Tuesday, June 05, 2007

4 Weeks too Late

Oak Park Farmer's Market - June 2, 2007

My favorite (and home town) farmer's market got off to a rousing start. Of course, it takes at least a few weeks to get the oil temperature ideal for the donuts.

We got our first peek of the offspring of some defunct chowhounds (still foodies though, does that sound right?).

Farmer's markets make me happy. What makes me unhappy is having to wait.

Look at the Genesis Grower's stand.

Does this look like the work of a just getting started farmer? No, because Genesis Growers has been providing stuff for its CSA since April. It's also been at Green City Market. The food is there. Our purchases (besides donuts) included arugula, strawberries, sugar snap peas, carrots, parsley, basil, and radishes.

The conventional wisdom (if such thing exists) is that our climate cannot support farmers markets until June, that there's nothing to sell. Genesis Growers shows otherwise. Moreover, we were at the Dane County (Madison, WI) farmers market a few weeks ago. Mid-May, the season was about over for morels (the signs said last week), ramps had passed (how's that for funny, Harmony Valley Growers had no more ramps to sell, but Whole Foods in Illinois still had Wisconsin ramps to sell at the time). There was pea-shoots, watercress, spinach, radishes, hothouse tomatoes, lettuces, green onions, chives, rhubarb; in Wisconsin, Wisconsin. On top of all that green, there was cheese, meat, flavored oils, maple syrup (new crop!), canned goods, baked goods, jerky, keeper 'tatoes. There is just no damn good reason that the farmer's markets around here cannot open sooner. Really, they should be year round, like New York's Greenmarkets. If that's too much to ask, at least a May 1 start would make more sense.

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