Slow Food in Chicago and beyond, and she catches us up on what she's up to now. Read on!

Why did you join the Slow Food Chicago board? How did you learn about it and what motivated you to get involved?

I was really engaged with Slow Food Chicago volunteering and teaching canning workshops. I wanted to make a bigger impact in our local food community in Chicago and help to create some of the great programs I got to see at Slow Food events.

What project or initiative are you most proud of during your time with Slow Food Chicago?

My tenure on the Slow Food board was short because I moved and am now on the board in my new town. However, as a volunteer I taught many successful canning workshops.

What are you up to these days?

I moved to Whidbey Island, Washington. It's a food mecca where we can fish all sorts of shellfish and salmon, buy grass fed beef from a local farm stop on the side of the road at a farm stand to grab eggs or produce or find a farmers market just about anywhere on the Island. It's a food heaven and we even have a Slow Food board which I am on. I built them a website, now I am working on new events like a cooking class series and a food trivia night.

When I find time to get paid for work, I am an event planner at a non-profit called Goosefoot Community Fund and doing food system research. I also work part-time as an associate editor for our local arts and lifestyle magazine, Whidbey Life Magazine, where I will soon be a food writer and blogger as well.

Does Slow Food still impact your work, life, eating habits? Tell us more!

Duh! No just kidding. Yes, it's very important to me - my husband is a farmer now and so it's in our blood and our household.

Good, Clean, Fair. What does this mean to you?

These ideas are deeply embedded with me in my daily life and the work that I do. Good means food through community. Clean means producing it in a way that gives health back to our land. And fair means that all who were involved in producing the food were paid and treated rightly and that good food is accessible.

What advice would you give people who want to get more involved with Slow Food? Where can they start?

Check online for events and programs. There is so much to learn, so many opportunities to engage in and Slow Food will tell you just what's happening. Then from there you can choose if you feel like picking up a shovel or learning a new cooking method.

Anything else you want to tell us that we missed?

Nothing else except that you all have an AWESOME food community in Chicago and Slow Food Chicago is such a great site.

 

Slow Food Chicago Board Alumni Profile : Megan Larmer of Slow Food USA

Do you ever find yourself wondering, what it might be like to be on the Slow Food Chicago Board? There just so happen to be some spots opening up - and if you've ever given it some thought, now is your chance to apply. Or, if you've never considered it, this profile will make you realize that you should. Like, yesterday. Megan Larmer is a former member of the Slow Food Chicago board and currently works for Slow Food USA in the big apple. She is a testament that your passion can indeed converge with your career - in big ways. If you've ever met Megan, you know she is a force - and her good vibes will inspire you to be, do, and live - better, just by being in the same room as her. We are fortunate enough that Megan gave us some time to dish on her experience on the Chicago board as well as how Good, Clean, Fair applies to way more than just food.

Why did you join the Slow Food Chicago Board (i.e. how did you learn about it and what motivated you to get involved)?

I was so moved by the generosity and encouragement I received from people on the Slow Food board - they supported the orchard project I was helping with by sending us to Italy for Terra Madre, hosted fundraising events and connected us with other experts for advice - that when they suggested I apply I was flattered and thrilled. I joined to be around these awesome people and to pay forward all I was lucky enough to receive.

North American delegates (including Megan Larmer, center) in Italy.

North American delegates (including Megan Larmer, center) in Italy.

What project or initiative are you most proud of during your time with Slow Food Chicago?

I'm proudest of the community canning classes that we led. The series of classes connected Slow Food with the general public, taught people about seasonality, and was a great way to build relationships with and support local farmers by buying the produce from them that may not have been sellable at market. Also, it was fun and delicious, like everything Slow Food Chicago does!

What are you up to these days?

I'm living in Brooklyn, working at the Slow Food national office. It's a great chance to see the real impact of our work on the global and national scale. Most of all it has impressed upon me even further how unique we are as a volunteer network that truly acts locally and thinks globally.

Does Slow Food Still impact your work, life, eating habits?

Um - yeah. So, I am lucky enough that Slow Food is both my passion and my job. My involvement with Slow Food has definitely transformed the way I eat for the better. Even more, it has given me friends in fields, markets, and restaurants all over the world. I travel often, and find the connections made during my time on the board in Chicago continue to guide me down exciting new paths across the globe.

Good, Clean, Fair. What does this mean to you?

This is the ideal that I seek to achieve in food, but also in life. It means that the ultimate goal of any dish or project is to bring together pleasure, sustainability, and justice. When all three elements are there, they heighten each other to become a whole greater than the sum of its parts.

What advise would you give people who want to get more involved with Slow Food? Where can they start?

