Sunday Winter Market
What a Sunday!
The Winter Farmer’s Market in Old Irving Park this past Sunday was more crowded than the summer markets that I attend in my neighborhood in Independence Park. Sure, the church-basement space was a little more confined than the outdoor park field, but at the peak of the market there were simply more farmers and more customers than I’ve ever seen at the Sunday morning summer markets.
I bought honey from Dennanne Farms in Elgin, crimini mushrooms, potatoes from Scotch Hill Farm, cheese from Saxon Creamery (re-sold by Scotch Hill), winter sprouts from Heritage Prarie, yarn for our knitting babysitter from Farmer Vera, and aquaponic lettuce from Robin Schimmer, the market organizer. I barely scratched the surface of what was available: meats, eggs, pickled and jarred vegetables, dried fruits, cider, breads, soups & stews, baked sweets, soaps, and pet treats. Nearly every time, I had to wait behind someone else to get near the goods or briefly chat with a farmer.
To anyone who thinks that the winter months are are the lean times for local foods, they obviously haven’t been to a winter market like this. Green City Market may be the shining star of Chicago markets, but to see so much good food and activity packed into a hidden NW-side church basement on a cold and icy Sunday afternoon was a testament to the power of good food to bring people together.