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Farmer's Markets - Heartland venues


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We're less than 2 weeks away from the opening of the season and I can hardly wait. After a winter of blah salads, endless cauliflower and assorted root veggies it's great when the weather rolls around and the Heartland gets to showcase one of its strengths: Produce.

The biggest news is that the Green City Market will be open for business 2 days per week this year, starting on Wednesday May 18. The GMC will also be open on Saturdays and will run through October 29. You can view a press release about the GCM by clicking here.

A brief update on other markets of note:

Oak Park Farmers Market kicks off on June 4.

Evanston Farmers Market starts up on May 21.

For a listing of venues where Nichols Farm & Orchard (arguably one of the best suppliers in the Midwest) will be selling their goods, click here.

At last report, the CHIC market was still looking for a new venue.

For a comprehensive listing of Farmer's Markets in IL, please click on the following link: Illinois Farmers Markets

And for additional reference here are links to our Farmer's Market discussions from the past couple of years (please be aware that while the discussions in these linked threads are quite useful, many of the links therein are no longer valid):

Farmer's Markets - 2004, It's just about time...

Evanston Farmer's Market, opens Sat. May 17 (2003)

Twin Cities Farmer's Markets (2003 & 2004)

And please if you have fresh information about any area markets that are worthy of note, please post it here. :smile:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Ron,

How can you possibly neglect The Dane County Farmers' Market in Madison, WI?  Best dang FM in the country!

Even though I've heard amazing things about it -- and have a visit planned for this summer -- because I've never been there, I felt a bit weird about recommending it. But now that you did, I don't have to :smile:

Thanks, Kurt, for the link. Please feel free to add any others that come to mind.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Also, to be open on Saturdays as well as Wednesdays, Chicago's Green City Market., opening May 18.

. . . as noted in my opening post :wink::smile:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Also, to be open on Saturdays as well as Wednesdays, Chicago's Green City Market., opening May 18.

. . . as noted in my opening post :wink::smile:

=R=

Oh geez, it's right there. I blame it on being under the weather today. No, really. Oops.

LOL! If it's open 2 days per week, it's worth mentioning twice :biggrin:

Feel better :smile:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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From the Twin Cities:

The Minneapolis Farmer's Market has been open for a couple of weeks. There is a smaller version (read veg only, and not all of it local; oh they also have plants and flowers) weekdays and a big version on the weekends (with cheese, meat and craft products). They also have a location on Nicollet Mall on Thursdays.

The St. Paul Farmer's Market was open last weekend. This is a different style market from Minneapolis's version in that everything has to have been produced within a 50 mile radius.

For me, the proxmity to the Mpls. Farmer's Market is a draw. As is that fact that on a weekday, I can stop for veg, and park right there, so it's a quick trip.

But, given the cool, cloudy weather, there isn't much veg yet. Come early June, that will change.

There are also some other more "local" farmer's markets. Among my favorites is the one in Northeast Minneapolis in the St. Bonifacus parking lot at Univerity and 7th (??? on the 7th, it could be 5th). Mostly organic. Very small. Click here for more details. Come tomato season, this is the place to be, for the stand that has those amazing baskets of a variety of heirloom tomatoes.

I still need to figure out the farmer's market thing in Anoka County. Will do, and will report.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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In today's edition, the Chicago Tribune provides a comprehensive preview of this year's upcoming Chicagoland markets:

Beginning this month, the city and suburbs welcome back their farmers markets, staffed by growers from throughout Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. Shoppers again can find fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables in the weekly markets that will be open throughout the summer and autumn. Many markets also will offer coffee, cheeses, meats, fish, potted herbs, bakery items, flowers, art, crafts and even musical entertainment.

Welcome back

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

From today's Chicago Sun-Times:

It's that time of year again. No matter where you live or work, you can bet that farmers from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin are coming to a farmers market near you. In Chicago alone you can pick and choose from some 30 markets this year. Illinois boasts 170.

Farmers markets are here, and growing in popularity

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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The Duluth Farmers' Market has opened for the season. As yet there's precious little produce, but there are wonderfully started plants (herbs, flowers, vegetables), and the cheese people and an egg guy are back.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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From the KC area:

The Brookside Organic market and Overland Park Farmer's markets (links below) have been up and running for at least a month. I am very impressed with the hard work, ingenuity and research that our area farmers put in. Without compromising quality or good horticultural practices, they've managed to extend our growing season for many products well beyond where they were even a year or two ago. Cheers to them for making my life worth living half of the year! Now if I could just make arrangements to be somewhere south of the equator during the other six months...

http://www.farmerscommunitymarket.com/index.php

http://www.downtownop.org/farmersmarket.htm

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

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Stumbled onto a neat little Farmers' Mkt in Clayton (suburban StL) MO last weekend. Too early in season for much beyond flowers & some FABLULOUS looking lettuce. But the venue looked promising. Kinda wish I still lived there, was just passin' through....

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- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had a funny/irritating Farmers Market non-experience this morning. Just yesterday the property manager at the building where my office is located brought us a flyer touting that today would be opening day of their annual Farmers Market, slated to run on Friday mornings through the end of October.

Not one to let an easy opportunity slip by, I woke up bright and early and arrived at my office 75 minutes before we normally open so that I could shop the market. I parked my car and ran up to my office to dump my backpack. There I grabbed a few freezer packs (we use them when we send out samples), threw them in a cooler and headed downstairs. Ready.

