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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Monday, April 15

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Paula / June 5, 2006 9:50 AM

I'm a lazy bum, so most Farmer's Markets are too early for me to get the good stuff. If for some reason I am up early, I go to Evanston. I do split a weekly CSA share from Angelic Organics and even a split is pretty overwhelming.

michelle / June 5, 2006 10:05 AM

I was very excited about going to the Logan Square market yesterday - when I got there, it was only 4 tables and not a vegetable in sight! The Prudential Plaza market is across the street from my work, but it's small too (although much bigger than the neighborhood one), but it takes too much of my lunch break to get to the big one at Federal Plaza.

Nan / June 5, 2006 10:15 AM

I live for summer and the Farmer's Market season. When I'm at work, I'll go to the Daley Plaza on my lunch hour. I live in the 'burbs, and there's nothing more enjoyable that hopping on my bike on the weekend with a backpack, and filling it with fresh veggies and bread. Sometimes I'll even indulge myself with some flowers.

anne / June 5, 2006 10:20 AM

I'm a big fan of the Evanston Farmer's Market. It's the biggest one I've been to so far in Chicago, and even late, there's good stuff to be had. Some of the same vendors sell at the Wicker Park market on Sundays, which is nice when I can't make it up to Evanston on Saturdays.

Jay / June 5, 2006 10:22 AM

Yeah, I go to the one in Daley Plaza becuase it's close to my office, but I like the one in Federal Plaza much better. This year I plan on getting all my produce from markets. Must resist the urge to buy produce from Jewel. Jewel produce totally sucks! I can't wait for the Randolph Treasure Island to open.

mike / June 5, 2006 10:39 AM

The one off Clark Street in Lincoln Park was great. I went there for the first time this weekend and it beat the everliving shit out of the farmers market at LPHS.

spence / June 5, 2006 10:41 AM

I plan on going to the market on Halsted/Grace/Broadway when it opens later this month. Also, I will be hitting up the market at the MCA on my lunch hour on Tuesdays.

ivy / June 5, 2006 10:45 AM

I go to Harvestime on Lawrence for my produce. And sometimes Whole Foods if I'm grabbing stuff during work. (expensive, but I work a block away, and HT doesn't have kale, fancy-pants organic apples, etc.). And I'll hit Jewel up for a bag of baby carrots, but that's about it.

I really miss working near a weekday farmer's market!

paul / June 5, 2006 10:45 AM

I've been pretty impressed by most of the markets in the area.

Mt. Prospect has an interesting market, with some things I don't see in some city markets that don't allow non-food items - tea, handcrafted kitchen ware, homemade soap etc.

Evanston is my market though, and they still had lots of good organic greens and roots when I got there late this Saturday (10:30 is late for the best stuff)

I was particularly upset this weekend because Bennison's bakery were out of chocolate croissants. That'll be my motivation to get there earlier next week.

rachael / June 5, 2006 11:18 AM

Federal Plaza has the best farmers market in my opinion. I go Tuesdays around 10:00 am so the selection's still pretty good. My two favorite stands are Nichol’s and Green Acres which both have a nice eclectic organic selection including everything from the usual veggies to crazy wild foraged mushrooms. Green Acres had the best heirloom tomatoes last year too!

Marilyn / June 5, 2006 11:31 AM

I go to the Skokie Farmers Market. It's walking distance from my home. I already have a great produce market that's usually cheaper, but there are specialty things, like cheese, spices, and honey that I like to get at the Farmers Market. At the end of the summer, I can usually get a bushel of tomatoes for a fair price that I can for use the rest of the fall and winter. There's nothing like homegrown tomatoes on a winter's day.

Leah W / June 5, 2006 11:36 AM

I am unnervingly obsessed with the Green City Market (the one Mike mentioned on Clark near the Lincoln Park Zoo). Organic! Sustainable! Dreamy! I ponied up for a membership this year, even. Plus, it runs Wednesdays and Saturdays starting at 7am, so I can stop by early and have veggies through the week.

