Today the Lincoln Square Farmers Market began again in the city parking lot adjacent to the Western Brown Line Station. It continues every Tuesday, 7 a.m.?1 p.m., through Oct. 26. Despite the rain, local residents trickled in, umbrellas in hand, to peruse and purchase fresh produce, herbs, flowers, and baked goods.
As the growing season picks up, farmers and market vendors will offer a wider variety of fruits and vegetables. Right now it’s all about berries. At the Seedling Fruit booth, Adam Housman offered me some suggestions for cooking with strawberries and that befuddling edible: rhubarb. (FYI, rhubarb is one of the first food plants ready for harvest.) For a strawberry-rhubarb pie, he advises chopping up rhubarb stalks, as you would celery, and saut?ing them in a little sugar and water?or, if preferred, a bit of oil. Once the stalks break down, combine about two cups of the rhubarb with one cup strawberries (to taste) and add them to a pie mix. Housman says that many people prefer an easier option: using the rhubarb mixture as a sauce and pouring it over ice cream.
I also stopped by the LINK tent where staff from Experimental Station (a nonprofit organization and project incubator) informed me about the Farmers Market’s LINK option. Lincoln Square is among the city markets that accept Illinois LINK Cards for foods, seeds, and plants. Additionally, it’s part of a Double Value Coupon Program where markets match up to $5 in LINK purchases per card holder per market day. The offer lasts as long as funding is available.
This year, Lincoln Square has also added a Thursday evening Farmers Market (4?8 p.m.), sponsored by Ald. Gene Schulter (47th) and the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce. It runs in the same city lot from June 17?Sept. 2. Meanwhile, the Northcenter Farmers Market kicks off June 19 at the Northcenter Town Square (4100 N. Damen Ave.) and continues every Saturday through Oct. 30 (7 a.m. ?1 p.m.).