Green City Market Opens for its 16th Season Saturday, May 3

Chicago’s most beloved farmers market, Green City Market, (GCM) opens 7 a.m. Saturday, May 3 in Lincoln Park beginning its 16th year legacy.

Green City Market has a full day of activities planned for May 3.

  • 8:00 a.m.: Club Sprouts Tent Opens; Kid’s Table will be doing demos and tastings at the Club Sprouts tent all day
  • 9:30-10:15 a.m.: Edible Gardens Workshop at the Chef Demonstration Tent
  • 9:30 a.m. Shop the Market with chefs Sarah Stegner and Carrie Nahabedian
  • 10:30 a.m.: Chef Demonstration tent featuring founding board member and board co-president Sarah Stegner (Prairie Grass Cafe) and Carrie Nahabedian (Naha and Brindille), also a member of the board.

Green City Market Opens for its 16th Season Saturday, May 3

Market shoppers are invited to join Chef Sarah Stegner, founding GCM board member and co-president, and Chef Carrie Nahabedian, GCM board member, as they shop the market for produce before their 10:30 a.m. chef demonstration.

Those wishing to join Sarah and Carrie should meet promptly at the chef demonstration area at 9:30 a.m. The group will meander throughout the market as Sarah and Carrie identify produce to use during their demonstration. Learn what they look for in selecting fruits and vegetables and why they make the choices that they do.

Green City Market, a 501(c)(3) organization, provides free resources and educational opportunities about local sustainable issues to shoppers, sprouts, and farmers. It’s the only way to achieve a sustainable future.

The mission is to make quality, healthy, delicious food available for home cooks, restaurants, schools, and healthcare facilities.

It is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday through October 25 at which time it moves indoors. The market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1790 N. Clark) across from the Hotel Lincoln.

There will be 67 vendors this year 10 of whom are new.  Joining the market are:

Amazing Shrimp “AMAZING SHRIMP” delivered by Marek Wolanowski is a pilot project for indoor shrimp farming in the United States, with several partners on the board with more than 40 years of experience in aquaculture. After years of experimenting, the project took final shape two years ago and is now up and running and can deliver up to 8,000 lbs of shrimp per week. Wolanowski focuses on a sustainable way of raising the Gulf Coast White saltwater shrimp by using a clear water recirculating system. The system, which was patented 25 years ago, does not use any chemicals, antibiotics, hormones or steroids.  This sustainable system results in the freshest, healthiest, and most “Amazing” shrimp ever! Why “AMAZING SHRIMP”? Because most people, who try the shrimp use “AMAZING” to describe the shrimp after tasting.

Co-op Sauce (coopsauce.comRogers Park-based Co-op Sauce is crafted in small batches with handpicked ingredients sourced straight from farmers in the Midwest. All of the recipes are hatched from Mr. Mike’s (Mike Bancroft) very own imagination, utilizing techniques including fermentation and barrel aging. Obsessed with spice and flavor, Mike, the Sauce Boss, takes inspiration from the farm-fresh ingredients to create flavors that enhance food, rather than overwhelm it with spice. Co-op Sauce donates half of its profits to Co-op Image and employs former program participants in the making and sale of the sauce.

Earth & Skye Farm Farmer Patti McPhillips of Manhatten, IL. Earth & Skye Farm is a small CSA farm and an adventure in growing vibrant, healthy food and soil while exploring the spiritual and creative dimensions of farming; providing space to experience and honor the rhythms of seasonality in plant, insect and human life. They grow a wide variety of annual vegetables and some culinary herbs using environmentally conscious and sustainable methods of productions.

Marigold Hill Organics ( – Farmers Greg and Lynn Simmons. Marigold Hill Organics grows a wide aray of delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs. They are is part of the Farm Business Development Center at Prairie Crossing Farm in Grayslake, IL and are certified organic by the Midwest Organic Services Association (MOSA) and the USDA.

Quality Organic – Farmer Brian Severson. Quality Organic is conventional row crop farm (all non-GMO) slowly converting some acreage to organic production.
The bulk of its production is conventional non-GMO corn and soybeans.  They have 150 acres certified organic by Oregon Tilth.  They grow corn, soybeans, oats, wheat, field peas, sweet clover for seed and sweet corn.   They have certified organic fresh market sweet corn available wholesale in season (mid-July through August).

