A Tale of Two (Winter) Markets

November 8, 2011 at 10:17 am

For those of us living in way-out-west Chicagoland, we now have some winter farmers market options. This past weekend, I visited two of those markets on their first indoor venture of the season – the Winter Market-Elgin and the Community Winter Market in Geneva.

As the Elgin market opened one hour before the Geneva market, I headed there first. The market is in a warehouse space in downtown Elgin dubbed The Haight Building. Entrance to the market is on the Kimball Street side behind Douglas Street Sports Bar and Grill. Since I was there pretty early, some of the vendors were still setting up or hadn’t arrived yet. But what I did find was some lovely fresh greens from Erehwon Farm and winter squash and fresh apples from Royal Oak Orchard. I also purchased a fantastic brioche from St. Roger Abbey. Other products included apple cider donuts, pickles and jams, honey, a wide variety of olives, tapenade, kettle corn and fresh baked cookies. I’m excited to see how this market develops in the coming weeks.

Elgin 11_05_11

(Forgive the less-then-stellar phone camera pictures. Whilst farmers market shopping, I usually decline to carry the nice, but big, camera!)

My next stop was the Geneva market, which finds its winter home at Inglenook Pantry. I’ve been going to this market for several years now, both in the winter and summer. The summer market is on Thursdays, and I have difficulty getting to that market with my work schedule; it’s nice to be able to get to the Saturday winter market.

Erewhon Farm is here, too, along with several other farmers offering a beautiful, and impressive, array of fresh veggies. This is just a partial list, as it would be difficult to list everything: salad greens, spinach, arugula, bok choy, kale, chard, bell peppers, celery, mushrooms, winter and summer radishes, parsnips, carrots, onions, potatoes, turnips, winter squash, apples, and Asian pears (yum!).

There are plenty of fresh eggs available, as well as humanely raised chicken, beef and pork. New this year – at least new to me – is fresh pasta, in just about every flavor imaginable. The Weavers of Inglenook Pantry always have prepared food available for purchase, either to eat in or carry out. Come early and snack on a fresh pastry for breakfast, or come later and enjoy a bowl of piping hot soup for lunch. Either way is delicious.

Genevea 11_05_11

Both markets update their Facebook pages regularly with vendor information; check them out at the following pages:

Winter Market-Elgin: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Winter-Market-Elgin/260682453976554

Community Winter Market: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Geneva-Green-Market-NFP/85326673757