Tag Archives: farmers market

Urban Hike: Chicago

Yes, I’m supposed to be working. But I skipped out for a couple hours for an urban hike to the Daly Plaza Farmers Market, into Millennium Park (where a really wacky orchestra was assembling and warming up), and through Laurie Garden and Grant Park this afternoon in Chicago. Along the way I happened into the Chicago Cultural Center and listened a bit to some students reading short stories.

One of my favorite spots was an empty stage in Grant Park. The stage where President Obama made his big speech on election night. Kind of cool to stand there and imagine so many thousands of joyful tears shed out there across the vast lawn along the lake shore. There happened to be one empty chair sitting there on the stage, nothing else.  Doesn’t matter if you love him or not, it’s still a cool little spot in history.

Yesterday evening walked along the Chicago Riverwalk to a reception (forgot the camera). Got lost, but loved it. Be home soon.

(more photos on Flickr.)

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Posted by on August 12, 2010 in Architceture, garden, hiking


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Saving money in the dirt

photo on Flickr by Harpo42

The wifey is making some changes at work. She’s set to end maternity leave in about a week, and when she heads back to the office, it will be on a smaller scale. So, part time work means part time income, which lead us to talk some turkey this weekend about what we’ll change in our life with a smaller budget. Let’s call it our “happy up, money down” plan.

One line on the old Dave Ramsey-inspired budget that needs some polishing is food. We spend a lot on it. So the obvious part is cutting out the lunches at Wild Sage, Parker’s and Uno Zoni, and brown bagging it. The other part is cutting on the grocery bill. We decided a few years ago to pay more for our groceries. Why? Because real food generally costs more money than fake food. We want to feed our kids goodness from the Earth, not crap, so we pay more. Not saying we never buy any high-fructose-in-a-box, but we try to cook well-rounded meals with ingredients that our grandmothers might have actually fed to our parents as often as we can. It’s a journey.

So, back to the budget. We need to grow our own food. We got way behind nature’s eight ball this year with our garden. Our house was pretty busy this spring, you know? So, the garden pretty much sucks right now. We’ll be leaning heavily on the Farmer’s Market, community garden and the Co-op. And Denny’s extra garden bounty for sure. But, we figure, it’ll save us big bucks if we don’t have to buy so much. We’re even planning to learn the art of canning.

Synchronistically, I ran across an article on the topic today on Mother Nature Network’s blog about a couple who actually kept track of the money they put into their garden, and what it would have cost them to eat the same food from a grocery store.  Read “How Much is Your Vegetable Garden Worth” here.

For this Maine couple, over one year it came to 834 pounds of veggies from their garden, that would have set them back $2,200 at the store. Wowsers.

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Posted by on July 6, 2010 in Food, garden, money


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Montrose, South Dakota: Local Foods Mecca

photo by Natalie Maynor on Flickr

I noticed something at the Falls Park Farmers Market Saturday. I had a hug and conversation with Ruth and waved to Tom in the Goosemobile, bought some late season tomato and pepper plants from the Warners, and ate a grilled burger from the Gessners (Dakota Natural Beef). On the way to the car it hit me–three of the 18 vendors are from a stone’s throw of Montrose. Then at the Sunshine grocery store we saw “honey straws” from Orland Honey Farm–also of rural Montrose.

I know it’s only four producers of local, wholesome food. But they’re all within ten miles of my house. I’ve never thought of Montrose as a local foods hot spot. I doubt you have either. But this is actually something. Put these four together with our wonderful Montrose Community Garden and there’s something here. Something real and good. And unnoticed, at least by me, ’til this weekend.

Maybe we can be the Hardwick, VT of South Dakota one day (read “How Food Saved a Town“). Local Foods is the ‘real deal’ (just ask Mike), and it’s a serious opportunity for us in small towns–to feed ourselves and surrounding communities, to live healthier lives, and to re-connect with this land and it’s bounty in new-old sacred ways.

update 6/28: Thanks to my friend Corey at Madville Times for pushing the gas on this little local food revolution.


Posted by on June 27, 2010 in Food


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Zucchini and Purple Spuds

The girls picked up some purple potatoes at the Falls Park Farmers Market yesterday morning. I paired them with some fresh garden zucchini, and sauteed them with onions, garlic and some chives in a skillet for dinner tonight. Went well with some sweet corn from Denny’s garden and some Bartmann sirloin tips. Every ingredient except the butter is local.

Also took a nice hike today, and picked some wildflowers along the way for my deserving and lovely wife.

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Posted by on August 16, 2009 in Food, garden


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All in the Sun: racing, cooking and grocery shopping

Jaim and I hit the road pre-dawn today to volunteer at the 21st annual Avera Race Against Breast Cancer. We’ve worked the registration tent for about a third of those 21 races, and it’s worth busting ass before the sun comes up every year. It’s one of those events where you just feel a really good energy vibe–lots of hope and honor and respect, mixed with happy enthusiasm. This year over 4850 people registered in the race, and we helped raise more than $280,000! Weather was beautiful, and the crowd was big. Here’s Jaimie’s boss firing up the crowd just before the starting gun.

After the race today, we hit the Farmers Market for the first time this year. Bought some flowers, a bunch of tomato and pepper plants, plants for the herb garden, and some radishes, rhubard and free range chickens.

Cooked meal number two in the solar oven this week. Garlic chicken breasts baked to tender perfection, with awesome sweet potatoes, bell peppers and onions in pan number two. Cooked them all day long on a partly cloudy day. Like a tricked out crock pot, with nothing but the sun as fuel. This oven is pretty frickin cool.

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Posted by on May 9, 2009 in farming, Food


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