Green City Market Outdoor Season: A Guide to the 2014 Market

Green City Market Outdoor Season: A Guide to the 2014 Market
Green City Market steps outside for the season Saturday

A welcoming sign of Spring, the 16th annual Green City Market, returns to its grassy setting in Lincoln Park for its outdoor season on Saturday, May 3rd.

Green City Market, a Chicago treasure, provides a marketplace for those who want to purchase sustainably grown food. It allows consumers to connect with the farmers and local producers.  The market also provides produce to many of Chicago's top chefs and restaurants.

Since its beginnings in 1998, as a small space next to the Chicago Theatre, the Green City Market has been on the cutting edge of the "green movement" morphing into what it is today--a vital farmer's market that industry leader Alice Waters calls "the best sustainable market in the country."

A special opening day celebration will take place this Saturday with kids activities, garden workshops, chef demonstrations and more.

chefscarriesarahA highlight of opening day will be a shopping excursion with Chicago's celebrity chefs Sarah  Stegner of Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook and Carrie Nahabedian of Naha and Brindille in River North as they browse the market for the best produce available to be used in their 10:30 a.m. chef demonstration.

Those wishing to join Sarah and Carrie are asked to meet promptly at the chef demonstration area at 9:30 a.m. The group will join the chefs as they comb the market identifying unique produce and pointing out what to look for when selecting fruits and vegetables along with explaining their own selections.

This summer's Green City Market (GCM) will feature 67 vendors, 10 of whom are new.  Joining the market are:

Amazing Shrimp. These little guys (and girls) are truly amazing. Would you believe, they are raised indoors? No lie, these crustaceans were born indoors after years of experimentation though a pilot project focusing on shrimp farming in the United States.  The project finally started making waves two years ago and now welcomes 8,000 lbs of shrimp per week without use of any chemicals, antibiotics, hormones or steroids.

Co-op Sauce is "the little engine that could."  The enterprise began as a homemade product that was part of an afterschool arts and culinary education program in Wicker Park and Humboldt Park. The sauce was made from peppers grown in a small  co-op garden.  The product took off and now has a home and full-time staff in Rogers Park.  It will be available for the first time this year at GCM.  The peppers are crafted in small batches with handpicked ingredients sourced straight from farmers in the Midwest.  Co-founder of the original non-profit, Mike Bancroft, the Sauce Boss, is still at the helm creating a variety of recipes for the popular sauces utilizing techniques including fermentation and barrel aging.

Earth & Skye Farm is a small CSA farm, using environmentally conscious and sustainable methods of productions. Headed by farmer Patti McPhillips out of Manhatten, IL, Earth & Skye will be offering a wide variety of annual vegetables along with culinary herbs.

Marigold Hill Organics run by Farmers Greg and Lynn Simmons  grow a wide array of vegetables and herbs. They are part of the Farm Business Development Center at Prairie Crossing Farm in Grayslake, IL and are certified organic by the Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA) and the USDA.

Quality Organic is a conventional row crop farm, headed by farmer Brian Severson. The bulk of its production is conventional non-GMO corn and soybeans.  They have 150 acres certified organic by Oregon Tilth.  They will have certified organic fresh market sweet corn available in season (mid-July through August).

Savory Accents will turn up the heat at the Green Market with some of the hottest chilies available.  The farm, headed by farmers Joan and Ted Ballweg, specializes in Chili Pepper products in Verona, Wisconsin. Shoppers can expect to find a variety of processed products such as Hot Pepper Seasoning, Spicy Oils, Hot Sauces, and Vinaigrettes.  Their gardening techniques focus on the concept of "terroir," the impact of soil, sun, moisture and the mastery of gardening--while creating intense flavor.

The Nomad Food Company is a mobile business specializing in wood fired pizzas and other homemade fare. They work to source the finest local and seasonal ingredients to create a truly unique food experience.

Underground Meats creates their hand-crafted salami and cured meats in downtown Madison, Wisconsin.  They will sell their meat products to consumers at the GCM. They also offer a variety of classes and workshops.

Verzênay Patisserie bakes artisanal French desserts inclucing seasonal fruit tarts, Fraisier, Cannelés, cakes, eclairs and more, mostly using locally grown ingredients.

Wisconsin Fermentation is all about garlic.  The company, Black Garlic North America, is focused on fermentation innovation as well as product and manufacturing design and commercialization.

Market Hours and Information

Green City Market is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday through October 25 (at which time it moves indoors). The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1790 N. Clark) across from Hotel Lincoln.


Discounted parking is available for $10.00 for less than two hours with validation in the Chicago Historical Museum parking lot off of Stockton Drive. Pick up a validation ticket at the Market info booth. (for validation, patron must make a minimum $5 purchase at the market). There is a special $5 Early Bird parking rate on Wednesdays for one hour between 7 a.m.-9 a.m. Additional metered parking can be found on Clark St.

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