June 21, 2011

Shop local, eat local

Filed under: Local (Chicago) — Tags: , , — lidia @ 1:13 pm

Our first CSA box and dishes prepared with the featured ingredients

Since I’m a big supporter of working with local businesses, it only seemed natural (pun intended) to get food locally.

Growing your own food is healthy, but it’s a daunting concept for city dwellers like myself. So we decided to let the farm do the growing for us and join a CSA (community supported agriculture). We signed up with Harvest Moon Organics, a farm located in southwest Wisconsin, not far from Chicago.

How does a CSA work? You pay for a “share” of the season’s harvest. The farm delivers a weekly box filled with in-season produce (plus in our case, fresh eggs) to a nearby pickup location. You pick up your box and explore the organic goodies inside.

Our first box was filled with a few old favorites (lettuce, asparagus) as well as unfamiliar faces (garlic scapes). What to do with those garlic scapes? I promptly reached out to my twitter pals, who were happy to oblige with new recipe ideas.

Recent articles in Whole Living and Food & Wine have sung the praises of CSAs both as a way to support local farms, as well as a reason to mix up your cooking routine. Not to mention, upping the health ante in your diet with all that fresh organic produce.

Looking for a CSA in your area? Check LocalHarvest.org for info and locations.

What about you… do you eat local? Leave a comment!

November 24, 2010

Shop local this Saturday! #SmallBizSat

Filed under: Local (Chicago),Small Business — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

A recent Duct Tape Marketing blog post made me aware of Small Business Saturday taking place this Saturday. (how did I not know about this?)

Small Business Saturday was created by AMEX OPEN and small business advocacy groups trying to encourage people to shop local (rather than at big chain stores) on Saturday, November 27th. Shopping local benefits both the overall economy, as well as your local community. Plus, it’s fun to get out and meet your neighbors.

Here in Chicago, the organization Local First Chicago (I’m a member) is spreading the word about the importance of buying local this holiday season with Unwrap Chicago: Eat, Drink & Buy Local. In my Chicago neighborhood alone, there are a number of clothing, gift and pet boutiques with lots of holiday goodies. Gift certificates from neighborhood restaurants are also a great way to shop local.

So why not take the opportunity on Saturday to skip the mall and take a stroll around your neighborhood. Many local shops and boutiques are hosting special holiday shopping events and parties, so keep an eye out in your local community.

Shop small business – shop local!