Not much produce yet (greens, asparagus, and the earliest of strawberries), but last year, come July... oh, what a paradise.

emily / June 5, 2006 11:37 AM

we enjoy the wicker park farmers market, and we also subscribe to a vegetable share with angelic organics, which i highly recommend.

wackpuma / June 5, 2006 11:49 AM

I looooove the Oak Park farmers market. I am surpised no one has mentioned it yet. The church that is next to it sells homemade donuts, and there is a folk "jam" all morning. Everytime I go, I see poeple I know.

Oh yeah, the produce is awsome too.

VinceJose / June 5, 2006 11:49 AM

I don't know of any markets around the Avondale/Logan Square area but I would love to find one. After a recent trip to Spain I wonder why Chicago doesn't have a big enclosed Central Market with booths for local producers like they have in pretty much every town over the pond. Put it next to an el stop and you've got gold IMHO.

amyc / June 5, 2006 11:55 AM

Depending on which day we do our shopping, the boy and I hit either the North Center market (Sat., Damen & Belle Plaine) or the Wicker Park market (Sun.). They're both pretty small -- 5-10 booths -- but they have everything we need. Any place with a Seedling fruit stall is OK by me.

spence / June 5, 2006 12:02 PM


I went to the city of chicago gov site and it says there is a farmers market at:

Southeast corner of Logan Blvd. & Milwaukee & Kedzie

June 4-Oct. 29, 2006

11 a.m.-3 p.m.

city of chicago farmers market guide

here is the sun times guide:

sun times farmers market guide.

TaJ / June 5, 2006 12:15 PM

love the markets!!! reminds me of growing up in europe. i go to one on armitage/halsted or broadway/melrose (small). still want to check out green city market. produce is so much fresher, lasts longer and it was not picked somewhere across the globe. will check out MCA as well. the sites, the smells, the samples!!!

DebO / June 5, 2006 12:28 PM

Mostly we go to the Broadway & Melrose market because we're lazy: it's only a couple of blocks from home. But if I'm feeling ambitious I like to go to the Green City Market. There's more selection, and the panini stand is awesome.

Spook / June 5, 2006 12:43 PM

Yea that Logan Square "farmers Market" was straight up jankety like the Christmas Tree in the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. It reminded me of the
Sovite Union, pre-Glasnost!
Maybe they should move it to Saturday and serve beer with a live band to get that party started right!

miss ellen / June 5, 2006 12:43 PM

as some have said, the logan square market only started last year & they've had a hard time getting more vendors (although, right now it's still early in the season)....

also, regarding the note about a big "central mkt" ala europe, i gather this is what is envisioned from this article, about a year-round market near ogilve center

DebO / June 5, 2006 12:55 PM

DebO: I live a half-block down from the Melrose market, but it's just not the Green City Market, so I hike down there most days it's open.

Also, the chef demos are awesome. Rick Bayless on Wednesday, and in a couple of weeks, Gale Gand and her son Gio.

ahn / June 5, 2006 12:57 PM

I just started working near the Prudential Center so I'm excited to check out their market, even if it is small. I don't tend to get to them as often as I'd like... not really on an early morning Saturday type weekend schedule.

I would love to find a good place to buy produce year-round on the north side. I'm in Ravenswood and the produce at Jewel and similar stores is awful. My family lives in Skokie and there are some fantastic places out there but it's not always convenient. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Marilyn / June 5, 2006 1:00 PM

Lincoln Square used to have a Farmers Market on Lawrence about two blocks east of Western. I think it was on Thursday.

