Thursday, June 19, 2008

What Do I Do With It?

Well, there are two different answers to the question in regards to Market at the Square:

We brought our "toters" to the Market for the season last week, so if your question has to do with waste, i.e. "I just had this smoothie and have this plastic cup - what do I do with it?" here's the answer:

We encourage all patrons to put recyclables - paper, cardboard, and most plastics - into the recycling bins, and all trash into the trash barrels. Many thanks to Courtney Rushforth, the City's Recycling Coordinator, for getting us the toters and developing increased signage.

If your question has to do with food, like, "What the heck is kohlrabi and what do I do with it?", there are a couple of books regarding seasonal produce that you might want to have a look at.

The Real Dirt on Vegetables: Farmer John's Cookbook is one of the best books out there for dealing with seasonal produce. Farmer John Peterson owns and operates Angelic Organics just outside Chicago. These folks run a huge CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) operation and routinely send out newsletters to their members offering tips about how to prepare the food that comes in members' boxes every week. Those newsletters morphed into this cookbook - lots of information about their farming methods included with the recipes. If you haven't seen the documentary The Real Dirt on Farmer John, which documents John Peterson's ups and downs on the farm, it's available on DVD locally. Recommended.

The book Simply In Season is a recent discovery of mine - I grew up with the More-With-Less Cookbook, and this book is done in much the same vein (in fact, M-W-L inspired this book), only focusing on the kind of fresh, local foods one comes into, well, at their local farmers' market. The recipes are simple, healthful, organized by season, and way tasty. Available everywhere, including your local library.

Produce at the Market this week: Strawberries are winding down (but still available), and we'll be catching our breath for a couple of weeks before the stone fruit (sorely missed last year after the April freeze (PDF) that killed most of Illinois' fruit crop) starts rolling in. This week some other fruits are available - look for some sour cherries, blueberries, raspberries, and maybe even a few gooseberries. Vegetables continue to come on - in addition to last week's bounty, this week's will include green beans, broccoli, and some "cukes and zukes". A few greenhouse tomatoes will be around, and there should be a vanload of hydroponic tomatoes. Don't forget your greens, kales, peas, radishes, turnips, and other late spring veggies.

Don't forget to shop all five rows at the Market - we have produce/growers in every row this year, so if you can't find what you're looking for, check another row, or ask the Market staff at the City tent - we're happy to unite patrons with Illinois-grown or -made items.

As always, you can email me with questions or comments, or comment here.

See you Saturday!

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