Frontera 30

Chef Jason Hammel and Lula Cafe’s Years of Logan Square Meals: A Frontera 30 Story

Jason Hammel of the critically acclaimed Lula Café is a rarity among Chicago’s top chefs, in that he did not learn the craft in the kitchens of culinary legends. Jason is essentially self-taught. But he counts Chicago legends such as Rick Bayless, Paul Kahan and Matthias Merges as his role models and mentors. Like them, he has played a major role in sourcing from local and regional farmers. We are honored to have Jason as a participating chef at the Frontera 30th Anniversary Celebration, a joint fundraiser for Chef Rick Bayless‘ Frontera Farmer Foundation and FamilyFarmed, which will be held at The Art Institute of Chicago on Sunday, April 30.

Farm bill

The Future of Good Food in an Era of Political Change

A new federal farm bill is on course to be enacted as early as next year. Sustainable farmers and Good Food advocates would have needed to be on guard to protect these programs under any circumstances. But with the volatile political environment in Washington, D.C., supporters of these programs will need to be especially engaged. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has been the leading federal policy advocates for the Good Food movement for 30 years. Wes King, an NSAC policy specialist explains the political landscape for the 2018 farm bill and what advocates need to do to prepare.

Chillinois Young Farmers Coalition

Big Chillinois: Young Farmers Coalition Cultivates New Generation In Chicagoland

With the average age of farmers in the United States pushing 60, growing a new generation of young farmers is a regional and national priority. One of the most encouraging recent developments in the Chicago area is the creation of Chillinois Young Farmers — the northern Illinois chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition — which is providing a much-needed voice to this important constituency. FamilyFarmed is pleased that “Chillinois,” representing the national organization, will be participating in our Good Food Festival on Saturday, March 18 at Chicago’s UIC Forum.

Food Access for Kids, Families Gets $500,000 Boost in Food to Market Challenge

“Team Leverage,” a collaboration of three major Good Food entities in the Chicago region, faced serious competition from four other strong finalists in the Food to Market Challenge. The team won the $500,000 award because of a strong social purpose — bringing healthy, nutritious, affordable food to more school children and their families — plus a distribution model with strong potential to be expanded in Chicago and replicated elsewhere.

Oregon Fishing Communities Build Business by Getting Along Swimmingly

Farms running community supported agriculture businesses, or CSAs, have multiplied across the United States in recent years. Under this practice, farms are able to raise revenues for their plantings by selling subscriptions to consumers, who receive boxes of products from the farm over the course of the season. Now the concept has spread to another food sector: sustainable seafood. And, as this article about southwest Oregon shows, businesses and other economic development boosters are working together to build a growing seafood market.

Farmers Markets on a Budget: Time to Save Some Change

We at FamilyFarmed are all about encouraging our readers to become farmers market customers — if they are not already — and enjoy the super-healthy, nutritious and delicious products sold by their local and regional growers. That is why we have an annual tradition of welcoming National Farmers Market Week with an article full of tips about how to save money at farmers markets.

Green City Market’s Chicago Chef BBQ Produced Very Warm Feelings

Two things are clear about the annual Chef BBQ fundraiser staged by Chicago’s Green City Market, which took place Thursday evening. One is that the BBQ will be one of the best food and beverage tasting events on the calendar of food-centric Chicago. The other, it seems, is that the summer weather may always be a challenge for this event.

Rob Levitt and His Chicago Butcher Shop: Farm to Table Meets Snout to Tail

Rob Levitt has been one of Chicago’s leading butchers for several years, and his store, The Butcher & Larder, has gained an even higher profile since moving from its tiny original shop to the Local Foods retail store that opened last June. Customer service and information is part of the store’s stock in trade — so it was not surprising when the news broke Thursday that fans voted The Butcher & Larder as Best Butcher Shop in Chicago in an online poll.

Frontera Farmer Foundation’s 2016 Grants Include Friends of FamilyFarmed

Frontera Farmer Foundation is a Chicago-based nonprofit that reflects the commitment of Chef Rick Bayless and his Frontera restaurant group to help local and regional farmers build their businesses and succeed. The foundation presents the lineup of its 2016 grant recipients, and we are very pleased to see many friends and associates of FamilyFarmed.

Workshops and Demos Made the Good Food Festival the Place to Feed Your Head

There was plenty of food to eat at FamilyFarmed’s March 26 Good Food Festival, which drew thousands of attendees for the annual big public celebration of the fast-growing Good Food movement. But the program at the Festival, which included expert panels, artisan workshops and chef demonstrations, also provided plenty of food for thought. This photo essay provides a flavor of the event.

Food to Market Challenge Offers $500,000 for Best Idea to Grow Chicago’s Good Food Supply

Many organizations and companies are working hard to untie knots in the supply chain for local and sustainable food in the Chicago area, the nation’s third most populous consumer market. Now the effort is getting a big boost from the Food to Market Challenge, a newly launched competition that will bestow a $500,000 award on the winning concept.