Opening Day at the Glenwood Farmer’s Market

At long last, our neighborhood market is officially open for the summer! The Glenwood Sunday Market kicked off at 8:30 this morning with a Bread Breaking Ceremony. We showed up just at the end of the ceremony, in time for the blessing of the bread by a local pastor and the ribbon cutting by the market director and our Alderman, Joe Moore. The ribbon was awesome – it was a long woven strand of straw, with fresh bunches of carrots and radishes woven in. They used garden loppers to cut it. And the bread we sampled was a delicious challah with almonds on top.

The market started off this season with most of the vendors from last year, as well as some new faces. There was an amazing variety of product available, one of the great virtues of waiting until June for opening day. There was asparagus, rhubarb, lettuce, greens, scallions, strawberries, mushrooms (crimini, oyster and shitake), preserves from last summer, fresh bread, frozen apple juice from last fall, eggs (chicken, duck and goose), a variety of meats (lamb, pork, chicken, goat, beef) cut flowers, bedding flowers, herb and vegetable transplants, herbal tea blends, flavored vinegars, honey and beeswax products, and prepared foods like chocolates, icecream and even to-go artisan pizzas! Dave the Knife Sharpener was also in attendance. And I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff.

We came home with half a quart of crimimi mushrooms, a large bunch of scallions, a pint of strawberries and a basil plant. It was great to be able to walk a block from our house and have such an abundance of fresh, local produce once more. For those that aren’t aware, all farmers and producers come from within 200 miles of Chicago, so we’re very much supporting our foodshed. It’s a great thing.

And the market will be continuing it’s Learn & Grow educational programs this summer. We stopped by their booth so husband could grab a cup of coffee ($1.00 for a cup of Intelligentsia brew, with proceeds going back to the market) and chat with the ladies volunteering at the table about the forthcoming event schedule. They’re still finalizing the line up, but they confirmed that they will likely have another worm composting day as well have Milton Dixon lead another forgaging walk through the neighborhood – both events that I’m eager to attend since I missed them last season. The schedule will be posted on their site as soon as it’s available.

Oh, and if you love the market as much I do, be sure to vote for it in this year’s America’s Favorite Farmers Market poll by America’s Farmland Trust. I’ve already voted. 🙂