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Evanston Farmers Market

Evanston Farmers Market
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  • Post #361 - June 5th, 2021, 11:40 am
    Post #361 - June 5th, 2021, 11:40 am Post #361 - June 5th, 2021, 11:40 am
    When I got to the market around 11:00, Jon First and Morlocks were out of strawberries, I went to Nichols to see how much their strawberries were, and they were $7 a pint, or 3/$20. Even though I love their strawberries, I won't pay that much money. I ended up getting a quart from Lyons for $8, and they were okay but not great. Hopefully Nichols will have cheaper strawberries next week, or Jon First will still have some when I get there. Jon still had tons of asparagus though. I wished he would have kept his bunches of asparagus in water though. Usually he has really good asparagus, but due to the hot weather, the ends were dried out. I also got some spinach, mesclun and a head of lettuce from Henry. Henry always does a really good job of keeping his stuff fresh. He also had lots left to sell when I left the market at 11:45.

    I noticed the tables and chairs that they have set out for people to eat are located next to the Mexican restaurant, right near the parking garage. It looks like they were not very crowded. Gotta B Crepe and the Mexican restaurant had the longest lines again. It looks like a lot of people that went to the market last summer because of COVID, decided that it is okay to go back to Jewel to buy their produce.

    I noticed that everybody in the main square was wearing masks, but when you went to the outer square I saw a few people that were not wearing masks, and there were alot of people that were not wearing their mask correctly, and people were not social distancing at Gotta B Crepes and the Mexican restaurant. The line at Nichols was smaller than usual today.
  • Post #362 - June 10th, 2021, 5:50 pm
    Post #362 - June 10th, 2021, 5:50 pm Post #362 - June 10th, 2021, 5:50 pm
    Hi- I just got my regular Thursday email from the city of Evanston, and one person here will be glad to hear that the city is taking away the mask requirement at all outdoor events including the farmer's market. The only places that masks will still be required are the public library, and any other building owned by the city such as Robert Crown, , the police station, and any of the other recreation centers such as the Levy center and the ecology center.

    I also got an email from Henry's sister Terra telling people what Henry is bringing to the farmer's market this week. Due to the hot weather this is going to be the last week for spinach until this fall. Henry is going to have lots of lettuce this week. If you let him select your lettuce, Henry will sell you 2 bags of lettuce for $5. If you want to pick out your own, lettuce will be 2/$7. Henry will have the first of his basil for $3 a bunch. They are going to be small this week, but the size of the bunches will greatly expand as the summer progresses, but the price will remain the same.

    Terra mentioned that several of Henry's helpers at the market toured the rest of the market last week, and they noticed that Henry is cheaper than all of the organic growers, and he is also cheaper than many of the conventional growers. Henry tries to price his produce so it is affordable to the average person. He also has a junior citizen discount for those people that are in their 20's or have a child under the age of 21 months. Those people get 20% off. Terra also mentioned that all of Henry's employees have been fully vaccinated.

