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Green City Market '08

Green City Market '08
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  • Green City Market '08

    Post #1 - May 14th, 2008, 11:22 am
    Post #1 - May 14th, 2008, 11:22 am Post #1 - May 14th, 2008, 11:22 am
    Having spent so much of the year in great anticipation of our region's spring/ summer bounty of fresh produce, nothing was going to keep me away from opening day at the Green City Market. There are several exciting new vendors this year.

    I bought some fresh goat cheese with a hint of fresh wasabi from Capriole Farms in Greenville, IN. I intended to serve this tonight with fresh asparagus and fingerling potatoes I bought from Nichols Farm, but the stuff was so damn good that I spread most of over a mini loaf of Ciabatta purchased from Bennisons Bakery, also at the Market. It's almost gone.

    Hawks Hill Elk Ranch is a newcomer to the Market, and school-principle-turned-elk-rancher Joel Espe had a secret stash of gorgeous morels in addition to many cuts of elk meat. I look forward to trying his elk another time, but I've had a craving for morels for over a month now, so I used the limited shopping budget on those expensive treats (16 bucks for a third of a pound - about a dozen very large morels). The plan is to sautee them in butter later with thyme I purchased from Kinnikinnick Farm.

    David from Kinnikinnick is my favorite Green City farmer, as he has a seemingly obsessive focus on perfection, and sells only the items that meet his very strict idea of freshness. He's also a great cook with lots of good tips on what to do with his farm's bounty of beautiful produce. Kinnikinnick tomatoes - when they arrive later in the summer - are unbelievably good.

    In other exciting news, today marked the first sighting of LTH's own Cookie Monster, and her Delightful Pastries, at the Green City Market. My hands were full and I was on my way to work, or there would have been NO WAY I'd have passed up the gorgeous rhubarb meringue pie at her stand. Dobra - if you're reading - PLEASE save me one of those!!!
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #2 - May 14th, 2008, 12:56 pm
    Post #2 - May 14th, 2008, 12:56 pm Post #2 - May 14th, 2008, 12:56 pm
    I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to go on Saturday! I'm planning on starting a new tradition this year where I will hit up the market on Saturdays and cook dinner for the whole fam Sunday nights. We'll see how many drunken nights of the in-laws I can take before I kill this "tradition."
  • Post #3 - May 14th, 2008, 2:00 pm
    Post #3 - May 14th, 2008, 2:00 pm Post #3 - May 14th, 2008, 2:00 pm
    'Twas fun today at the GCM. We bought some great looking asparagus and some tomato plant seedlings from Nichols and a mini rhubarb crunch from the Delightful Pastries stand. It was nice running into Cookie Monster and a few other folks we knew. Unfortunately, we got a later start than we'd planned and traffic coming into the city was horrible but it was still great to see and shop the market on opening day.

    =R=
    Last edited by ronnie_suburban on May 24th, 2008, 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #4 - May 24th, 2008, 5:35 pm
    Post #4 - May 24th, 2008, 5:35 pm Post #4 - May 24th, 2008, 5:35 pm
    LTH,

    Lovely pencil thin green asparagus, purple asparagus with a subtle hint of sweet, watercress, gorgeous pea shoots, interesting crowd and setting. What's not to love about Green City Market? $9 parking, that what's not to love. How the hell can the validated market parking jump from $4 to $9 from '07 to '08, over a 100% increase. If there was any chance of street parking, that would be one thing, but it's the Stockton/North Ave lot, or for those who wish to walk a few blocks, Pipers Alley for $8 with validation.

    Evanston Saturday Farmer's Market is a terrific market, many of the same vendors as Green City, plenty of street parking and parking is free at the Maple Avenue Parking Garage, just steps from the farmer's market. Not to mention it's slightly closer for me than Green City.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #5 - May 24th, 2008, 5:53 pm
    Post #5 - May 24th, 2008, 5:53 pm Post #5 - May 24th, 2008, 5:53 pm
    gary, i'm in no way defending the high parking price at the green city market. i just want to point out that in the past, it was $4 for 1 hour. now, you get 2 hours for $9. but apparently, no savings if you stay less than 1 hour. justjoan
  • Post #6 - May 24th, 2008, 6:55 pm
    Post #6 - May 24th, 2008, 6:55 pm Post #6 - May 24th, 2008, 6:55 pm
    G Wiv wrote:What's not to love about Green City Market? $9 parking, that what's not to love. How the hell can the validated market parking jump from $4 to $9 from '07 to '08, over a 100% increase. If there was any chance of street parking, that would be one thing, but it's the Stockton/North Ave lot, or for those who wish to walk a few blocks, Pipers Alley for $8 with validation.

