Monday, March 26, 2007


Mom and Z on CTA
I almost forgot to report back on our Saturday adventure at the Expo. We eco-consciously took the Blue Line into the city and walked the four or five blocks from stroller-unfriendly (no elevator) station to the Chicago Cultural Center. There, we got to sample lots of delicious local cheeses and yogurts as well as a smattering of honey, granola, baked goods and organic chocolate.

Z got her face painted by a seven year old girl and gamely ate everything offered on a toothpick, surprising us as she asked for more salsa and a second cayenne dark chocolate. Chipotle was there as a major sponsor, and even after many samples of cheese, Z put away an entire bowl of black beans and rice. Most impressively, she carried it through two rooms and up a ramp while eating it with a fork. We eventually found a spot of carpet where she could sit down and finish it.

Josh and I also grazed our way through the show, picking up brochures, product samples, coupons and CSA sign-up sheets along the way. We're weighing the benefits of joining a CSA this summer.

In favor: lots of fresh, organic produce delivered to our neighborhood weekly might inspire us to try new vegetables and eat more healthfully. It is an economic and social model we really believe in. We want our daughter(s) to feel connected to the food they eat and the farms where it is produced.
Against: Each delivery is enough for two vegetarian adults or four non-vegetarian adults. Unless our next-door neighbors want to split a share with us, there's no way we can put away that much kale. Most of the farms offering CSA shares also sell at the Oak Park Farmers' Market. Aside from salads, I have to admit I'm not the best vegetable-eater. I'd much rather subscribe to a fruit CSA, but they are not all 100% local and organic.

Saturday night we watched The Real Dirt on Farmer John, which said next-door neighbors loaned to us. It's a very well done documentary about the eccentric farmer/artist/hippie founder of southern Wisconsin's Angelic Organics, one of the more popular local CSAs.

If you missed the Expo, be sure to mark your calendar for the much bigger Chicago Green Festival, scheduled to take place at McCormick Place over Earth Day weekend.