Summer Means Farmer’s Markets – Do you know where yours is, Chicago?

IMG_00000016When I lived in Washington DC there was a Farmer’s Market every Wednesday in the summer about a block from my apartment.  I had to actually walk through the market to get home from work which didn’t bother me one bit since I knew I’d have a great dinner that evening even if it was just some fresh homemade pasta.  Chicago has a great farm market which operates year round (Green City) but it’s not the same as a neighborhood one you can walk to (unless you live by Lincoln Park).  Luckily for us, there’s one every Saturday just a few blocks away in our North Center neighborhood.  So, last weekend we walked up to check it out.

It’s not a huge farmer’s market, there were about six stalls or so, but it’s got everything we’re looking for: bread, meat, cheese, eggs, fresh fruits, and vegetables.  Great ingredients for a delicious lunch and Saturday night dinner.  Last weekend the fruits and vegetables consisted mainly of strawberries, rhubarb, asparagus, peas, and radishes.  The guy selling the peas was filling up cartons right out of a big cooler!  The strawberries we bought were really juicy and red throughout, nothing like the ones you get in the grocery store for $1.99 which are red on the outside but flavorless and white on the inside and go bad in a couple of days.  Yuck.

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Loads of fresh strawberries. We were told blueberries are just a couple of weeks away.

Check out the cooler full of peas in the back.

Check out the cooler full of peas in the back.

In all we brought home some dill cheese curds, garlic and herb cheese spread, a salted baguette (very light and fluffy), a ham and cheese croissant (eaten before we left the market), big container of strawberries, and peas.  Now of course these items cost a little more than the grocery store, but you’re not doing your weekly shopping here.  I think we spent a little less than $30 on all of those items.

So where’s the closest farmer’s market to your house?  No idea?  Lucky for you , the City of Chicago has a webpage which lists the 2013 Farmer’s Markets.  You can look up markets for either Downtown (Daley Plaza, Federal Plaza, Sears (Willis) Tower Plaza), Neighborhoods, Night Markets, or by the days of the week.  Whichever way you choose, you should be able to find one nearby where you can get some farm-to-table fruits and vegetables all summer long!

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