    I have been buying most of my produce so far this summer from Jon First and Henry because they are reasonable, and they always have nice stuff. This week though there should be lots more strawberries, and hopefully they will be cheaper. Last week all I got was one quart that I paid $8 for. Nichols usually have the best strawberries, but last week they were $7 a pint or 3/$20, and no way was I spending that much on strawberries. K & K farms should be there this Saturday with strawberries, but if you want strawberries from them, get there early. I suspect they will sell out by 11:00. There should still be lots of asparagus too. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #363 - June 10th, 2021, 6:52 pm
    Post #363 - June 10th, 2021, 6:52 pm Post #363 - June 10th, 2021, 6:52 pm
    NFriday wrote:I just got my regular Thursday email from the city of Evanston, and one person here will be glad to hear that the city is taking away the mask requirement at all outdoor events including the farmer's market.
    I am pleased to hear my home town has gone in the direction of scientific consensus and common sense regarding outdoor events. Thanks for passing on the good news. Fingers-crossed they'll go back to the much more natural and functional setup of rows as opposed to the inefficient single entrance square with exterior rows soon.
  • Post #364 - June 10th, 2021, 8:40 pm
    Post #364 - June 10th, 2021, 8:40 pm Post #364 - June 10th, 2021, 8:40 pm
    I think they set up the farmer's market the way that they did to limit the number of people at the market at any one time. I much preferred it the way it was before, because I could make one quick run through at the market when I got there to see what everybody had, and then decide who I wanted to buy from. I don't know if we are allowed to touch the produce or not. I was told by Jon First a few weeks ago that we could, but when I asked on the market's Facebook page about it, I never got an answer, and my post got deleted. Nichols is still set up so you cannot touch the stuff, and Todd Nichols complained at the beginning of the season, that he was being forced to hire twice as many people to man his tent because his employees had to bag it for you. At Henry's they still don't let you touch the produce until you buy it, but at least they encourage you to bring your own bag, where as Todd Nichols does not give you that option. When I bought fruit from K & K Farms last summer for most people they just put the stuff in one of their bags, but Linda Keoningshof knows me, and if she waited on me, she would put the stuff on the end table minus the bag, and let me bag it myself.
  • Post #365 - June 11th, 2021, 5:01 pm
    Post #365 - June 11th, 2021, 5:01 pm Post #365 - June 11th, 2021, 5:01 pm
    I just checked the Facebook page for the Evanston market, and yes masks will not be required for people that are fully vaccinated, and there is not going to be a limit on how many people are going to be allowed in the market at any one time, but they are still keeping the set up of the market with the inner and outer square for the time being because it gives people more room to social distance. The vendors are now going to be given the option to let the customers pick out their own produce, which means that some vendors will change their set up and some won't. I hope Todd Nichols changes his set up. It is so hard to figure out what he has, and how much it is without getting in line. Last week he had sugar snap peas, but then I noticed that they were $10 a pound, and no thanks. Henry is going to have sugar snap and snow peas this week, and his is usually around $3 for a pint box.

    There should still be some asparagus tomorrow and lots more strawberries. Hopefully K & K Farms will be there with strawberries, and Jon First should have plenty of strawberries, as well as Nichols and Morlocks. Nichols charged $7 a pint for strawberries last week though. Myra the market manager gave a plug for a new vendor that is selling potato donuts. They add mashed potatoes to their donuts. Apparently they participated in a donut competition in 2019 in Chicago, and came in first place. They even beat out Stan's donuts. The market is averaging 4,500 people per week. They now have a place for you to sit down and eat your donut or whatever. Tables and chairs are located next to the Mexican restaurant, near the parking garage. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #366 - June 11th, 2021, 9:29 pm
    Post #366 - June 11th, 2021, 9:29 pm Post #366 - June 11th, 2021, 9:29 pm
    I just got another email from Henry, and he has a loaded truck, which includes lots of greens, lettuce, spinach, Japanese turnips, broccoli, and kohlrabi. For all of his CSA customers he is now able to allow people to bag their stuff themselves. He asks that people follow the signs exactly about what to select, and if beets are supposed to be in your bag, but you don't like beets, he asks that you select a bunch of beets, but then take them to the exchange table he will have set up, and trade them for something else on the table. He did not say if he is going to allow non CSA customers to select their own produce or not. I personally hope that Nichols allows people to select their own stuff.
  • Post #367 - June 12th, 2021, 1:05 pm
    Post #367 - June 12th, 2021, 1:05 pm Post #367 - June 12th, 2021, 1:05 pm
    Hardly anybody was wearing a mask at the market today, and everybody let you pick out your own produce, although at Nichols they picked out the strawberries for me. Their strawberries were a little cheaper. They were 5 pints for $20, which was a little bit more than I would normally have spent, but I got there late and a lot of the growers were out of strawberries. Nichols also had their lettuce marked down to $2 a bag, but I had already gotten two huge heads of romaine from Henry for $5. I also got some broccoli, sugar snap peas and a bag of spinach from Henry, and a bunch of asparagus from somebody in Michigan. Jon First was out of asparagus when I got there. Somebody told me that K & K Farms will be there starting next week. It seems like there were still lots of people there at 12:15. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #368 - June 18th, 2021, 10:02 pm
    Post #368 - June 18th, 2021, 10:02 pm Post #368 - June 18th, 2021, 10:02 pm
    Hi- Henry is going to have a different set up tomorrow where there will be a long table with a short table at either end of the long table. People will be allowed to pick their own produce, but Henry wants the line to only go one direction, and when people finish going through the displays, Henry will have seven helpers to ring people up. People are asked to social distance while they are in the line selecting their veggies. Henry has requested that people don't back track because they forgot something. The line will be the same for his regular customers and his CSA customers. Henry will be selling lettuce two bags for $5 tomorrow. In the email I got Wednesday Terra mentioned that Henry was going to have cabbage and spinach. But she did not list those on the email I just got. Henry will be bringing lots of greens, Japanese turnips carrots and kohlrabi. Henry is also bringing fava beans for the first time ever. He says they are wonderful. What do people do with fava beans?

