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Evanston Farmers Market
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  • Evanston Farmers Market

    Post #1 - May 6th, 2010, 6:24 pm
    Post #1 - May 6th, 2010, 6:24 pm Post #1 - May 6th, 2010, 6:24 pm
    Hi- I just looked on the city's website for info. about the 2010 farmers market season. The main market is going to open this Saturday 5/8, at its regular place in the parking lot of the research park. Free parking is available in the parking garage on Maple, just one block N of Church. They are trying several new things this year. They are going green, so they will make disposable bags available for purchase. I assume that this means that you will get charged for bags, if you do not bring your own. I always do, so that is not a problem for me. For people that do not know about this new policy, they might be upset when they come to the market Saturday.

    The city of Evanston is also looking for people to be friends of the market, and help publicize it, and they are taking LINK cards for the first time this year. They are also continuing their West Side market on Saturday, which is over near the high school. I have never been to that one. I think that market is really small.

    Finally they are putting on an organic farmers market this summer over at Independence Park on Central Street, with dates TBD. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #2 - May 26th, 2012, 3:30 pm
    Post #2 - May 26th, 2012, 3:30 pm Post #2 - May 26th, 2012, 3:30 pm
    Hi- I was just at the Evanston farmer's market this morning, and Marilyn's Bakery from Hobart was selling pies there today, and they looked wonderful. I think they were $6.50 for a baby pie, and $13.50 for a regular size pie. I was really tempted to buy one, but I live alone, and the pie would be too tempting for me. I do not know if they are going to be there every week or not. They were in the very first row of the farmer's market, over near Henry. I had never seen any farmer's setting up shop there, but there were three vendors in that row.

    The only reason I noticed the pie, was because somebody that works for Henry bought one of their pies, and I asked him where he bought it. There was also somebody there selling freshly made crepes. I hard mixed reviews about the crepes. One person told me that he thought the pizza crepes tasted like plastic, but somebody else had one of the meat ones, and thought it was good. They seem to be having more prepared food at the Evanston farmer's market this summer. There is also a bakery from Skokie, named Sweety Pies, selling pies there for lots of money. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #3 - May 26th, 2012, 7:42 pm
    Post #3 - May 26th, 2012, 7:42 pm Post #3 - May 26th, 2012, 7:42 pm
    Re: the Evanston market: the market has a new manager this season; she has no prior experience running a farmers market. She has reduced the average stall size substantially, and increased the number of vendors from 37 to 51. Many of the new vendors sell pre-made prepared foods and baked goods from non-Evanston bakers, and such things as kettlecorn (!). As one of the hallmarks of the Evanston market has always been strict adherence to grower/seller rules and products of local origin, the jury is still out on the abrupt changes seen this spring.
  • Post #4 - May 27th, 2012, 1:09 pm
    Post #4 - May 27th, 2012, 1:09 pm Post #4 - May 27th, 2012, 1:09 pm
    HI- Thanks for letting me know about the change in management at the Evanston farmer's market. I noticed that there were a lot more baked goods this year, and they used to set aside a spot for a nonprofit to hold a bake sale, and that is no longer there. I hope the market does not become too commercial. So the guy who was the market master there for years is no longer there? When I was on the city's website last week, I noticed that they were looking for an assistant for the Evanston farmer's market. I was tempted to apply, and maybe I should have. I'll have to ask some of my friends selling there, what they think about the new manager.

