A Thin Start to the Oak Park Farmer’s Market

May 20, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I Was Here Where Were You

hardin asparagus - oak park - 5 18

Last Saturday I made my first ever visit to the 61st Market, and I came home with a ton of pictures. This Saturday I visited the market where I’ve made my most visits, the market that made me the eat local guy I am. I’ve come home with much less pictures. The reason, a rather thin showing in week one. It might be the weather but I’m not sure. I did not do a lot of digging. Three regular vendors, Ellis of Michigan fruit, Sandhill Organic of Prairie Crossing initiatives  and Iron Creek of Indiana greenhouses did not show. Farmer’s who’ve had impressive early season showings in recent years, like Genesis Growers and Nichol’s did not have much to offer. In fact both admirably offered as much old as new. I could, if I wanted, buy potatoes, celery root, black radishes, sunchokes, dried beans and carrots at this market. There was asparagus.

All winter long, whenever I visited my wife at the Evanston Winter Market, I chatted with the folks from Geneva Lakes.  Often, they’d talk about how their dad was using up the hoop houses for early season cucumbers.  Well, I’m glad he did, coming home with three on Saturday.  We got organic hamburger from our friends the Wettsteins; asparagus from our friends at Hardin Farms, and cheese from our friends at Nordic Creamery. I cannot say that we’re good friends yet with the folks from Penny Pastry, because this was their first time at the market. Next week.  We got some nice wheat buns from them. The market has one other new vendor, Three Queens, a couple of Oak Park guys sapping Wisconsin trees for maple syrup.

maple syrup oak park - may 18

The maple syrup guys gladly handed out tastes and also explained the advantages of re-labeling maple syrup as amber and dark instead of grade A and grade B.  Amber tasted fresh and clean.  I preferred the defined maple flavor of dark.

If nothing else, there’s donuts.

oak park donuts - may 18

I’ll be there next week. Will you?

The Oak Park Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday until October 26 from 7 until 1 PM.  The market is in the parking lot of Pilgrim Church on Lake, one block west of Ridgeland.