Sunday, May 25, 2008

What Took So Long

Oak Park Farmer's Market - May 24, 2008

Oak Parker's love a block party. I have no actual statistics to base this on, but I believe that every block in Oak Park (but for the main streets) has a block party. Some have more than one. I have no statistics to base this on, but I bet you that at every block party at some point, talk amongst the neighbors (some who only talk this one time per year) will be about Village government. It won't be pretty. Me, my pet complaint used to be the gobs of money we spent on our recent library. I've changed that to the gobs of money spent on our recent Public Works building. Still, for all the complaints, I love my Village because as my family and I walked back to the parking lot on Saturday morning, we saw the Village Clerk, who we know well. We asked, is their free parking today (we had not paid the box), and she said, "I have no idea."

I had no idea how the pre-season market would hold. Oak Park had decided to open a limited market two weeks earlier than they normally opened. I saw one of the Nichol's guys a few weeks ago and he seemed psyched about the earlier market. Then, I read somewhere that it was for the sale of bedding plants. Me, I go to the Oak Park Market for donuts. I go for food to eat now. I no want no bedding plants. I can report back. Yes, there were bedding plants. Tomato plants galore. Food too. Donuts three. In fact the donuts were selling so fast that powdered sugar was out. See, when the donuts are too hot, the powdered sugar melts. High demand negates powedered sugar. When you're down to plain and cinnamon, you know your donut will be warm. Good I think.

Most but not all the vendors showed for this trial-run. All brought food beyond plants even if most of the food was rhubarb or asparagus. Nichol's also had old potatoes (more on that anon), some arugula, green garlic that I wanted more than anything this day and spinach. My pal Vicki was at another market, but her Genesis Growers had a full table with baby bok choy and mint and rosemary and scallions, which surprisingly have not been in the CSA box. I ordered a 1/2 hog (farmer talk) from the Wettstein's and was wowed by the new-to-the market Catalina Farm, which is farm in name only as she is putting the local in local, farming a small plot in Forest Park. She had a name for it. Swib or something like that. I'll take better notes next week.

There will be a next week, this abridged market that did not seem so abridged. Then, it's on to about twelve weeks of the best market in the Chicago area. You should find me there most Saturdays, usually before 8 AM. I hope to see you there too. The Oak Park Farmer's Market meets at Pilgrim Church 460 Lake Street (between Elmwood and Scoville). Market hours are 8 AM until noon for one more week and then 7 AM until 1 PM the rest of the season.

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