I dragged myself from the laptop and the sewing machine at about four o’clock, to go to the post office and drive the extra block from the PO to the parking lot of the ‘Ville Community Center. The lot is ample for the need, but please don’t imagine acres of chic chefly produce here –I didn’t count, but I think there are no more than twenty tables. A depressingly large number of them are devoted to Tupperware, flea market odds and ends and all those mysterious “food” booths, which consist of nothing but glossy brochures and sign-up sheets. Not exactly the Union Square Greenmarket.
But the City Parents have improved it enormously since last year, when there were booth after booth of people selling American Girls doll clothes and exactly one produce seller. That seller, from way downstate, is back this year with an expanded selection. A baker from Geneva is there, and my two new favorites, which I’ll highlight first.
He explained to me that his poultry and the eggs they produce are not only organic and cage free and free-range — they’re pastured. Yep, out all day in fields, in at night so the foxes and coyotes don’t get them. His meat –pork, chicken and beef, are lucky animals too. I picked up another dozen of the best eggs I can buy, and forked out five bucks for them. Not cheap, but I’ll be cheerful every time I crack one.
On to my favorite stall, tended by a glowing family from about an hour from the ‘Ville. Every single shopper was toting a six-pack of their corn, still hands down the best I’ve eaten this year in what’s been a great summer for corn. (All that rain and heat, I guess.) I added some baby eggplants, yellow pattypans, golden beets and huge tomatoes, picked that morning in their garden. It seems they hit a Farmers Market a day, but the lady confided: “I love being in Warrenville — it’s like some little tiny town no one knows about in these fancy suburbs.” Perceptive lady.
The moment that Made my Day: before I snapped their pic I introduced myself as the food writer from the local paper. A voice to my left said” “Oh my God, are you Margaret?” Wow. Seemed the impeccably chic lady beside me is on the editorial staff of the Village Chronicles . She said: “We just drool over your recipes when we get your stories.” That made me happy.
Here are a few pictures from the big “industrial” Farmers Market farm from way downstate, the one that was the only produce stand last year.
For those of you who live in places with wondrous Farmers Markets, what do you think of the prices on these mushrooms?