    At least Marilyn's bakery locally sources their fruit, and they are owned by a Indiana farmer that also has upick strawberries. I asked them though, and they don't know what they are going to do for apples this fall. Thanks, Nancy
  • Post #5 - May 27th, 2012, 7:28 pm
    Post #5 - May 27th, 2012, 7:28 pm Post #5 - May 27th, 2012, 7:28 pm
    Odd...I had an email notification for the Hoosier Mama thread and it linked to this thread. But there was all these deets about pie...maybe it was fate.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love
    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach
    In the world of apples, Pink Lady runs the whorehouse. ~ James Napoli

    Late-Nite Eats Database
  • Post #6 - May 28th, 2012, 10:58 am
    Post #6 - May 28th, 2012, 10:58 am Post #6 - May 28th, 2012, 10:58 am
    My early take on the changes is that while no damage has been done, I don't see the benefit. All the farmers stands that I use seem to be the same; I see no decrease in size. What has increased is the number of people selling cooked goods. Some of that is fine; I like the Bennison's bread stand. But crepes? What's that got to do with a farmer's market. Also, it seems they no longer have the local non-profit selling baked goods. I used to enjoy buying something from the church or other group selling stuff just to help out a local community organization. Frankly, I don't see too many of these food stands lasting. But as long as they keep the abundence of farmers stands, which appears to be the case, it is still one of the best farmer's markets in the area.

    Jonah
  • Post #7 - May 28th, 2012, 8:31 pm
    Post #7 - May 28th, 2012, 8:31 pm Post #7 - May 28th, 2012, 8:31 pm
    Hi= I did not get there until around 12:30 this last Saturday, but there was still a line for the crepe stand. I decided I did not want to spend what they were charging, and so I passed. At least Marilyn's bakery uses locally sourced fruit, although I don't know what they are going to do for apples this fall. It appears that some of the new people there this summer were at the indoor winter market at the Ecology center. I did not care for that as much as I thought I would. It seemed like that market was really light on farmers, and had a lot of people selling expensive prepared food.

    At least my favorite farmers are there at the Evanston market this summer. I'm just concerned that people are going to spend some of the money they would have spent on fruits and vegetables, on things like crepes, and gluten free products. Most of the growers there only take cash, and most of the customers there only have a limited amount of cash to spend. I would rather see people spending $7 on strawberries than on crepes.

    I can't see these new vendors drawing more people to the market.
  • Post #8 - May 30th, 2012, 4:32 pm
    Post #8 - May 30th, 2012, 4:32 pm Post #8 - May 30th, 2012, 4:32 pm
    Hi- I just ran across an interview with the new manager of the Evanston farmer's market on the friends of the market website. In the interview she says that she has absolutely no experience in agriculture, although she has worked for the city for 21 years. Here is the link.

    http://www.evanstonfarmersmarkets.org/index.html

    Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #9 - June 3rd, 2012, 12:38 pm
    Post #9 - June 3rd, 2012, 12:38 pm Post #9 - June 3rd, 2012, 12:38 pm
    Hi- I was at the Evanston farmer's market again yesterday, and the line for the crepe place was much shorter. I am going to have to get there at 7:30 am, when they open up. I am working in WInnetka from 9:00am-12:00, and so I do not get there until 12:30, and apparently they were really busy yesterday, and it was slim pickings by the time I got there. Some of the farmers were completely sold out, and Marilyn's pies only had three pies left. I still spent $18 there though. Maybe all these new vendors are drawing more people to the market. It was ideal weather yesterday too. I've noticed that a lot of the new vendors are people who sold at the indoor market this winter.

    I asked one couple that I know fairly well, and who have been coming there for quite a few years, what they thought about the new market manager, and they told me that they have not met her, but they told me that they were not crazy about all the non farmers being allowed to sell there this year.

    The Evanston farmer's market is still definitely worth your while to go to, and is much better than Wilmette and Skokie, but I could do without some of the bakeries and other non farmer's.

    Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #10 - June 3rd, 2012, 9:23 pm
    Post #10 - June 3rd, 2012, 9:23 pm Post #10 - June 3rd, 2012, 9:23 pm
    Still a great market. While the snob in me winces at the line up for pastries, if it brings more traffic, who am I to begrudge that. All the farmers are still there. My haul:
    Excellent strawberries
    Bag of mesculin mix from Henri's
    Bag of Asian salad mix from Greenacres (expensive but very tasty)
    Fresh mozzerella (from the nice Wisconsin folks across aisle)
    English peas
    Brats from Gast, my favorite pork vendor

    All in all, quite a haul and it's early in the season.