Savory Accents (– Farmers Joan and Ted Ballweg. Savory Accents, specializes in Chili Pepper products.  They produce a large variety of chilies ranging from the popular Jalapeno to one of the hottest chilies around, the famous Habanero.  Their chilies are harvested and processed fresh from our gardens in Verona, Wisconsin. They also provide a variety of processed products such as Hot Pepper Seasoning, Spicy Oils, Hot Sauces, and Vinaigrettes.  Our goal is to enhance all of your savory dishes with spice and flavor. Their gardening techniques focus on the concept of “terroir”, the impact of soil, sun, moisture and the mastery of gardening.  This has a direct correlation to the intense flavor and heat found in our chili peppers.  It’s not just about hot, it’s about intense flavor.

The Nomad Food Company (thenomadfoodcompany.comThe Nomad Food Company LLC is a mobile business specializing in wood fired pizzas and other homemade fare. Whenever possible, they source only the finest local and seasonal ingredients to create a truly unique food experience.

Underground Meats (undergroundfoodcollective.comUnderground Meats creates hand-crafted salami and cured meats in downtown Madison, WI. They sell products wholesale to restaurants and markets and direct to consumer through CSA-style meat offerings. They also offer a variety of classes and workshops.

Verzênay patisserie (verzenaypatisserie.comPâtissière Arshiya Farheen bakes artisanal French desserts like seasonal fruit tarts, Fraisier, Cannelés, cakes, eclairs and more, mostly using locally grown ingredients. Verzênay was born when Arshiya moved to Paris to learn and excel in the art of French pastries. After graduating from the Ferrandi school of culinary arts, and working at Delmontel boulangerie-patisserie and hotel Le Meurice, Verzênay became her means to share the French passion for designer pastries, using the highest quality ingredients. Arshiya and her husband Aqeel run this small family business. Their passion for products from local farms, and their belief in using natural or organic foods for over a decade, is reflected in the quality of their desserts.

Wisconsin Fermentation (blackgarlicna.comBlack Garlic North America is a business division of Wisconsin Fermentation Company LLC (founded in 2012). Wisconsin Fermentation Company is focused on fermentation innovation as well as product and manufacturing design and commercialization. The combination of chemistry, microbiology, mycology, engineering, and food technology pave the way for technical expertise within a wide array of fermented products. Currently the flagship product is Black Garlic marketed under the brand name Black Garlic North America.

Green City Market Programs

Club Sprouts Green City Market Opens for its 16th Season Saturday, May 3
Green City Market encourages young people to try new, locally grown sustainable foods at its Club Sprouts. Each market, children are given the opportunity to taste a different market item- some familiar and some unusual. Each day a child tastes a sample, they receive a stamp on their Club Sprouts membership card. Once the card is filled with 8 tastes, the child takes home a certificate of accomplishment and a special prize.Tastings, Forager Club, and other activities are available at the Sprouts Tent every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon.

Green City Market Opens for its 16th Season Saturday, May 3Compost and Recycling
The green “Compost Center” tent, located in the center of the outdoor market, is Green City Market’s centralized waste disposal area. The tent is staffed to help market-goers sort their waste, and to ensure the compost and recycling streams are uncontaminated.

Knowledge CSA Green City Market Opens for its 16th Season Saturday, May 3
Every week, the Green City Market Newsletter features a collection of educational tidbits called the “Knowledge CSA”. The CSA stands for “Community Shared Awareness” and includes information on farming, vegetables, local food systems and anything else that helps people understand how food gets from farm to fork.

Green City Market Opens for its 16th Season Saturday, May 3Farmer Scholarship Program
Each year Green City Market offers 10 scholarships, up to $500 each, to Green City Market farmers who wish to pursue continuing education in sustainable agriculture during the winter months.

Scholarships can be used to cover admission/ tuition, materials, transportation and/or lodging for any regional conferences or workshops, any educational opportunities offered by your local extension offices, and other approved programs. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide assistance to those who wish to increase their understanding of sustainable growing practices. Green City Market’s Farmer Scholarship Program depends on support from our generous donors. Donate to the market today.