    G,

    I know the parking situation is of great concern to the market organizers and they're trying to come up with some alternatives. They know that it's very expensive and that there's simply not enough of it. I'm guessing that if parking were more plentiful, the market could actually add more vendors. It seems to be the primary limiting factor to the market's growth.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #7 - May 24th, 2008, 10:22 pm
    Post #7 - May 24th, 2008, 10:22 pm Post #7 - May 24th, 2008, 10:22 pm
    Parking cost ($9 with $5 purchase) was definitely a turnoff today. As was the cost of Asparagus at the Klug stand - $3 / bundle of maybe 5-6 spears - adds up to $8.00 / lb. I couldn't swallow it. I found some more reasonable prices ($4 / lb) at the growing power stand and grabbed a pork steak or two from Liberty Farm and some potatoes from Nichols. At these prices, I'll be more inclined to go to Lincoln Square during the week or Evanston.
  • Post #8 - May 25th, 2008, 8:59 am
    Post #8 - May 25th, 2008, 8:59 am Post #8 - May 25th, 2008, 8:59 am
    Yesterday marked my first visit to the market of the season. Since I live within a mile or two of the market, I walked down and was blind to the costs of parking.

    Like Seth, I was a little taken aback at some of the prices for fresh produce at the market. A two serving bag of fresh salad greens was $5.00. Two small bunches of asparagus, one purple, one green, maybe a half pound each, was $5.
    Organic chicken thighs were $4 per pound. Frankly, I could have gotten better value lining the pockets of the profit barons that own Whole Paycheck for my organics.

    I bought a terrific goat chevre for $7 that I sampled yesterday with a little tart cherry and lemon balm confit on a sturdy wheat cracker. A beautiful combination of fruit and cheese.

    I'm not sure if it is the neighborhood that brings these prices or if it simply reflects a cost that the market passes on to its vendors. Maybe it is just a reflection of the increased costs to get food to market due to the rising price of fuel.

    Fortunately, I saved The Reader's guide to markets and organics from last summer that I'll review this week and look into visiting a few other markets next weekend.
  • Post #9 - May 25th, 2008, 9:22 am
    Post #9 - May 25th, 2008, 9:22 am Post #9 - May 25th, 2008, 9:22 am
    Nope, Will, I noticed this at the Evanston Farmer's Market as well - and prices seem about in line with what I paid. I've always found the market to be a source for quality, not savings - though I remember as a kid the food was cheaper at the farmer's market in Ohio...
  • Post #10 - May 25th, 2008, 9:37 am
    Post #10 - May 25th, 2008, 9:37 am Post #10 - May 25th, 2008, 9:37 am
    Food costs are currently way up, not just at the GCM. I don't we'll see much relief this year.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #11 - May 25th, 2008, 9:12 pm
    Post #11 - May 25th, 2008, 9:12 pm Post #11 - May 25th, 2008, 9:12 pm
    Depends upon what you're looking for, I reckon. I found some absolutely spectacular bargains on herb plants at Evanston this week, including an $8 tarragon plant that approaches seriously shrub-like proportions; also, the tomato plants at Nichols resembled sturdy young saplings - for a measly six bucks. Nichols had really beautiful sage in at least three varieties for about $3 per, too, and lots of offbeat mints.

    I tend to buy more EFM items as long-term projects, rather than as one-shot deals, as the quality of the house-reared plants from many of the vendors - Kinnikinnick, Nichols, Henry's - is always so good.
  • Post #12 - May 25th, 2008, 10:57 pm
    Post #12 - May 25th, 2008, 10:57 pm Post #12 - May 25th, 2008, 10:57 pm
    Hi,

    I regularly visit the Chicago History Museum, whose endorsed parking rate is $9 this year and last year. Green City Market visitors got a great deal last year paying $4, though now it is on parity with museum visitors.

    I have to admit to dreading the Green City Market because of the parking impact in an already congested area. Between the increased parking rate and the market moving further north, parking yesterday morning in the garage was uneventful. Last summer, people who had planned to come to the Chicago History Museum left because there was no parking.

