Chicago Farmer’s Market Tour: Part 1, Green City Market

I’m a sucker for a great farmer’s market. I think it’s been engrained in me from a very young age that food from the farmer’s market is just better than food from the grocery store. In recent years, I’ve learned to truly appreciate the wonderful flavors that come from produce grown in our own time zone, state, or county. When I was contacted by Lauren, a representative of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (ICBINB), to participate in a Chicago Farmer’s Market tour, I jumped at the chance! What better way to spend my last Saturday of Summer vacation than at the biggest farmer’s market in the area?

Then, the event just got more appealing from there. Not only would there be a tour of the market itself, but we’d then go back to a restaurant kitchen with a local chef, and use our purchases to create a unique, fresh, and local meal! I took the train from our area downtown so as to avoid the insane traffic, and then walked about a mile and a half to the market. I was a little early, and was lucky enough to meet up with my sister and her boyfriend during their shopping trips for their respective restaurants. I can proudly say, I carried the flat of blackberries used for Gilt Bar yesterday!

Moving on…

I met up with Jaclyn, our ICBINB rep for the day, chef Rhonda Cady, and Tracey (a twitter pal of mine!) and we proceeded to go from stall to stall in the huge Green City Market, sampling as we went.

And I took about a million pictures (ok, really it was 276, but it seems like a million), so I’ll let them do the talking with minimal words from me, unless they’re actually necessary. It was a perfect day for photos too… a few clouds for great light, but enough sun to make everything look wonderful.

ICBINB Blog Event

ICBINB Blog Event

Some early hard squashes

ICBINB Blog Event

ICBINB Blog Event

ICBINB Blog Event

ICBINB Blog Event

Various eggplants, beans, and tomatoes from Nichols Farm in Marengo, IL. They’re conveniently located on my way home from work, so I may need to stop there…

ICBINB Blog Event

ICBINB Blog Event

Harmony peaches, blackberries, and raspberries from Mick Klug farms in Michigan. These were some of the best peaches I’ve ever tasted, and needless to say, I brought some home!

ICBINB Blog Event

Local meats, all grass fed and organic… thought of my friend Stephanie!

ICBINB Blog Event

Seedy bread from Bennison’s Bakery

ICBINB Blog Event

ICBINB Blog Event

ICBINB Blog Event

ICBINB Blog Event

More bounty from Mick Klug farms (Thanks to Leigh for introducing me to them!)

ICBINB Blog Event

Small local watermelons

ICBINB Blog Event

French breakfast radishes (We later enjoyed these with ICBINB and salt, quite a delicious combo!)

ICBINB Blog Event

ICBINB Blog Event

You know how I love my small food…

ICBINB Blog Event

ICBINB Blog Event

ICBINB Blog Event

More beautiful produce… I wish I had written down this farm’s name…

ICBINB Blog Event

Chef Rhonda had quite a sense of humor!

ICBINB Blog Event

Sampling “personal sized” watermelon at Seedling farms’ stand

ICBINB Blog Event

ICBINB Blog Event

Gooseberries and fresh chamomile at Seedling

It had quickly gone from a mildly warm and humid day to a wicked hot and humid day…and then we saw a sign:

ICBINB Blog Event

We went for it! I got a lovely peach-raspberry smoothie made with fresh cider. It was quite possibly the most delicious smoothie EVER.

ICBINB Blog Event

Next up: some “extras” for our meal… I had it in my head that we had to find some local goat cheese. And find it we did! This is for you, Gina:

ICBINB Blog Event

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And then, I just went photo-happy (as if I wasn’t already.) Everything looked so fresh and delicious, and since I couldn’t ACTUALLY eat it all, I did with my camera…

ICBINB Blog Event

ICBINB Blog Event

ICBINB Blog Event

ICBINB Blog Event

Heirloom cherry tomatoes from Growing Home, an amazing program here in Chicago

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Then, after walking, sweating, and shopping, we hopped in a taxi to Splice Kitchen to cook a delicious meal with our purchases.

ICBINB Blog Event

ICBINB Blog Event

You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see the rest of the process. I think I’ve overrun your senses with all these photos for now. Thanks to ICBINB for sponsoring this event! It just got better from here!

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10 Responses to Chicago Farmer’s Market Tour: Part 1, Green City Market

  1. mom says:

    mara, you are a GREAT photographer!

  2. Lauren says:

    I would go to the Farmers Market over the mall ANY DAY! Your photos are beautiful!!!
    Lauren´s last blog post ..Here Comes the Bride

  3. Wei-Wei says:

    I LOVE farmer’s market photography. I like going to wet markets in China, but they’re not quite the same thing, so I guess I could say that I’ve never been to a farmer’s market. It’s amazing.
    Wei-Wei´s last blog post ..if i were…

  4. Mama Pea says:

    I cannot pick a favorite photo, they are all so amazing. You should frame some for your kitchen/dining area. Or maybe I should 😉

  5. kristen says:

    I love the green city market! If you havent tried it yet you have to buy the summer butter from Nordic Creamery!!!

  6. Kristy says:

    Gorgeous pics, I could spend hours at markets!!!
    Kristy´s last blog post ..Errands and a Great Find!

  7. Yum Yucky says:

    Whoa. You should be the spokesperson for all things vegetable-ish. These photos are breathtaking. And I NEVER say that about veggies (until now).
    Yum Yucky´s last blog post ..Greedy Giveaway! Bad-Azz Grillin’ Set From I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!

  8. Amy says:

    now I HAVE to go to Green City Market. Your photos are so enticing and there is so much more variety from the tiny one I go to on Saturdays in Northfield. Thanks for the inspiration Mara.

    Amy
    Amy´s last blog post ..Summertime Pizza

  9. Liz Barrett says:

    I just love how you “eat” with your camera! And having made yet another trip to the Green City Market just yesterday – this all looks v. familiar. Love Bennison’s sour dough bread – esp with a swipe of mayo and a thick slice of fresh tomato – ah, summer!

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