It's easy! Follow along on social media, join a potluck, or book club. Pitch in at a crop mob or go to a dinner and ask other folks there about Slow Food. Face to face connection is the real strength of the Slow Food movement, and there's no better way to begin to learn about the vast and incredible work this global, grassroots network is doing. So, show up and start asking questions! Slow Food people almost always have the gift of gab, so don't be shy.

Anything else you want to tell us that we may have missed?

I miss you Chicago! Now, I obviously can't play favorites, but let me just say that the Slow Food Chicago chapter is pretty stellar and wherever I live, I always consider my own local chapter.


Did Megan's profile make you hungry for more? Keep up with the movement at Slow Food USA via the below links.

Facebook / Instagram / Website

Slow Meat: Holiday Edition 2015

For many of us holidays are about connecting with family and friends.  We share food and time and stories around the holiday table.  Here at Slow Food we encourage you to know the story of your food as well.  By buying from local producers, you know how the animals you're eating were raised, and you help an independent farmer put food on his or her table.

Below you'll find a list of farms that offer a variety of meats for your holiday enjoyment!


Centennial Farm, Jill & Will Cummings

Breeds/Meats Available: Muscovy Duck
Weight Range: ~
Price per lb.: Call
Deposit required: no
Pick-up locations: We are 1½ hours south of Chicago and offer farm pickup. However, drop off in Chicagocan be arranged.
Location of farm: 708 E 2300 North Rd, Danforth, IL 60930
Phone: 815-269-2003
E-mail: will.jill.cummings@gmail.com
Website: www.redbarnfarmsoaps.com
Farmer comments: We are the 4th generation and our four daughters are the 5th generation to farm and live on the homestead established by our great-grandfather in 1898. We raise all-natural hormone-free milking goats, and use their milk to make organic soaps.


Garden Gate Farm, Doug & Beth Rinkenberger

Breeds available: Broad-breasted White
Weight Range: 6-21 lbs.
Price per lb.: $3.50
Other meats available: FRESH turkeys sometimes available after Thanksgiving.
Deposit required: no
Delivery: Customer pick-up, only at the farm.
Location of farm: 6423 N 2300 E, Fairbury, IL 61739
Phone: 1-815-848-3518
E-mail: dougrink68@icloud.com 
Website: ~ 
Farmer comments: We raise our daughters and our livestock on a century old dairy farm here in rural Fairbury. We raise a large variety of vegetables and herbs, as well as pork and turkeys. Our birds have been on the menus of several Chicago restaurants including Old Town Social, The Girl and the Goat, Omni Hotel, and the Bristol.


Franzen Farms, Chris Franzen

Breeds Available: Standard Bronze, Broad Breasted White, Bourbon Red (Heritage Breed)
Weight Range: ~
Price per lb.: $4.00 – $6.00/lb
Deposit required: Yes
Pick-up location: At the farm ONLY, weekend before Thanksgiving
Location of farm: 18232 W. Ballou Rd, Wilmington, IL, 60481
Phone: 815-405-2713
Farm E-mail: franzenfarms@hotmail.com
Website: www.franzenfarms.com
Farmer comments: We are a small family owned farm located in Wilmington, IL. We raise Heritage Bourbon Red, Heritage Standard Bronze and Big Breasted White Turkeys. Our heritage turkeys are listed in the Ark of Taste and are NPIP certified. All of our birds are pasture raised with plenty of oom to roam and graze on grasses, alfalfa, and bugs. Baby day old poults (chicks) are available in the spring if you wish to raise your own or enjoy a Franzen Fresh Heritage Turkey for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner this year. We also raise Ringneck and Melanistic pheasants. Don’t wait until the last minute to reserve your birds. Call Chris at (815) 405-2713 to reserve now!


Hasselmann Family Farm, Scott & Nena Hasselmann

Meats Available: Turkey, pork, beef, lamb, ham roasts, chicken
Deposit required: No
Pick-up locations:  Palatine farmers market 
Pick-up dates: Saturday November 21st.
On-farm pickup? Yes
Location of farm: 23706 Harmony Rd., Marengo, IL 60152
Phone:  815 572 4833
E-mail: hasselmannfarm@gmail.com
Website:  www.hasselmannfarm.com  
Farmer comments: All our produce and livestock are raised outdoors on pasture, in harmony with the natural environment.