    Green City Market could certainly benefit from a better location near major transportation arteries with abundant parking. Some people this evening were recalling when CHIC had a farmer's market in their parking lot. Perhaps some company's parking lot and grounds, who have little weekend activity, would give the nod. Goose Island is teaming with activity on weekdays, but is pretty quiet on weekends. I'm sure those involved are keeping their eyes peeled.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #13 - May 26th, 2008, 8:26 am
    Post #13 - May 26th, 2008, 8:26 am Post #13 - May 26th, 2008, 8:26 am
    I wasn't aware that they had any parking, so last year I would always find something on the street in old town triangle accross Clark....never took more than 10 minutes to find a spot, but it was a hassle. I wised up at the end of last years season and bought a bicycle and have been using that this year. Much easier!! Fortunately I live close enough (west loop) to do this easily. Only problem is I am too worried about damaging plants by putting them in my backpack...so I haven't gotten any of those yet.
  • Post #14 - May 26th, 2008, 8:32 am
    Post #14 - May 26th, 2008, 8:32 am Post #14 - May 26th, 2008, 8:32 am
    cybermud: i ride my bike to green city, too. you might try bungee cording a plastic milk crate to the back of your bike, assuming you have a rack. that way you can carry plants, as well as more stuff. i use 4 bungees. justjoan
  • Post #15 - May 26th, 2008, 7:23 pm
    Post #15 - May 26th, 2008, 7:23 pm Post #15 - May 26th, 2008, 7:23 pm
    Re. prices at the GCM, I've actually been quite pleased this year with the fact that many things are now on par with or lower than grocery store prices. A big bunch of picked-today thyme was $1.25 at the Kinnikinnick Farm stand, about half what you pay at Jewel or WF. A dozen gathered-today eggs were 3 bucks from Mint Creek, cheaper (and infinitely better) than most grocery store free-range eggs. Yukon golds which I turned into a terrific gnocchi went for a very reasonable $1 per pound at Nichols. Also from Kinnikinnick, a big bunch of chives with absolutely delicious flowers attached was 2 bucks. (try sauteeing the flowers in butter and filling, along with Mexican melting-cheese, into homemade corn tortillas for wonderful quesadillas - A cheap and delicious dinner!)
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #16 - May 26th, 2008, 11:29 pm
    Post #16 - May 26th, 2008, 11:29 pm Post #16 - May 26th, 2008, 11:29 pm
    YourPalWill wrote:Fortunately, I saved The Reader's guide to markets and organics from last summer that I'll review this week and look into visiting a few other markets next weekend.

    Here's this year's guide from the Sun-Times:
    FARMERS MARKETS | Our complete listing of city and suburb locations
  • Post #17 - May 27th, 2008, 1:50 pm
    Post #17 - May 27th, 2008, 1:50 pm Post #17 - May 27th, 2008, 1:50 pm
    I wanted to bring up one thing I learned this past week that was pretty disappointing: Growing Power as of this year is forbidden by GCM from selling their (co-op) meats. Apparently all producers can only sell things that they grow themselves, which is still a lot of yummy stuff from Growing Power, but sadly NO BACON. Anyone have more details on this policy change, or any other bacon recommendations?
  • Post #18 - May 27th, 2008, 3:10 pm
    Post #18 - May 27th, 2008, 3:10 pm Post #18 - May 27th, 2008, 3:10 pm
    wustlmike wrote:I wanted to bring up one thing I learned this past week that was pretty disappointing: Growing Power as of this year is forbidden by GCM from selling their (co-op) meats. Apparently all producers can only sell things that they grow themselves, which is still a lot of yummy stuff from Growing Power, but sadly NO BACON. Anyone have more details on this policy change, or any other bacon recommendations?

    The market is intended to showcase local purveyors/producers and their goods. If the producer of the bacon is local (another criterium for GCM participation), maybe they should look into getting their own stall.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #19 - August 13th, 2008, 11:17 am
    Post #19 - August 13th, 2008, 11:17 am Post #19 - August 13th, 2008, 11:17 am
    After returning from the Green City Market this morning, I was surprised and saddened to learn that Abby Mandel, the market's founder, has died:

    Chicago Tribune wrote:For those who flock to the now legendary Green City Market Wednesday and Saturday mornings, take a minute to thank the culinary gods for Abby Mandel who died this morning. Abby Mandel Meyer was the founder of Chicago's 10-year-old Green City Market, longtime food columnist (The Weekend Cook) at the Tribune and member of Les Dames d'Escoffier. Her spirit lives on in the market, a wonderful confluence of farmers and food lovers, chefs and amateur cooks alike.


    http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/ ... -mark.html
  • Post #20 - August 13th, 2008, 12:12 pm
    Post #20 - August 13th, 2008, 12:12 pm Post #20 - August 13th, 2008, 12:12 pm
    Darren72 wrote:After returning from the Green City Market this morning, I was surprised and saddened to learn that Abby Mandel, the market's founder, has died:

