Waning Winter

March 18, 2010 at 1:10 am

Vera Videnovich

Hard to imagine we’re still in winter when it’s 60 degrees outside. What’s the old joke about the weather in Chicago? If you don’t like it just wait until this afternoon!

It’s been a long winter and the warming weather and sunshine is bringing back spring’s hope of early crops. Last autumn I left frost blankets on anything that might spring up at the first sign of thaw: kale, Swiss chard, collards, mint, sorrel, and a test patch of celery. Waiting to see if this low-cost, low-maintenance season extender will yield crops for markets I’ve got scheduled for the next month.

My winter was full of sporadic markets throughout the city including those organized by Faith in Place at various churches, the indoor Logan Square Farmers Market in the Congress Theater on Milwaukee Avenue, and the new Empty Bottle Farmers Market. I ran out of cold weather veggies in December and have been trying to sell hand-spun wool yarn (most sheared from my own sheep) but the state of the economy has showed itself in dismal sales. You can imagine I can’t wait until I have food to sell!

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Here are some photos taken at various winter farmers market, proof that farmers have specialized products that can bring sales through the winter.

River Valley Ranch mushrooms (Matt and Robin)

Earth First Farms apples and cider

Plapp Family Organics eggs

Fraternite Notre Dame cakes and pastries