    Jonah
  • Post #11 - June 29th, 2012, 8:52 pm
    Post #11 - June 29th, 2012, 8:52 pm Post #11 - June 29th, 2012, 8:52 pm
    Hi- just got an email from Henry Brockman that the Wettsteins are coming to the Evanston market tomorrow, and along with organic eggs, they are bringing an assortment of meats, including goat brats. Has anybody ever had them? They sound interesting. Thanks, Nancy
  • Post #12 - July 8th, 2012, 3:07 pm
    Post #12 - July 8th, 2012, 3:07 pm Post #12 - July 8th, 2012, 3:07 pm
    Hi- I went to the Evanston farmer's market yesterday, and actually bought some fruit. You can find fruit there this summer, but it is not going to be cheap. Sweet cherries were still $6 a pint, and decided that I could not afford that much money. I ended up getting a pint of not bad apricots for $3.50 a pint. Most of the growers were selling them for $5 a pint. The apricot crop is really small this year.

    I also got a pint of blueberries for $4.50 a pint, and they were much better than the Florida ones I got from Aldi's a few weeks ago for $1.29 a pint. All the blueberries ran from $4-$5 a pint.

    I also got a quart of Michigan peaches, which were $6 a quart. There was about 2 1/2 pounds of peaches there. They were better than anything you can ever get in the grocery stores around here, but they are first of the season, and there will be better tasting peaches in a few weeks. The cheapest price that I saw peaches for were $5 a quart. The person I bought the peaches from, has a really small crop this year, and so I am sure that he is not going to make any money on peaches this year.

    There were also raspberries, but they were $6 a pint or 2/$11. Raspberries are a pain in the but to grow and pick, and that is why they are so expensive. The person I bought the apricots and blueberries from was also selling raspberries, but I am not sure how much he was charging. I don't love raspberries, and that is why I am not willing to spend the money.

    The person that I bought the peaches from, John First, was also selling zucchini squash for 10/$1, which is a steal. I ended up getting 10 of them, and giving some of them away. When he has too many tomatoes and corn left, and he wants to go home, he will usually have a bag sale. $5 a bag for all you can fit in the bag. No double bagging allowed. This includes heirloom tomatoes. I am not sure how many bag sales he is going to have though this year, because he includes the fruit in the bag sale when he has some left at the end of the day. He can't afford to do that this summer. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #13 - July 13th, 2012, 4:31 pm
    Post #13 - July 13th, 2012, 4:31 pm Post #13 - July 13th, 2012, 4:31 pm
    I talked to my sister that has the fruit farm in Michigan a few days ago, and she told me that because of the hot weather we have been having this summer, the blueberry crop is going to end sooner than expected in Michigan. Get them while you can. As far as I know, they only have about 50% of a crop this summer anyway. I have not seen any Michigan blueberries this summer at Jewel or Dominick's. Usually they carry them this time of year.

    The mainstream peach variates should be available in another week. Red Haven is the peach variety that all other peaches are compared to, and my sister told me that she has no red haven this summer. Some of her peach orchards have 75% of a crop, and some orchards have none.

    Everything is early this year. I believe that my sister picked a few cherries in May, which she has never done before.

    Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #14 - July 21st, 2012, 4:21 pm
    Post #14 - July 21st, 2012, 4:21 pm Post #14 - July 21st, 2012, 4:21 pm
    Hi- I actually got some red haven freestone peaches today. The first of the season. I got a really good deal from John First though. When I got there, he had zucchini for 10 for a dollar, and I was contemplating whether I should get some, and next thing I knew they announces that all the zucchini and yellow squash, eggplant, and cucumbers were going for 10 for $1 mix or match. I ended up getting 5 eggplant and 5 zucchini. He still had tons of zucchini when I left there. A lot of people do not know what to do with zucchini.

    also bought two pints of blueberries from him that are on the ripe side, so blueberries might be almost over, and I got two ears of sweet corn that looked really good.

