Wandering the produce aisles at my Whole Foods, they always have the list of fruits that are organic, and the number of things that are local. It’s a big number, but most of the time when I look, they’re grown in California, Mexico, or a far off land.

The other day, I was searching for Asparagus. I know it’s the season, but I haven’t seen any local stuff in the store. I know it’s a huge undertaking for the region, with 30 odd stores, to supply fresh locally sourced asparagus to meet the demand, but it’s not impossible.

I saw peaches. I’m pretty sure that they aren’t in season right now, but it’s also difficult to remember, as when I was in Seattle, everything was always in season. Around this time of year, you could get that fresh asparagus, the tulips that grew in the Skagit Valley just north of us, and the beginnings of some berries.

This past week, we went to a Memorial Day pig roast, and I had pickled garlic spears (scapes) for the first time since we moved back to the Midwest. Where did they come from? How does one get them? If we’re otherwise occupied with work during either the 9 to 5, or for me, on weekends during prime market time, where does one go to get those things?

Here’s a list of things I’m looking forward to:



Fresh Herbs



Greens of any kind


Maybe a good dozen eggs from somewhere closeby.

I guess in the end, it’s not so difficult. There are farms around here. You just have to find the time to explore your neighborhood markets, or make the effort to venture out just a little further than your everyday grocery store. For the majority of things, my store gets it done. When I want to be inspired by stacks of produce alone, I’m going to the Farmer’s Market.

This week, the Pilsen Local Community Farmers’ Market starts up. As I don’t get a chance to get to my old standby of the Madison market, or even the Green City, I’m excited to at least go and look at what they’ve got available this Sunday. It might not be the widest selection of produce, but at least I can get a good grasp of what I should be eating. I want it to be fresh, and I want it to taste as good as it looks.