When I finally arrived at the plaza, only a few minutes after the scheduled start time, it was completely empty. No vendors, no customers, no one. 4 small and forelorn produce stands faced the street holding not one single piece of produce. Then I saw the property manager. I asked her "What's going on? Where is everyone?" "They must have gone back to the store," she said.

"The store?," I asked. "Yeah, they probably forgot some things and went back." A lightbulb (finally) went off over my head. "Who are some of the participating vendors?" I asked. "Just Jewel," she replied. Inside, complete bemusement. Outside, I could muster only an "ahh." Grasping, I asked her "not even Sunset? (a nearby store which is superior to Jewel)" "No," she replied. "They didn't want to participate."

I used the opportunity to politely excuse myself, claiming that I would return a bit later on. But I was bummed. One saving grace is that there are plenty of other (great) markets in the area. Another is that my town's market starts up tomorrow morning. Still, I had been dreaming of my easy and glorious produce summer until the mention of Jewel -- and only Jewel -- had taken form.

Later, I went out to run some errands. When I returned to my office I learned that the property manager had stopped by, literally thrilled with her purchases. She'd come by to show them off and compare notes. That really stunned me. After all, they were just from the big commerical grocery store located less than 2 miles from the office. I guess that some people are easy to please. I usually think I'm one of those people. But today, I'm not so sure. :wacko:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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A quick question.

Has anyone seen fresh chickpeas at any of the Chicago area farmers' markets?

If so, which one, and if you can remember from which farm? 

Thanks for the help.

Ducphat30

No, but I have seen them at Produce World (corner of Dempster and Waukegan Rd in Morton Grove). You may want to give them a call.

847 581-1029

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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do you get a discount if you use your prefered card?

"The store?," I asked.  "Yeah, they probably forgot some things and went back."  A lightbulb (finally) went off over my head.  "Who are some of the participating vendors?" I asked.  "Just Jewel," she replied.  Inside, complete bemusement.  Outside, I could muster only an "ahh."  Grasping, I asked her "not even Sunset? (a nearby store which is superior to Jewel)"  "No," she replied.  "They didn't want to participate."

Edited by guajolote (log)
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do you get a discount if you use your prefered card?

LOL!!

Did they keep the Jewel's name secret? Was it on the stands or did they use Jewel bags? I hope that this is not a trend!

What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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do you get a discount if you use your prefered card?

LOL!!

Did they keep the Jewel's name secret? Was it on the stands or did they use Jewel bags? I hope that this is not a trend!

I honestly never went back to check, but I will be sure to do so at tomorrow's installment. I just have to remind myself to have a cocktail or 2 first :wink:

I had a good but somewhat limited experience at the opening of the Deerfield market last Saturday. The market was mostly comprised of cut flowers, plants, jarred and canned (fancy) foods and dog treats but I did manage to source some excellent greens, asparagus and portabello mushrooms, all of which were grown in Michigan. There were also strawberries but I didn't know when I'd have time to make something with them or eat them so I passed...probably a mistake this time of year. If they look good again this week, I'll definitely pick some up.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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Well, a word to the wise. The Deerfield market strawberries looked great last week and were very juicy, but had almost as little flavor as a supermarket one.

I've visited Deerfield, Highland Park and Ravinia farmers markets in the past year and have to say I've been disappointed in the variety of produce available. Did find some unique apples in Deerfield last fall though.

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Well, a word to the wise. The Deerfield market strawberries looked great last week and were very juicy, but had almost as little flavor as a supermarket one.

I've visited Deerfield, Highland Park and Ravinia farmers markets in the past year and have to say I've been disappointed in the variety of produce available. Did find some unique apples in Deerfield last fall though.

Yeah, as for the northern burbs, the Evanston market towers above all the others. That's just a bit too far for us to travel on Saturdays. Once little league ends that may change, however.

Thanks for the heads up on the Strawberries. I'll be sure to taste before I buy.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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  • 1 month later...
Ron,

How can you possibly neglect The Dane County Farmers' Market in Madison, WI?  Best dang FM in the country!

Well, I finally made a trek to the Dane County Farmers' Market and I can say is . . . Wow! I was blown away by the scale of the market, which extends all the way around the city block that surrounds the Capitol building in Madison, WI. There were several hundred vendors; all with goods either grown or made in WI.

Here is a bit of what we saw . . .

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At around 9:00 am, the crowd was filling in but still fairly light.

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Squash with blossoms intact.

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Oyster Mushrooms

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Goat cheeses from Capri Cheese.

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Live Dwarf Chili plant

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Purple sweet peppers

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Sweet mini red peppers.

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"Flying Saucer" peppers; hot Habanero cousins.

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Hot Chili peppers

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Apples . . . a reminder that fall is just around the corner.

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By around noon, the crowd was 6-deep around the market.

Of course, we had a great time. I was pleased, not only by the variety of goods but the depth as many items were represented throughout the market. Aside from what you see pictured above, there were several bakeries as well as many fish, poultry and meat vendors too. There were also lots of wonderful flowers, but those pictures aren't for this place. :rolleyes:

I was surprised how many folks seemed to be simply drifting around the market without any intention of buying anything. That made getting around a little harder than it would have been but I completely understand why this market draws visitors the way it does. By late morning, the crowd was dense. I can see where dealing with that crowd could be a big burden as a local. Still, between the hours of 7 and 9 am, the market was wide open.

I'll try to post a bit about some of the items we purchased as I cook my way through the week. And, I figure that around here, no one really needs any captions to identify the pictures but if there are any questions, I can try to answer them :wink::smile:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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