    Henry had basil 2 for $4, and so I picked up two bunches to make pesto this weekend. It is all organic too.

    Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #15 - July 24th, 2012, 11:43 am
    Post #15 - July 24th, 2012, 11:43 am Post #15 - July 24th, 2012, 11:43 am
    Meant to get to the farmers market this past weekend to ask about this in person, but didn't make it. If I want to make peach jam, is this the weekend coming up when the peaches will be most abundant? Or should I wait another week? What about plums? Are the apricots past for the year? Usually we make it to the market more, but this year we have not. Still, I am hoping for one or two good batches of jam.
  • Post #16 - July 24th, 2012, 12:49 pm
    Post #16 - July 24th, 2012, 12:49 pm Post #16 - July 24th, 2012, 12:49 pm
    Peaches looked abundent.
    Haven't seen any plums yet.
    One vendor had some fabulous tiny apriocots, but they done, she told me. I saw only one vendor with regular sized apricots. I did not try them.

    Hope that helps a bit.

    Jonah
  • Post #17 - July 24th, 2012, 8:49 pm
    Post #17 - July 24th, 2012, 8:49 pm Post #17 - July 24th, 2012, 8:49 pm
    Sounds like we should probably plan to make the peach jam this weekend and not wait any longer. Thanks for the info.
  • Post #18 - July 25th, 2012, 12:00 am
    Post #18 - July 25th, 2012, 12:00 am Post #18 - July 25th, 2012, 12:00 am
    Hi- The peach crop in Michigan is small this year, and you might decide that you don't want to make peach jam this summer. Most of the growers aren't selling peaches in any larger quantity than a quart, which won't make very much jam. The apricot crop was even smaller this year, and my sister only picked (3) 1/2 bushels of apricots. Her peach crop is much larger, but she still only has about 30% of a crop, and she has more peaches than most of the farmers. I don't think there are a lot of plums either, although I don't know what the prune plum crop in the fall is like. Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries survived the frost the best by far. My sister says that the hot weather is doing in the blueberries though, and I don't know how much longer they are going to be around. The blueberries I got this last Saturday, were on the ripe side. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #19 - July 25th, 2012, 9:41 pm
    Post #19 - July 25th, 2012, 9:41 pm Post #19 - July 25th, 2012, 9:41 pm
    Can't remember how many peaches it takes to make one batch, but since my son and his friend are interested, I'll likely plow ahead with one batch, even if it's pricy. Then maybe we'll make pickles. Thanks for the info.
  • Post #20 - July 25th, 2012, 10:17 pm
    Post #20 - July 25th, 2012, 10:17 pm Post #20 - July 25th, 2012, 10:17 pm
    Hi- This last Saturday- First Orchards had pickling cucumbers for 4/$, which they later lowered to 10/$1. Pickling cucumbers are much more reasonably priced this summer than peaches are. John First also has a $5 a bag sale late in the morning some weeks.The bag sale usually starts about 11:30-12:00. This bag sale includes fresh basil, conventional and heirloom tomatoes, any other vegetables he has left over, and any fruit he might have left, which this year is not that much. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #21 - July 28th, 2012, 2:20 pm
    Post #21 - July 28th, 2012, 2:20 pm Post #21 - July 28th, 2012, 2:20 pm
    Hi- When I was at the Evanston market today, somebody asked one of the growers if they had avocados! He replied that you can't grow avocados around here.

    There were more tomatoes this week. I got a few organic tomatoes that were labeled a gazpacho special for $1 a pound. I am going to have to use them up today. I also got a huge head of cabbage for $2. I will make sweet and sour coleslaw with part of it. Somebody also still had all their zucchini, pickles and eggplant on sale for 10/$1, but it looked like all their pickles were sold out by the time I got there, although they still had tons of squash and eggplant. I've got some left over from last week, otherwise I would have bought some more.. I am going to make some zucchini bread and baba ganoush with what I've got left. Last week it was just too hot to cook a lot.

