November 2012
Featured Recipe
Welcome Note
Corks & Crayons 2012 Recap
A Few Good Spears
Donor Highlights
Volunteer Spotlight
One Dime at a Time

About Us
Join Our Mailing List
Follow Us



What: Google Hangout with Green Kid Crafts

When: November 12, 2012 from 11:30a.m.-12p.m..

Where: Google

Why: To learn more about Green Kid Crafts and Purple Asparagus


What: Chefs for Charity Partnership with Falafill

When: The month of December
Where: 3202 N. Broadway in Lakeview; 72 E. Adams in the Loop or 1053 Lake Street in Oak Park
Why: Purple Asparagus and Heather Terhune of Sable are partnering with Falafill's charity series to collaborate and create a unique wrap, which will be featured on the menu for the entire month of December. Proceeds of each wrap sold benefit Purple Asparagus. Don't miss this opportunity to try Falafill in a different way while also getting a taste from some of the most celebrated restaurant chefs in the city.
Cost: $8-10
More info:
Squash Waffles

Purple Asparagus has a brand new blog, Delicious Nutritious Adventures. Updated 4 times a week, our blog is full of tips on how to feed your family well, news about the organization, and other tidbits for sustainably-minded families. We hope you'll check it out. This week we've got a delicious, nutritious whole grain breakfast recipe. Visit now to take a chance to win a Today I Ate a Rainbow kit.


Fall is, hands down, my very favorite season.


The hard-skinned squashes have arrived at our markets. Seemingly overnight, the leaves have begun to change into dazzling hues of fiery red, orange and gold. And after a generous Indian summer, we're starting to see early signs of chilly weather. While I'll miss the abundance of tomatoes, cucumbers and corn, I crave the return to the slower pace - and slower cooking - that autumn brings with its soups, stews and braises.


The kids are finally settled at school, and we at Purple Asparagus have more than a month of programming under our belt. Before you know it, the end of the year will be here and we'll be moving forward into 2013. With the new year brings a new focus on goals and growth, so make sure to consider how you might help advance our cause with either your time or treasure - details are below.


While we enjoy the crunching leaves, pumpkin spices, simmering stews and slower pace of life, we wanted to share with you some recent news and upcoming events. Hope to see you soon!


Melissa Graham 
Head Spear, Purple Asparagus


C&C Thor and Willa


A big thank you to everyone who supported Corks and Crayons, our annual all-ages fund-raiser with a mini farmers' market, arts and crafts projects, a magic show, a photo booth and, of course, plenty of tasty, healthy eats from some well known local chefs.


Click here to see a recap and slideshow from TimeOut Chicago Kids.

And be sure to save the date for next year's Corks and Crayons on August 25, 2013 at the Green Exchange!

CEMSE Center for Elementary Math and Science Education at University of Chicago


We are excited to announce that we will be working with The Center for Elementary Math and Science Education (CEMSE) at the University of Chicago to conduct a year-long evaluation of our Delicious Nutritious Adventures program.

This evaluation will help us understand student and family participation in the Delicious Nutritious Adventures program activities, and the knowledge, behavioral, and attitudinal outcomes for participating youth and their families.


Using both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods, the Center will use evaluation questions for children and caregivers, as well as case studies. Lead Researcher Amy Cassata and Associate Project Director Sarah Rand  will be conducting the analysis.To learn more about CEMSE and their current evaluation projects visit their website.

Looking for a Few Good Spears

TIME: We're always looking for a few good spears to help out with outreach, event planning and donations. Purple Asparagus is seeking the following volunteers:

  • Volunteers to help with analyzing recipes. For every Nutritious Delicious Adventures classroom session, we distribute recipes with a nutritional analysis of the snack of the day. We are looking for a volunteer with a background in nutrition or dietetics to help calculate nutritional values for some of our most popular snacks.
  • Like to blog? We've got a brand new one and we're always looking for guest voices. 
TREASURE: If time is in short supply, monetary donations can be made to our general fund. PurpleAsparagus is now at a point where the demand for programming is beyond our capacity. Last year, a number of programming requests were declined due to a lack of funds.


Our goal is to turn no school away, and with your support we can make this happen! Be sure to check your company's corporate giving policy - many employers match funds donated - and remember that all monetary gifts are 100% tax deductible.


If you are interested in volunteering or donating to Purple Asparagus, send us a note at 


Donor Highlights


Applegate is an organic and natural meat company founded in 1987, and a special friend to Purple Asparagus. The organization recently donated $2,500 to Purple Asparagus in support of its mission to teach children across the Chicagoland area to enjoy food that's healthy for the planet and their bodies.


All Applegate products are made from animals that were humanely raised and never administered hormones or antibiotics, and contain no added casein, fillers or preservatives. Headquartered in New Jersey, Applegate works with nearly 1,000 family farms to offer great-tasting choices from trusted production practices. Its distribution includes Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Safeway and Kroger, and continues to grow each year. Be sure to look at the website for product locator and allergen search tools. 


"Our mission is to change the meat America eats," says Gina Asoudegan, Director of Communications, "One important way we do that is by supporting organizations, like Purple Asparagus, that align with our mission."


To learn more about Applegate, click here.

Volunteer Spotlight 

You may like us, but have you really "liked us?" (On Facebook, that is.)

If so, you've surely seen the talent of Purple Asparagus' social media coordinator, Veronica Katz. Having worked with Purple Asparagus for more than a year, Veronica makes sure we get our fair share of social media buzz on Facebook and Twitter

Based out of Norridge, Veronica has a public relations and advertising background she brings to the social media table. After recently becoming more mindful about her eating habits and lifestyle, she wanted to volunteer her time with an organization that was aligned with her values.

"I like helping to get the word out about what we do, and how it all works together to make for a better community," said Veronica.
Her favorite part of the gig? When a post on Facebook gets "liked," of course. Veronica also enjoys interacting with folks who have similar values about food and health. She has also gotten out to the classroom for several Delicious Nutritious Adventures lessons, where she assisted teaching children about herbs like thyme, sage and rosemary.

"Even though it is fun when I go in the classroom, on the other hand it's a challenge," said Veronica. "I can relate to the kids, because at one point I loved my candy bars, chips, etc. But the programs are really in tune with what kids like and what appeals to them."

When she's not helping out Purple Asparagus, Veronica enjoys creative writing, reading stories and learning to play the guitar.

Follow us on Facebook at or on Twitter @purpleaspchi. Stay tuned for a Google+ page, which is in the works.

Whole Foods One Dime at a Time  A wholehearted thank you to Whole Foods for naming Purple Asparagus as the beneficiary for its "One Dime at a Time" program, which donated 10 cents each time a shopper brought his or her own bag instead of using the store's brown paper sacks.

Purple Asparagus received 100% of the proceeds from April 1st until June 30th and recently received a check for a total of $25,658.57. That's a whole lot of Whole Foods bags!

"We saw a need because Purple Asparagus had a huge wait list due to Melissa's wonderful connections and wonderful program that was already in place," said Jesse Mraz, associate team leader at Whole Foods Market for the Chicago metro marketing team. "The One Dime at a Time program is a great way to get our customers involved and give them a way to donate to local charities."

Big hugs to our friends at Whole Foods and to all of you for remembering to bring your bags and supporting the children in our public schools. 
Thank you for your continued support! Sincerely, Purple Asparagus
The Green Exchange Building | 2545 W. Diversey Ave. | Suite 203 | Chicago, IL 60647 | | 773.991.1920

Thank you to Erin Sarris of Spun Copy