    For the first time since the pandemic started, farmers can now hand out samples. On 7/3 the kids club will start up again, and we will have entertainment again too on 7/3. Tomorrow we should have plenty of strawberries, and K & K Farms will be there with their strawberries I have been told. We should still have lots of asparagus too. Don't forget that if you have been vaccinated too, you do not have to wear a mask at the market. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #369 - June 24th, 2021, 8:25 pm
    Post #369 - June 24th, 2021, 8:25 pm Post #369 - June 24th, 2021, 8:25 pm
    I just talked to my sister that has the farm in SW Michigan, and she told me that strawberries are done for the year in her area because of all of the rain we had last Sunday. Nichols might still have some strawberries this Saturday though. Thankfully my sister's sweet cherries survived the rain, and did not major crack. She is upicking sweet cherries right now, but tomorrow might be the last day for upick cherries. She only has a third of a crop of cherries. She is going to have upick sour cherries I think on July 4th weekend, and she has a full crop of peaches, and she is going to have upick peaches starting approximately August 5th.
  • Post #370 - July 3rd, 2021, 2:12 pm
    Post #370 - July 3rd, 2021, 2:12 pm Post #370 - July 3rd, 2021, 2:12 pm
    Hi- I was going to post yesterday, but never got around to it. I never made it to the market last week because I was planning on going to a family reunion last Saturday in Michigan. When my sister from New Orleans and I headed out to go to the reunion, it was raining hard. We decided to go to it anyway. We got on Lake Shore Drive, and then got as far as Belmont, and decided to get off there and head on back to Evanston. Right after we got off LSD, I got the tornado warning on my phone.

    Last Saturday was the first time in 10 years that the market closed early. Jon First told me today that the market stayed open after the tornado siren went off, but they finally decided to shut down the market because they could see the rain was not going to let up. He said he only had three dozen quarts of strawberries and two dozen eggs left by then, and he ended up giving them to Hillside. I am surprised that they even did pickup. I don't know where everybody went while the tornado warning was on.

    A few people had blueberries, cherries and raspberries today. I decided to pass on all of those. I was not sure if the blueberries were any good yet, and one of the growers was charging $8 a pint for them. I got there too late for Henry's potatoes lettuce and garlic, but I bought a huge broccolini from Henry as well as some swiss chard and kale. I also bought a dozen eggs from Jon First for $5. They offered to sell me two dozen for $7, but it takes me a month to go through a dozen eggs, and so I passed. They were medium eggs with brown shells. It was really nice weather today. Nichols had lettuce for $5 or 3/$10, but I took a look at the lettuce, and it was not great. They also had sugar snap peas for $6 a quart, but that was more than what I wanted.