    I was surprised how many peaches they had for sale today, although they were all $6 a quart, and so I am sure that slowed sales.
    The person I bought blueberries from, said that he will only have them another two weeks. The season started early because of the warm weather we have been having. Thanks, Nancy
  • Post #22 - July 28th, 2012, 2:53 pm
    Post #22 - July 28th, 2012, 2:53 pm Post #22 - July 28th, 2012, 2:53 pm
    I bought peaches which were listed at $6, but when I asked for two, it was just $10, so I said what about three, and got them for $12. Excellent and flavorful.

    Blackberries were not cheap, but were spectacularly fresh and perfect, bought enough for jam.

    Haven't been to the Evanston market in ages, I had forgotten how great it is, the variety and bounty today reminded me how truly wonderful summer is.
  • Post #23 - July 28th, 2012, 3:10 pm
    Post #23 - July 28th, 2012, 3:10 pm Post #23 - July 28th, 2012, 3:10 pm
    Hi- There was somebody shopping at kublick's stand while I was there, and they must have bought about five or six quarts of peachew. Hopefully they got somewhat of a deal, although usually Kublick's don't deal that much. Koeningshof's were the only farmer's selling in larger than quart quantities. They were charging $45 for a half bushel and $25 for a peck. They were probably the ones you bought the blackberries from. My sister buys all the raspberries for her fruit stand from them. They are super. Raspberries and blackberries are a pain in the but to grow though, and that is why they are so expensive, and that is why we don't grow them. The only way I would grow raspberries on a farm, is if I did upick.. They are a pain to pick.
  • Post #24 - July 28th, 2012, 9:07 pm
    Post #24 - July 28th, 2012, 9:07 pm Post #24 - July 28th, 2012, 9:07 pm
    NFriday wrote:Hi- When I was at the Evanston market today... I also got a huge head of cabbage for $2. ...


    Oh, I am so envious-- I got a red cabbage from my Angelic CSA and it's about the size of a tennis ball. What the heck am I supposed to do with that?? (Answer, shred it for salad or fling it at the feral cats in my yard).

    Cheers, Jen
  • Post #25 - July 28th, 2012, 10:07 pm
    Post #25 - July 28th, 2012, 10:07 pm Post #25 - July 28th, 2012, 10:07 pm
    Hi= Actually the cabbage I got was not organic, but I almost got a head of cabbage for $2.59 from Henry Brockman, and his was organic, and it was not as large as mine, but it was plenty large for most people.
  • Post #26 - August 11th, 2012, 9:11 pm
    Post #26 - August 11th, 2012, 9:11 pm Post #26 - August 11th, 2012, 9:11 pm
    Hi- I noticed that a church had a bake sale at the Evanston market today. That is the first bake sale I have seen all summer.

    BTW- Marilyn's pies are wonderful, and are really reasonable. They are located in the front row, where all the new sellers are.

    When I made it to the market for the second time today around 12:30, John First had a $5 bag sale. I got a quart of peaches, a quart of beans, and 6 huge heirloom tomatoes all for $5. This is the first time this season he has had a bag sale this season. He said that he picked way more peaches this week, than he has the rest of the summer. Every other week, he has run out of peaches midmorning. Last week he had all his tomatoes marked down to 4/$1 right before he closed up.

    I just eat one of the heirloom tomatoes I purchased today, and it was delish. I am going to make mint salsa with some of the rest of the tomatoes. Here is the recipe.

    http://www.blog.brockmanfamilyfarming.c ... salsa.html

    Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #27 - June 21st, 2013, 2:18 pm
    Post #27 - June 21st, 2013, 2:18 pm Post #27 - June 21st, 2013, 2:18 pm
    Hi- I know that there are some people here who shop at the Evanston market on Saturday. I usually get an email from Henry Brockman's sister telling people what Henry is bringing to the Saturday market. When I just checked my email, it was not there. I did some searching, and apparently they are having problems with their email account. Terra is out of the country for a few weeks, and so the interns are doing the email. There is a link to the email that they tried to send out on their facebook page. Here is the link.