Marilyn / June 5, 2006 1:04 PM

Here's the link to the Lincoln Square Farmers Market:

anne / June 5, 2006 1:08 PM

I should also remind folks of a Google hack done at Inqblot of some Chicago Farmer's Markets.

jeff / June 5, 2006 1:39 PM

Ahn...If you live in Ravenswood...try Edgewater Produce on Clark right across the street from Jewel in Andersonville. It's a lot cheaper than Jewel and better products in my opinion. Its a Mexican driven market but it should do in getting lettuce, peppers of all sorts, fruits, etc.

anne / June 5, 2006 1:56 PM

Google hack link here:

fluffy / June 5, 2006 3:31 PM

Edgewater Produce - cheap and great produce- especially if you're making salsa. they've always got nice bushy cilantro. lemons are cheap, and they always have nice roma tomatoes. the meat dept makes me gag, though.

I sometimes order produce boxes from New Leaf Natural Grocery in Evanston.

jen / June 5, 2006 3:40 PM

indeed, i wish chicago had something like cleveland's west side market... until then i'll just have to settle for one downtown near work. chances of me getting up before noon to make the logan square market are slim to none.

ahn / June 5, 2006 4:21 PM

thanks for the Edgewater Produce recommendations! I've passed by there a bunch of times but never visited. I'll give it a shot. :)

s / June 5, 2006 4:30 PM

No love for Stanley's yet? Well let me be the first.

Annie / June 5, 2006 4:38 PM

That Logan Square "Farmers' Market" is my new arch-enemy. Expect to see me out there next week picketing. I'll be the crazy lady with the megaphone. In addition to not having any veggies, it didn't start until 11! What self-respecting Farmers' Market starts that late? I'm still angry. Maybe I'll buy a bunch of fruit at Dominicks & sell it in my own booth.

karczek / June 5, 2006 5:51 PM

During the warm season, I try to get to the Daley or Federal Plaza markets once every week or two. This year I'm going to make a goal of getting to Green City, and the Lakeview, North Center or North Halsted markets.

Does anyone have any opinion on those last three? Do they offer variety, do the growers tend to use sustainable, organic methods, etc?

Right now, most of my produce comes from Whole Foods and Treasure Island. Whole Paycheck is great, but, of course, insanely expensive. Treasure Island is hit or miss on selection and quality. I like them more than Jewel, but there's certainly room for improvement. What I really like though is the concept of buying directly from the grower. Considering this personal element and the freshness, I really don't even care much about the prices.

One last question. Does anyone know where I can get information about how buying from local/regional producers, such as those at markets here in the city, reduces (or not) the amount of fuel needed for shipping/distribution? Not the mention the attendant (potential) reduction in pollution. If these benefits are substantial, it'd be a good factoid to keep in mind when trying to convince friends to join us when we go to a market.

printdude / June 5, 2006 6:17 PM

I love the Farmer's Markets. I enjoy supporting the local and independant farmers who go to the ones here in Chicago.
My sole displeasure is that 90% of the markets are attended by a small handful of farmers, who make the rounds to each market. I think the organizer of these open markets needs to do a better job of enticing farmers and producers of fresh-made goods. Garfield Park especially.
I am really fascinated by the Market in Madison - it is done exactly right and should be used for a model for any future markets.

deliwoman / June 5, 2006 9:28 PM

I never get up early enough for the farmers markets either. I used to go to a Korean market on Bryn Mawr and Christiana. It always had some great seasonal surprises and cheap prices. Now that I moved I am exploring the produce markets on Lawrence. I had been going to Chicago Produce on Lawrence and Kimball but I just discovered Harvestime (mentioned earlier) and I think it's great. Everything looks so fresh and bright. For exotic asian ingredients I like Broadway Market, 4879 N Broadway. If I'm in the car, Lincolnwood Produce is great as well (try some of the green tomatoes from the deli). Ah, yes Stanley's on North Avenue; I'll second that but I haven't been there in years.

Diana / June 6, 2006 6:03 AM

If you think the Logan Square Farmers Market sounds puny, the first North Center one was this past Saturday. I was really excited because it's one block from my place, at Damen & Lincoln.