Mint Creek Farm, Harry, Gwen, Jonathan, & Raya Carr

Breeds Available: Black Spanish, Broad-breasted Bronze, & Broad-breasted White
Weight Range: Small (7-12lbs), Medium (12-17lbs), Large (17-21lbs)
Price per lb.: $7/lb for black$7/lb for bronze, & $6/lb for white
Deposit required: yes
Pickup Locations:  10 Chicago pickup locations available.  Click here for the full list.
Location of farm: 1693 E 3800 N. Road, Stelle, IL
Other Meats Available: Organic pasture-raised lamb, goat, beef, pork, duck, turkey, chicken, eggs, and meat & dairy CSA shares
Phone: 815-953-5682
E-mail: mintcreekfarm@gmail.com
Website: www.mintcreekfarm.com
Farmer comments: 
This holiday season we are raising two heritage breeds of turkeys, the black & the bronze, as well as classic white turkeys. We recommend trying the Black Aztec (Spanish) breed of turkey, as it is the most heritage breed on the market today. These black turkeys were first domesticated by the Aztecs! Black Aztec birds are a joy to raise, and very good at pasture foraging, with rich, buttery tasting, and balanced, full-flavor meat. Note that the bird is smaller than conventional, so you may need two instead of one. Try one or two black Aztec birds this Thanksgiving to help keep this heritage breed on the map as still raised in the Midwest! 

That being said, all of our turkeys, black, bronze, and white are raised very differently than conventional birds. No matter which breed of ours you choose it will help support humanely raised turkeys! The birds are moved every few days from paddock to paddock of fresh grass and legume pastures with Certified-Organic, non-GMO, small-batch-mixed, soyfree grain supplement. This lush pasture in addition to the highest quality, purest feed supplements result in an unparalleled turkey: both the turkey’s flavor and the health benefits gained by the bird, farm ecosystem, and consumer are huge.


Nature’s Choice Farm, Eric & Samantha Sexton

Breeds Available: Broad-breasted White
Weight Range: 16 – 22 lbs
Price per lb.: $5.00
Other products available: Grass-fed beef, pasture raised pork, chicken, eggs. Also a year-round meat & egg CSA
Deposit required: Yes. Can purchase directly on the farm website. www.natureschoicefarm.com 
Pick-up locations: Frankfort, IL, and Bolingbrook, IL
Pick-up dates: Delivery dates are still to be determined.
On-farm pickup? Yes
Location of farm: Grant Park, IL
Phone: 815-472-2934
E-mail: natureschoicefarm@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.natureschoicefarm.com
Farmer comments: We believe animals should be raised naturally on green pasture with plenty of open space. Our turkeys roam the entire farm along with pigs, chickens, and cattle. Our beef is completely grass-fed, and we do not feed hormones or antibiotics to any of our livestock.


Organic Pastures, Marilyn & Larry Wettstein

Breeds Available: Broad-breasted Bronze
Weight Range: 10 – 22 lbs
Price per lb.: $4.39
Deposit required: no
Pick-up locations: Nov 21, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Evanston, corner of Sherman & Lake, 8am – 1pm
On-farm pickup? Yes
Location of farm: 669 County Road 1800E, Eureka, IL 61530
Other meats available: Lamb, beef, pork, chicken,  & eggs, all certified organic
Phone: 309-467-6006
E-mail: wettsteinorganic@gmail.com
Farmer comments: We are a small family farm that has been certified organic since 1997. Our turkeys are organic with plenty of pasture for open grazing. They are in a shelter at night, and during the day they peck and scratch as they please.

We farm 250 tillable acres and 250 pasture/timber acres, all organically certified. We rotate a variety of field crops including corn, soybeans, oats, flax, wheat, sunflower, vetch, rye, alfalfa, and clovers, and also raise organic beef, pork, chicken, turkeys, and laying hens. We truly believe that as stewards of the soil, it is our responsibility to provide the healthiest food possible.


Painted Rock Farms, LLC

Breeds Available: Bronze breasted
Weight Range:12-20

Price per lb.: $4.95/#
Deposit required: no
Pick-up locations/dates: TBD home delivery for $10.

On-farm pickup? No
Other meats available: all proteins
Location of farm:
 We are a farm collective. We are mostly around central Wisconsin.
Phone:
 715-340-2495
E-mail:
 earthsnaturals@gmail.com
Website: www.paintedrockmeats.com

Farmer comments: Painted Rock Farms is a small-medium farm collective in Wisconsin.  70% of our farmers are women. We raise pasture heritage proteins for your plate. :)


Plain View Turkey Farm, Dan Schmucker

Breeds Available: Broad-breasted White, Certified Organic
Weight Range: 13 – 20 lbs
Price per lb.: $4.99/lb
Deposit required: No
Pick-up location:  Fresh Picks warehouse, 5625 W Howard St, Niles, IL.
Home Delivery can be arranged, with Fresh Picks, 847-410-0595
On-farm pickup? No
Location of farm: S-453 County Rd D, Cashton, WI 54619
Phone / website: 847-410-0595, www.freshpicks.com
Ordering E-mail: answers@freshpicks.com
Farm E-mail: Amish, no email.
Website: None.