    The blueberries should be a lot better next week, and hopefully they should be cheaper too. Stovers had a sign for strawberries today, but it looked like they were out. There should be sweet corn in about two weeks.

    I noticed the sax players were back again. Hopefully they got enough donations today. It was good to hear music again. Hope this helps. Nancy
  • Post #371 - July 8th, 2021, 10:36 pm
    Post #371 - July 8th, 2021, 10:36 pm Post #371 - July 8th, 2021, 10:36 pm
    Terra Brockman just sent out an email telling people what Henry is bringing to market this Saturday. The city has now stopped the requirement that people line up to enter his tent, and only go in one direction. Now people will be able to enter his tent without lining up. It is going to be set up the same way it was before the pandemic. The only protocol Henry is keeping from last week is that he is going to have the cashiers located right outside the tent. You load your stuff in one of the baskets Henry provides, and then when you are done shopping, you head to one of the cashiers to pay for your purchases. I've noticed that if you prefer to pay with cash, Henry does not require you to pay exact cash anymore. If you buy $10 worth of produce, but all you have is a $20, Henry will give you change back. He does still take credit though. There are a few growers that prefer you pay with cash.

    The only thing that will remain for the rest of the season is that the market will continue to have an inside and an outside square to give people more room to social distance.

    Henry is bringing the last of the kohlrabi and carrots he has now. He will have more later in the season. Henry will have lots of garlic, leeks and basil this week, as well as lots of amaranth, cabbage and zucchini.

    Hopefully Nichols will have their stall back to the way it was before the pandemic. It was hard to figure out what they had for sale.

    There should be lots of blueberries and raspberries this week. I suspect the strawberries are all done for the year though. Cherries are done for the year in SW Michigan, but there might be a few cherries from Northern Michigan at the market. Apricots are going to be hard to come by this year, unless Northern Michigan has more of a crop of apricots than SW Michigan does. Hopefully there will be some sweet corn at the market on 7/17. Peaches should become available at that market too, but canning peaches will not be available until the beginning of August. The early peaches do not come easily off the pit. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #372 - July 9th, 2021, 9:38 pm
    Post #372 - July 9th, 2021, 9:38 pm Post #372 - July 9th, 2021, 9:38 pm
    Henry is bringing split cabbage and charging $.40 a pound for it. He says it will keep. You have to ask for it.

    The farmers market starting tomorrow is providing free COVID tests. I am not sure if they are the instant ones or not. It would be nice if they offered vaccines too at the market. There is supposed to be apricots at the market tomorrow. I don't know who is bringing them and where they are from. Apricots do not survive well in frost, and my sister in SW Michigan does not have an apricot crop this year. The Traverse City area might have some apricots.
  • Post #373 - July 10th, 2021, 3:06 pm
    Post #373 - July 10th, 2021, 3:06 pm Post #373 - July 10th, 2021, 3:06 pm
    Did anybody get any apricots at the market today? I did not see any at K & K Farms today. I only get some from them when they have their slightly bruised apricots really cheap. I saw somebody from Berrien Springs had some, but I did not stop to see how much they were, and I did not make it into the inside square today. Stovers and a few other growers might have had some for lots of money. As it was I spent $32 on fruit. I bought a quart of cherries, and a quart of peaches, and two pints of blueberries. Henry was way cheaper in comparison. I got two heads of garlic, a quart of red kohlrabi, and a huge Japanese cabbage that has split, and I only paid $6.75 for all of that. Has anybody tried any of Henry's Japanese flat head cabbage yet? Henry was out of Amaranth and leeks when I got there, but he had plenty of cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, garlic and fennel.

    I did not see the sax players there today. The only musicians I saw were a group of high school students playing classical music. They were not bad. I stopped at the COVID testing table, and the person manning the table referred me to their website for further information. They are called free covid care, and they are headquartered in Lincolnwood. They do offer rapid tests that show results in ten minutes. They also administer vaccines, but not at the farmer's market.