Green City Market Opening Day
Favorite Day of the Year?
Well that would have to be the first day of the outdoor farmers market season. I know, I know, we now have indoor markets to get us thru the winter, but there is just something about outdoor market season. And I know I am not alone in this sentiment (nod to my market-going gal pals yesterday).
There are a number of markets that have opened (Woodstock last week*) and a number opening this weekend(Evanston for instance*) but for me the kick off of outdoor season started yesterday at the first Wednesday market of the season for Green City Market.
A few things to note: Green City Market has temporarily moved a couple blocks north, basically parallel to the Farm in the Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo, during some rehab of the grounds. Yes, all hoping to alleviate the wade-thru-the-muck-at-the-market syndrome. But quite frankly, and not like my opinion matters, but I kinda hope that GCM remains in this temporary location. It spreads out nicely along multiple paved paths (instead of just one), which will make getting carts, wagons, strollers around a heck of a lot easier.
Gotta say, the non-stop rain is making for some gorgeous and ginormous greens. Can you say spinach leaves bigger than your head? A yeah, I think Tomato Mountain can. And the broccoli rabe from Genesis Growers? Truly, I have never seen any so large. Kales, lettuces, leeks, spring onions, fragrant green garlic (seriously one of my favorite smells of the season), sorrel, chives, epazote, basil, mushrooms, wintered-over potatoes and apples, and the sweetest baby turnips I think I have ever tried. Oh and can’t forget, that that I have been dreaming of for weeks, ASPARAGUS!
Fair Oaks Farms is a new farm to the market this season. Their Bok Choy (and all their veg for that matter) were just beautiful. And digging the new bit of produce they introduced (well to me at least it’s ‘new’), Claytonia aka ‘Miners Lettuce’. Yes, I have a whole post coming dedicated to this scrumptious edible plant.
For those of you who like to grab a bite while at the market (yeah all you crepe, doughnut, bread, quiche, sandwich eaters, you know who you are) there is a new vendor coming to GCM this season: Las Manas Tamales. You had me at tamale. Las Manas is still waiting for their permits, so fingers crossed they will be there this Saturday (5/7).
So your mom wouldn’t appreciate a gift of food from the market for Mother’s Day? No need to have to make another stop, beautiful stems of tulips are a plenty. And if she does appreciate a gift of something to plant, there are plenty of herb and tomato plants and Nichols Farm fig trees (can I tell you? my Nichols Fig trees are now ten years old and producing figs). Hey maybe you should do the planting for yoru mom on Sunday. Guessing we will start to see the hanging flower baskets, come Saturday.
Since I am one of those ‘get to the market right when it opens kinda gals’ I can’t speak to the chef demos. Did I hear Rob Leavitt of Butcher & Larder butchered a lamb? Leave a comment if you can give the play-by-play on that.
If you need a full list of all of the Green City Market vendors click here. Meanwhile, let me know what your favorite finds from the market are this week.
*check out the market locator to see when a market near you is opening for the season.