    Chicago Tribune wrote:For those who flock to the now legendary Green City Market Wednesday and Saturday mornings, take a minute to thank the culinary gods for Abby Mandel who died this morning. Abby Mandel Meyer was the founder of Chicago's 10-year-old Green City Market, longtime food columnist (The Weekend Cook) at the Tribune and member of Les Dames d'Escoffier. Her spirit lives on in the market, a wonderful confluence of farmers and food lovers, chefs and amateur cooks alike.


    http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/ ... -mark.html

    Truly brutal news. Not only did she have a profoundly positive influence on Chicago's food scene as we know and enjoy it today but she was also a genuinely nice person. She will be greatly missed.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #21 - August 28th, 2008, 1:27 am
    Post #21 - August 28th, 2008, 1:27 am Post #21 - August 28th, 2008, 1:27 am
    Green City farmers charge what they do because they can. Most vendors sell their product at other markets on different days for less. It's worth seeking your favorites out elsewhere. Plus, you can actually park...for free.
  • Post #22 - August 28th, 2008, 4:43 am
    Post #22 - August 28th, 2008, 4:43 am Post #22 - August 28th, 2008, 4:43 am
    AndrewR wrote: Most vendors sell their product at other markets on different days for less.


    Do you have any specific examples of this? I shop lots of markets, including Green City, and have not found this to be the case.

    For those who have so much trouble parking: patience, my friends. I have shopped at GCM at least a dozen times this summer, and not once have I paid for parking. There is so much rapid turnover on LaSalle, that if you just pull over and wait a few minutes, someone will leave you a spot. I have parked within 200 yards of the market every single time.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #23 - August 28th, 2008, 12:24 pm
    Post #23 - August 28th, 2008, 12:24 pm Post #23 - August 28th, 2008, 12:24 pm
    I don't know, Green Acres and Nichols sell things at various markets other than Green City for less. I can't think of the exact amount, but a pint of cherries several weeks ago cost $2 less at my friend's market up north (is it Rogers Park?) than I paid at GCM. It might not be for everything, but my coworkers and I have compared notes and found this to be the case in general, at least for the things we buy (mostly produce and fruit).
  • Post #24 - August 28th, 2008, 12:34 pm
    Post #24 - August 28th, 2008, 12:34 pm Post #24 - August 28th, 2008, 12:34 pm
    AndrewR wrote:I don't know...

    at least I can agree with this one part of your post.

    As for the rest, I know from experience that Nichols' prices are the same at Green City, the Daley Center, Prudential Plaza, and the Wicker Park market. I also know that they have told me that their prices are the same everywhere in Chicago. I suppose they could be lying, but since you don't have any examples, I'll take their word and my experience.

    That said, Nichols prices are indeed sometimes too high for me, and higher than the rest of the market. Their tomatoes are 3 bucks a pound while many others are selling for less than 2 bucks. Their lima beans today were twice the price of the farmer's stand across the square.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #25 - August 29th, 2008, 11:25 am
    Post #25 - August 29th, 2008, 11:25 am Post #25 - August 29th, 2008, 11:25 am
    GCM is indeed expensive. But I still love it. It is such a pleasure these last few eeks going there and seeing so much fresh food. The fruit is light years ahead of shopping at a grocery store because it is so fresh. Tomatoes the same. Fresh, artisinal bread. The cheeses.

    I don't pay for parking because I am cheap. I have a secret spot that is very close. It is ....I'm not telling.

    GCM charges a premium and I think it is worth it.
    I'm not Angry, I'm hungry.
  • Post #26 - August 30th, 2008, 9:33 am
    Post #26 - August 30th, 2008, 9:33 am Post #26 - August 30th, 2008, 9:33 am
    hi: I just want to remind everyone that most of the farmers are making 1-2+ hours drives each way (coming from MI, IN, WI and downstate) to bring their produce in and return home. Have you bought gas lately? And they are coming in big trucks with big ass engines that suck down the fuel. They also have to pay staff to pick the produce, wash and pack up the pickings, load it on the truck and then unload it and sell it their at the stand. They have to pay a fee to have a presence at the market. A huge amount of energy and resources go into growing and harvesting and marketing food, I sometimes wonder how they even make a profit. Especially on delicate things like raspberries and even green beans (which are no picnic to pick all day). I think It's important to remember the challenges farmers face and also keep pricing in perspective.

    bjt
    "eating is an agricultural act" wendell berry

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