TJ’s Pastured Free Range Poultry, Tim & Julie Ifft

Breeds Available: Broad-breasted White and Broad-breasted Bronze
Weight Range: 10 – 23 lbs
Price per lb.: $3.99/lb (white) and $4.49/lb (bronze)
Deposit required: yes, $10 when pre-ordering
Pick-up locations:  Dill Pickle Food Co-Op
Pick-up dates: 
On-farm pick-up: Yes, Farm pickup any day after November 15th – call for arrangements
Location of farm: 2773N 1500E Rd., Piper City, IL 60959
Other meats available: chicken, fresh eggs
Phone: 815-686-9200 or 815-848-8961 (cell)
E-mail: tji4@maxwire.net
Website: ~
Farmer comments: TJ’s has been raising turkeys for approximately 9 years. The turkeys are pastured free range on chemical free pasture. Their diet consists of no antibiotics, hormones or animal by-products. The farm is Certified Food Alliance.


Triple S Farms, Stan & Ryan Schutte

Breeds Available: Broad-breasted Bronze
Weight Range: 8 – 26 lbs
Price per lb.: $4.37-$6.13/lb, depending on weight
Deposit required: no
Pick-up locations and dates: Contact Triple S Farms for delivery information
Location of farm: 3078 County Highway 33, Stewardson IL 62463
Other Meats Available:  Pork, beef, chicken
Phone: 217-343-4740
E-mail contact: stan@triplesfarms.com
Websitewww.triplesfarms.com
Farmer comments: Triple S Farms is a certified organic, family-owned 200 acre farm in East central Illinois, an hour south of Champaign. Our turkeys are raised on pasture without hormones, antibiotics, or GMO feed.

Work at Triple S Farm is a family affair. Stan’s son, Owner Stan Schutte works together with his son, Ryan, co-owner, who oversees production. Jannie is in charge of marketing. Three other employees make Triple S Farm work- Quinton and Cam work with the animals as herd manager and Jackie is operations manager and does whatever needs done including sales, production, inventory, packing, invoicing and office work.  We have a great team working together to provide the highest quality meats straight from our farm to your dinner table.


Twin Oak Meats, Tom & Amy Ifft

Meats Available: Boneless/Bone-In Hams; Boneless Honey-Glazed Spiral Sliced Hams
Weight Range: 3 – 20 lbs
Pick-up locations: On-farm; Drop off in Chicago can be arranged (weekly deliveries are regularly made to Chicago).
Pick-up dates: Every Saturday 7am-1pm, from Nov. 2 through Dec. 21.
On-farm pick-up: Yes
Location of farm: 11197N 2300E Rd., Fairbury, IL
Phone: 815-692-4215
E-mail: twinoakmeats@maxwire.net
Website: www.twinoakmeats.com
Farmer comments: All our pork products come from animals raised on our own farm, and are hormone-free. We are Humane Slaughter Certified. We also have fresh ham roasts and crown roasts which are perfect for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. For the holidays we also make a gift box ideal for holiday giving.


Wettstein Organic Farm, Emily & Dennis Wettstein

Breeds Available: Broad-breasted White
Other meats available: Pork, beef, and chicken
On-farm pickup? Yes
Location of farm: 2100 US Hwy 150, Carlock, IL 61725
Pick-up location: Meats are delivered throughout the winter to Oak Park, at the Buzz Cafe
Pick up on Saturdays- noon – 3pm
Phone: 309-376-7291
E-mail: dennis@wettsteinorganicfarm.com
Website: ~
Farmer comments: Emily and Denny sell certified organic beef, pork, poultry and eggs directly to customers, at the summer Oak Park Farmers Market, at the Buzz Cafe in winter, and all year from their on-farm storehouse. They also raise organic soybeans, corn and other grains that they make into feed for all their animals, and for selling to neighboring organic livestock and dairy farmers.

“We enjoy everything we do on the farm,” says Denny. “The most encouraging change we’ve seen since 1985,” says Emily, “is that more and more people are coming to us for their food. City people are coming back to the farms with their own children to learn where their food comes from and how it is grown.” Denny adds, “Our experience over the past 20 years with organic farming has restored our love of farming and given us the hope that the future of farming, if we continue to think outside the conventional box, is very promising.”
- Excerpted from a profile at www.farmaid.org


Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm

Meats available: A variety of packages of beef, pork, chicken and eggs.
Pick-up locations/dates: Delivery schedule

On-farm pickup: Yes
Location of farm: 1985 N 3690th Rd Ottawa, IL
Phone:
 815-431-9544
E-mail:
 cdrvalleyfarm@gmail.com
Website: www.chicagomeatcsa.com
Farmer comments: 
Our smaller packages are great for special occasions or gift giving.