Reporting From Ravinia – Beet Reporters

July 2, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Editor’s Note: Local Beet Reporter Peg Wolfe calls Ravinia a “foodie market”, if one whose charms are not widely known.  She’s submitted a few reports, but in this period of Beet ennui, we’ve yet to post them.  We’re catching up today, and look forward to more Ravinia reporting from Peg.

Ravinia Farmers Market

This long-standing farmers market, second in seniority only to Evanston of North Shore markets, features a small but select group of vendors, with a concentration on artisan bakers and food purveyors in addition to primarily Illinois-based produce sellers.  The market is easy to access, either by car or via Metra’s Union Pacific North Line, as Jens Jensen Park is at the Ravinia train stop; there is also abundant street parking available.

Here the vendors as of this week’s market, 6/30/2010:


-          Dennis Acres, Barrington Hills

-          KAP Farms, Fox River Grove (also herb plants, some fruit)

-          Red Barn Farms, Woodstock (also herb plants)


-          Klug Orchards, Berrien Center, MI (Berries, stone fruit, honey, nut brittle, bedding plants; organic certification pending.  Fun Fact: Kevin Klug, the proprietor, is a cousin of Mick Klug of Mick Klug Farms, another prominent Michigan fruit farmer/seller)

-          K&K Farms, MI  (berries, stone fruit)


-          Fraternite Notre Dame, St. Roger Abbey, Algonquin, IL (French pastries, tarts, breads;

-          Necessity Baking Co. Highland Park, IL (high-end artisan breads; )

-           Rugela-licious, Bensenville, IL  (hand-made pastries, especially delicate rugelah;

-          High-Rise Baking Company, Chicago (artisan breads, scones, & rolls;

-          Darina’s cookies, Chicago (extravagantly decorated cookies;


-          Oosterhoff & Sons, Momence, IL  (cut flowers, perennials, bedding plants)


-          Knife Sharpening by Dave (custom knife sharpening, by a knowledgeable, personable expert; )

Other Foods

-          Diamond Fresh, Lake Zurich, IL (fish, spice/herb rubs, cedar planks; )

-          Cheese People, Quincy, IL  (cheeses of all kinds; )

-          Olives 4 You, Wheaton, IL  (olives, hummus, olive salads, pita; )

-          River Valley Mushrooms, Burlington, WI (mushrooms and mushroom products, pasta sauces, soups, salsas;

-          Stivers Coffee, Chicago (locally roasted and flavored coffees)

Highlights the 6/30 market included a sale on Michigan red raspberries at Klug Orchard, $2.00 for a heaping half-pint; pints of blueberries and raspberries were available for $4.00.  Also, the first sour cherries of 2010 were available at both K&K and Klug, in addition to sweet cherries – buy soon, as the season is short, and there is no autumn season.

High Rise Baking Co. touted tender, flavorful ciabatta for $3.00 a loaf.  Rugela-licious featured packages of hand-made raspberry and apricot rugalah, four of each flavor for $5.75.  Oosterhoff & Sons displayed Heliopsis, AKA False Sunflowers, at $6 for a large bouquet of these long-lasting golden yellow charmers, as well as Asiatic (unscented) and Oriental (very scented!) lilies. 

Red Barn Farms offered the first green and yellow wax beans of the season, as well as field-grown tomatoes;  KAP Farms benefited from their downstate farm operation by offering sweet corn and jalapeno peppers.  They also were selling a bargain bunch of mixed knob onions, a combo of white, yellow, and red striplings for a modest 75 cents.  KAP also had on hand the first IL peaches I’ve seen this year.

June 23rd Report

Due to stormy weather conditions for most of the morning of June 23rd, the majority of vendors cut their day at Ravinia short and packed it in – by 12:30 PM, only two vendors were still open and selling their wares.  Fortunately, the vendors who stuck it out, KAP Farms (IL) and K&K Farms (SW Michigan), had new seasonal produce items on sale:

-          KAP Farms: sweet corn from their downstate farm acreage;  red, orange tomatoes; jalapeno chiles

-          K&K Farms: the first blueberries and red raspberries of the season; sweet cherries. Sour cherries are expected next week, though in lesser quantity than last year’s bumper crop, due to the peculiar weather conditions this spring.

Assuming the weather is better next week, the market should be back in full swing, as the accelerated growing season is now in high gear, though the perpetually wet ground has made the harvest of certain crops difficult, and weed control problematic.

Ravinia Farmers Market

Roger Williams Dr., East of Green Bay Road
Adjacent to Jens Jensen Park
Highland Park (Ravinia), IL 

Hours: 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Wednesdays, June 16th through  October 20th