On Green City Market

It’s clear that both Maxine and I love farmer’s markets. There’s something about that fresh hand-picked produce that has been locally grown, and these days buying local is more important than ever. That’s why it’s somewhat ironic that we have written about Madison’s Farmer’s MarketSeattle’s Pike Place Market and even Montreal’s Atwater Market, but we have yet to write about our own very famous market right here in Chicago: the Green City Market. And since Alice Waters named it one of the top 10 markets in the U.S., it’s about time we did.

The famous Green City market has only been around for 10 years and already received so much recognition. It’s a great place to have lunch or shop for ingredients to make your own lunch. In a recent trip, I bought some seasonal butternut squash and a shallot to make this risotto. David and I also had some apple cider and a fresh raspberry crepe made right before our very eyes. The crepe stand is among my favorites, there’s nothing like fresh crepes with fresh hand-picked end of season berries.

Starting this year, the market will now be open all year ’round to make it easier for us Chicagoans to buy local seasonal produce in the colder months. Winter harvest need not be overlooked. That’s why in the months of November and December, Green City Market will be held in the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm.

But, let’s talk more about the produce. With a variety of local farmers, everyone is sort of on the same page about when summer ends and fall begins. In my trip two weekends ago, crates of apples, pumpkins, eggplants, and all sorts of squash filled the market’s stalls. The gorgeous peppers at the top of this post were my favorite of all the produce to look at. Just look at those colors. Mixtures of orange and red and even purple hues marry with yellows and greens. I had never seen such peppers.

They also had these cranberry beans that I’ve seen on another food blogs before and wrote about here. Judging from other photos, these don’t seem to be the best quality but they are still pretty nonetheless.

Another favorite was the giant bins of tiny tomatoes that laid side by side basking in the sun. I wished I was going home right afterward so I could have taken some of these babies home, but I wasn’t and I didn’t want them to smash in my purse. I will miss tomato season. But for now, what’s left of it is still pretty remarkable.

And as you can see, Green City Market in itself is quite remarkable. It’s not just the produce they carry but the reputation they uphold. They promote high produce standards and support local organic and sustainable farming practices. Becoming a localvore is more important these days for a greener environment. The more local produce we buy, the less energy was used for transportation just to get dinner on our tables.

Chicago is very lucky to have such an outstanding farmer’s market in its very own home.

Green City Market takes place each Wednesday and Saturday from 7 am-1:30 pm. It is located in the south end of Lincoln Park itself, at Clark Street and Lincoln Avenue.

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