Support Our Local Farmer’s Markets

By Camille Severino

October marks the end of many Farmer’s Markets in our area.  Most do not stop operating until the end of the month so here are some ideas on what you can get at the Farmer’s Market in your area to get ready for the summer.

The end of tomato season is drawing near.  That doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of it.  Right now is the perfect time for canning and tomatoes are vegetable that you can use throughout the winter for chili, pasta sauces and soups.  There are many websites and YouTube videos with instructions on canning tomatoes but I found http://busterbucks.hubpages.com/hub/How-To-Can-Tomatoes to be the easiest to follow.   Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am going to can tomatoes for the first time this year.  But I will be keeping  a log and writing a story on it for next month’s issue.

Peppers are in abundance at the Oak Park Farmers Market where I visited last week.  That got me to thinking about home made giardiniera peppers.  Everything you need except for the jars is right there.  Peppers, carrots and cauliflower are still plentiful and waiting to be purchased.  This is another recipe that is easy to find on the Internet but Jeff Mauro’s on Foodnetwork.com seems rather simple.

According to www.agr.state.us/markets/farmers most regional produce is still in season until late October.   So it’s not too late to get those peppers or tomatoes and help your community along the way.

There are many good reasons to go to the Farmer’s Market.  You’ll be supporting your local economy, the produce you purchase will be coming directly from Illinois farmers and the freshness can’t be beat.   Most farmers markets have bands playing live music and the experience is much more enjoyable than waiting in lines at the grocery store.

Below I’ve listed a few local Farmer’s Markets in our area that will be open through the end of October.

Oak Park Farmer’s Market Located at 460 Lake Street.  Open Saturdays from 7am-1pm.

Elmhurst Farmer’s Market ½ block East of York on Vallette.  Open Wednesdays 7am-1pm.

Forest Park French Market Circle and Madison.  Open Saturdays 8am-1pm.

Maywood Multicultural Farmers Market Next to the Maywood Public Library at 5th Avenue and St. Charles.  Open Saturdays from 8am-1pm

If you are looking to take a drive in the country and would like to make a road trip out of your Farmer’s Market experience just check out the links at http://www.farmersmarketonline.com/fm/Illinois.htm for a list of all Illinois Farmer’s Markets.

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