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Neighborhood Farmers Markets Kick Off Next Week

By Patty Wetli | Friday, June 3, 2011

Sign of summer--fresh fruits and vegetables at neighborhood farmers markets. Credit: Patty Wetli.

After surviving the winter on New Zealand apples, it’s time to enjoy some locally-grown produce. Neighborhood farmers markets kick off in June, bringing a little piece of the country to the city.

Lincoln Square Farmers Market

June 7 – October 25, every Tuesday, 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Lincoln/Leland/Western–parking lot at Western Brown Line station
Vendors include C&D Family Farms, Mick Klug Farms, Seedling, Lyons Fruit Farm, Dotson’s Farm, Flip Brands Crepes

Lincoln Square Evening Farmers Market

June 16 – October 27, every Thursday, 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Lincoln/Leland/Western–parking lot at Western Brown Line station
Vendors include Angel Food Bakery, Pizza D.O.C., Jo Snow Syrups, Ruth & Phil’s Ice Cream, Noffke Family Farms

NorthCenter Farmers Market

June 18 – October 29, every Saturday, 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Belle Plaine/Damen/Lincoln
Vendors include Noffke Family Farms, Madsen Farms, Ellis Family Farms

Southport Farmers Market

June 25 – September 10, every Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Blaine School, 1420 W. Grace
Vendors include Twin Garden Farms, Fehr Brothers Farm

While the majority of farmers markets are run by the City of Chicago’s Mayor’s Office of Special Events, Lincoln Square’s evening market, now in its second year, is the brainchild of the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce.

“We definitely learned some lessons last year,” says Melissa Flynn, LSCC executive director. For starters, this year’s schedule is more consistent, as opposed to adding September and October on the fly in 2010.

Restaurants will also play a more prominent role. Though the details aren’t confirmed yet, the evening market will feature a “What’s Cooking in Lincoln Square” component. Each week a different neighborhood restaurant will offer a cooking demonstration or samples of dishes created using ingredients purchased at the farmers market. “You’ll see how restaurants are connecting with farmers,” says Flynn. “It emphasizes the importance of the local food movement.”

Visitors to the market can pick up a slice of pizza (Pizza D.O.C.) and a cupcake (Angel Food Bakery) and head to the Thursday night concerts in Giddings Plaza, which also debut June 16, 6:30-9 pm. Polkaholics are scheduled for the first concert, with the remainder of the performers still being finalized.

On the third Thursday of every month, neighborhood retailers will be encouraged to bring their wares out onto the sidewalk. The overall goal is to use the one-two punch of the farmers market and concerts as an opportunity to spotlight all the places to shop and eat in Lincoln Square.

“It adds to the overall feel,” says Flynn, “and makes the neighborhood so attractive.”

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