    http://www.blog.brockmanfamilyfarming.c ... n%20Market

    It just goes into what Henry is bringing tomorrow, which includes his amazing wall of lettuce, beets, kohlrabi and the first of his potatoes. I often get mesclun from him, and he should have plenty of that, and also some Asian greens. His sister will have the last of the organic strawberries and lots of organic herbs. The spinach is over until next fall. Henry grows at least 50 different variates of lettuce every summer, and it is all organic. All his lettuce is going to be $3 a bag or 2 bags for $5 tomorrow and he has the best lettuce there. Not only does he have the most variety of lettuce there, but he has figured out how to keep it fresh all morning, whereas the majority of the lettuce sellers there have not. There is one farmer that keeps her arugula and lettuce in igloo coolers and her lettuce is also good. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #28 - July 12th, 2013, 5:39 pm
    Post #28 - July 12th, 2013, 5:39 pm Post #28 - July 12th, 2013, 5:39 pm
    Hi- I receive an email every week from Henry Brockman and his sister Teresa telling me what they are bringing to the Evanston market on Saturday. The latest email I received from him has a link for a local foods infographic which was put together by the Land Connection, and which explains why it is important to buy as much of your food from a local source as possible. Here is the link.

    http://www.thelandconnection.org/resour ... eCBH22GfxB

    The infographic goes into how the longer it takes for food to get to your plate, the more nutrition is lost. Most produce in the grocery stores is a week old by the time it gets to the store. They also point out the fact that if you buy all of your produce at the farmer's market, or at the grower's farm, the grower gets to keep 100% of the money. If you buy all of your produce at a grocery store, the farmer receives approximately 15% of whatever you pay for the produce. The rest of the money goes to the store and all the middlemen.

    Most grocery stores in the Chicago area buy very little local produce anyway, and that is why it takes a week for the food to get to the store. Most of the produce comes from California or Mexico. The only thing that my sister grows that the stores are interested in purchasing is apples. When she does sell apples to a distributor, who in turn bags them and sells them to a chain store, they usually pay her around $5 a half bushel, and then the stores turn around and sell them for $3 for a 3 pound bag.

    BTW- Henry is going to have tons of fennel and beets for sale tomorrow, and he is running a special where you can get two bunches mix or match for $5. All his food is certified organic. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #29 - July 13th, 2013, 11:48 am
    Post #29 - July 13th, 2013, 11:48 am Post #29 - July 13th, 2013, 11:48 am
    It was hopping this morning. A few good tomatoes are starting to show up. Had my first two whole heirlooms with a pinch of white truffle salt from the Spice House this morning. Standing up, next to the sink. Summer in Evanston.

    The Morelocks even had some peaches. Last week for blackberries and raspberries.

    I stay away from the stands that have tomatoes that look like they are from Dominicks.
  • Post #30 - July 15th, 2013, 1:10 am
    Post #30 - July 15th, 2013, 1:10 am Post #30 - July 15th, 2013, 1:10 am
    Hi- As far as I know all the tomatoes they had for sale yesterday were homegrown. Some of the growers do not want to mess with heirloom tomatoes though, and only plant commercial variates, which is why they looked like they came from Dominick's. Heirlooms are difficult to grow, and they are not nearly as productive as the commercial variates are, and that is why not everybody there raises them. There is more waste with heirlooms too. Sun Gold cherry tomatoes are a mainstream variety, and they are easy to grow. They also taste wonderful. They are one of my favorite tomatoes. They are orange in color.

    Koeningshof's are going too have raspberries until the market ends in November. They grow some of their raspberries under protection, and that is how they are able to survive. I decided not to get any peaches at the last market. Not everyone was selling peaches, and usually the super early peaches are not that great. The peaches that are going to be for sale this Saturday should be much better.

    Hope this helps, Nancy

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