Green City Market in Chicagoland

With their long hot and humid summers, Illinois grows an exorbitant amount of produce. It’s something I was unaware of and surprised by while dining in Chicagoland, and was thrilled to find a farmer’s market to get a closer look at what area farmers are up to.

The year round Green City Market is held twice weekly in Lincoln Park, and after October, inside, at a nearby butterfly and nature museum.
Huitlacoche, that much-coveted corn fungus, was being offered fresh from Three Sisters Garden.

Floriole’s popular baking luckily had one last bag of shortbread left.

Squash, in a myriad of sizes and colours, were everywhere. I also made a note about the affordable price points. If I’m not scouring the papers for the latest sale on produce, I buy as much local as possible but the prices for organic and even most Saanich farm product is considerably higher than what I was witnessing. I love going to the farms to buy food but we need something urban and affordable.
It was disappointing to realize how much we (me) are/is paying for quality food. Why is it cheaper in Chicago? Is it because there’s more of it? Are more people supporting the farmers?
Eggplants so plump. Oh hot weather, why have you forsaken us?
Perfectly ripe cantaloupes. And as the grower pointed out, it’s ripe right to where the fruit meets the skin. I could have wept.
Mega pattypan squash.
An array of ash-ripened goat cheeses.
There was even an Illinois dairy farmer (Kilgus Farmstead), the only on-farm bottler of milk in the state, and only one of four in the entire U.S. that bottles its own milk and raises their own Jersey herds.
You can read about him and other pioneers of artisan products in a great, free magazine, Edible Chicago.
Perfectly ripe peaches, with your choice of firm ripe, ripe, or super ripe.
Living in B.C., I can’t help but wonder, where are our ripe and super ripe peaches? Do I really have to travel to the Okanagan to get one? Do I still need to buy them from Washington?

I can seriously see shopping here every week. And with this kind of motherlode, I think I could withstand the cold windy Chicago winters.

I’m green, with envy.

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