Much to my dismay, there was only one (1) lonely table.

That said, I'm really excited about checking out the Green City and Federal Plaza markets. I just moved into the city from Oak Park, where they have a good one, with fresh donuts! The markets make for a good morning.

ivy / June 6, 2006 9:27 AM

I shoulda given Harvestime more love in my above post.

2632 W. Lawrence Ave.

(1 blk. west of Rockwell)

It's a sister store to Edgewater Produce. Last weekend I bought limes for $0.05/ea. Yes. A nickel. Avocados were $0.50. And the veggies they have are pretty good. They also have a good variety of non-produce (Mexican, Eastern European, Middle Eastern, Greek, and some organic dairy).

They're a 3 block walk northwest of the Rockwell Brown Line station. (Err, whenever that reopens!) If you live around there, and are in want of produce, go! :-)

Steve / June 6, 2006 11:14 AM

Diana -- I hear ya re: the North Center market. It's always small (though years ago, they had some great orchids), and I think I got about one pound of edible (not crushed/bruised/infested) cherries when I bought five pounds of them there last summer.

Now I get to see what the Downers Grove market is all about -- lucky me!

unmake / June 6, 2006 12:29 PM

Stanley's is about as 'fresh' as I get. Once in a while I'll visit the mexican supermarket on Cermak, but usually produce means 'crap from Dominicks'.

VinceJose / June 6, 2006 1:18 PM

Thanks for the info Spence and Miss Ellen. The Ogilvie Market thing is really interesting.

Joanna / June 6, 2006 1:57 PM

Diana - So there was one table at the North Center market on Saturday? I got there late - around noon - and there was nothing there. Nothing. I even double checked online before I left to make sure it was happening. Glad it wasn't just me.

bam / June 6, 2006 3:31 PM

Don't forget City Farm, yummy stuff grown on raised beds in the shadows of what was once Cabrini.

Beautiful, flavorful, local produce.

More styles of tomatoes than even the printdude's patch of earth.

I think the stand is open 3-6p Wed, Thurs, & Sat

Clybourn @ Division.

Miz M / June 6, 2006 3:45 PM

I go to the Federal Plaza market every Tuesday. The selection is great and the guys from Marengo (Nichols Farm) are totally sweet!

Lauren / June 6, 2006 4:14 PM

I go to Evanston most weekends, and try to make the drive up to Madison at least a couple of times during the summer.

Madison is SO much better than anything we have in Chicago....smoked fish, breads, really strange produce I've never seen elsewhere. If we had a similar market I would do all my shopping there.

ivy / June 6, 2006 4:27 PM

There's also a new Public Market in Milwaukee's Third Ward -- 90 miles north, closer than Madison. They also have an outdoors farmer's market, Sat. & Sun., 8a.m.-1p.m.

I haven't been to the outdoor market yet, but the indoor public market is fan-tas-tic.

Flips / June 6, 2006 9:28 PM

Stanley's... one made the mistake of asking to use the bathroom there. I will NEVER shop there again, it was dis.gus.ting. I have never been in a nastier place.

Spook / June 7, 2006 12:05 AM

"Madison is SO much better than anything we have in Chicago....smoked fish, breads, really strange produce I've never seen elsewhere"

yea there is something a bit too "yummy" at Chicago's farmers markets as oppose to "ethnic Proletariat” for lack of better words, which is what the Old Maxwell Street use to be. They use to sell unpasterized sausages and cheeses at this one stand-Now that's Italian!- not to mention the other 100's of stands that sold crazzzyyyy *&%!

JP / June 7, 2006 8:37 AM

Well, typically when I post something that usually means it is time to change the topic and I am hoping that will be the case this time as – and I know this will make me seem dumb – I have no idea what a farmers market is and I am to lazy to read all the posts and figure it out.

Shasta MacNasty / June 7, 2006 8:47 AM

I'd never in my life been to a farmer's market before I went to the one in Evanston last weekend and proceeded to buy $70 worth of cheese from some hottie at the Brunkow table.

I really enjoyed myself and taking everything in. I didn't buy any vegetables because I still had plenty at home, but I need to stock up with weekend. Thanks to Spence for the list of farmers markets...and hello Ms. Ellen! Long time no see!

Appleby / June 7, 2006 9:07 AM

The French Market in the parking lot of Nettelhorst School (Broadway, one block north of Belmont) has some interesting stands. There are usually a couple of farm stands with regional produce (e.g. Michigan strawberries and rhubarb) or some specialty product (honey, barbecue sauce, etc.). The Green City Market has a great variety of unusual greens. Also Growing Home usually has a stand there:
That said, I find that the prices at Green City are quite high. You can get organic produce, cheese, yoghurt, and so on, but you won't save money.

printdude / June 7, 2006 9:57 AM

There is great produce to be found at International Food Market, (3900 or So, So. Pulaski, just off I-55) % or six kinds of Basil, all sorts of different Asian vegetables, fresh fish and meats, all at cheap, cheap prices.

I am in love with this place.

Chinese Eggplant and fresh dungeoness crab? They got it.

Accidental Alliteration / June 7, 2006 10:51 AM

i tire of this thread! someone suggest something saucy.

az / June 7, 2006 11:38 AM

Re North Center: Yes, only one table there on Saturday. I asked the guys why and they said that it's really too early for anything but strawberries and asparagus. This seemed to be true at the Prudential Center market yesterday as well, although I did see some turnips there. All the rest was baked goods/jelly/cheese etc. Hang in there, it will get better.

spook / June 7, 2006 11:50 AM

I wonder what farmers market that, That Blagg The Axman gets his produce from? Bet he's an early riser

Blagg the Axman / June 7, 2006 1:36 PM

Blagg recalls with fondness his days in the green fields of his father, where he would rise at cock's crow and could pluck off any fresh berry, fruit, blossom, or seed within the reach of his own boy's axe. 'Twas this same axe Blagg first raised against the throats of the red-eyed hoards who came to take his family's land and stock from them. The harvest that year came early; the spring rains that should have fallen on young Blagg's shoulders as he lay with his sweetheart instead fell on a red and torn ground.

JP / June 7, 2006 1:50 PM

Is this the same Blagg the Axman who wen to NorthSide Prep and was busted for wacking off in the boys locker room when he was supposed to be in gym class? If so it is me Jenny. Remember?

Josh / June 10, 2006 9:20 AM

As one of the people trying to grow the Logan Square Farmers Market, I feel obliged to chip in here.

This is only the second year for our market and we are growing, but it takes time. Last year the markets were bi-weekly, and started even later (1-4pm). There are weekly markets this year, and we are starting earlier (11am-3pm) in reponse to comments raised after last year's pilot markets.

The hardest part about organizing a farmers market is getting the farmers to drive from the hinterlands to sell their stuff to those of us trapped in the concrete jungle. For the record, at the first market last year, zero farmers showed up, so the four tents we had were a big improvement for us.

We hope to have some vegetable and fruit farmers join us this weekend and in the near future once they have a little more product to sell. The downtown markets are well established and have lots of return vendors, but setting up a new neighborhood market requires patience and persistence.

I'm happy to hear reports of those who came and I hope you'll continue to come so that we can grow the market rather than just tear it down.

for details visit our new website

LH / August 31, 2007 9:19 AM

My favorite Chicago Farmer's Market is the one at the Lincoln Park High School at Orchard and Armitage. It's held vey Saturday Morning and really hits its stride around 10 am. I love the diversity of the customers. There's something for everyone, fresh flowers, watermelon in the summer and pumpkins in the fall. They have both organic and conventionally grown produce. It's also where I discovered Red Hen Bakery which is my favorite bakery for fresh bread.

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