Green City Market Opens for its 16th Season Saturday, May 3Field Trips
Visit Green City Market with your group. Field trips with Green City Market are relevant for school groups, summer camps, and more. Not just for grade school or high school kids, we offer “field trips” for a variety of groups – adults too!

Green City Market Opens for its 16th Season Saturday, May 3Heirloom and Heritage Preservation Project
The Heritage and Heirloom Preservation Project promotes heirloom and heritage products through signage at farmer stands and incorporation into all GCM programs.

Green City Market works with its Market vendors to help preserve and promote heirloom varieties of vegetables and fruits and heritage breeds of animals – the foods our ancestors enjoyed for centuries. Over decades these products have adapted to local environmental conditions and are often better able to withstand disease and harsh environmental conditions than their genetically engineered relations. Preserving them preserves the biodiversity of our food supply. Look for the large “H” sign around the Market that designates an heirloom variety of fruit or vegetable or a heritage variety of animal. Visit The Edible Gardens in the Zoo and see the plant that provides the fruit or vegetable as it grows. Sample different heirloom products during our Savor the Seasons tasting sessions and check out our chef demonstrations for ways to enjoy these products throughout the season.
Green City Market Opens for its 16th Season Saturday, May 3
Savor the Seasons Tasting Series
Savor the Seasons is an opportunity for market customers to taste multiple varieties of the same fruit or vegetable in a side by side tasting event. Expand your taste horizons and discover new favorites by sampling over 15 different varieties grown by Green City Market farmers; lettuces in the spring, berries in summer, carrots, tomatoes and everyone’s favorite apples! Tips for storing, freezing, and cooking; and take-home educational materials enhance appreciation for the amazing bounty of our region and our farmers. Stop by the Market Information Tent to find out more.

The Edible Gardens
Green City Market Opens for its 16th Season Saturday, May 3The Edible Gardens are one of Green City Market’s primary educational outreach programs and consist of over 5000 square feet of beautiful, organically grown vegetables, fruits, herbs, grains and flowers. Open to the public during the April to November growing season, the gardens offer Chicagoans the opportunity to connect with the process of growing healthy, delicious food.

Edible Garden May Workshop
Saturday, May 17, 2014
 – Planning for Summer: Transplanting Warm Weather Crops
Join Green City Market as they transplant warm weather crops such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and herbs.  Learn how to layout your garden and space your transplants to maximize fruit production throughout the season.  They will also discuss what plants pair well together and the benefits of planting a diversity of crops

Green City Market BBQ Tickets Go On Sale May 3
It isn’t too soon to pick up tickets to Green City Market’s Chef BBQ 5:30 to 8 p.m. July 17. Tickets go on sale May 3. The BBQ, Chicago’s hottest foodie extravaganza sells out every year. Early ticket purchase is recommended. One of Chicago’s best summer events, this grand picnic is held every July in picturesque Lincoln Park, with the fabulous Chicago skyline as a backdrop. This beautiful venue is ideal to showcase some of Chicago’s finest chefs, the who’s who of Chicago’s culinary scene. All dishes served at the BBQ feature items offered from the bounty of the market with nearly 100 chefs/restaurants creating culinary magic. In addition to food, locally made beer, wine, hand-crafted cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages will be available. Visit here for details.

Discounted parking is available for $10.00 for less than two hours with validation in the Chicago Historical Museum parking lot off of Stockton Drive. Pick up a validation ticket at the Market info booth. (for validation, patron must make a minimum $5 purchase at the market). There is a special $5 Early Bird parking rate on Wednesdays for one hour between 7am-9am.

The following CTA bus routes stop by Green City Market: 22 Clark, 36 Broadway, 73 Armitage, 151 Sheridan. The nearest train stops are the Sedgwick Brown line (walk east on North Ave. and north on Clark to Green City Market) and the Clark/Division Red line (walk north on Clark to Green City Market).

About Green City Market
Green City Market is a 501 (c) (3) not for profit organization celebrating our 16th anniversary. The mission of Green City Market is to provide a marketplace for purchasing sustainably grown food and to educate, promote and connect farmers and local producers directly to chefs, restaurateurs and the greater Chicago community. Green City Market values education about quality food and its source. We value farmers who take care of the land; the preservation of sustainably farmed land; a vibrant thriving community of local farms; and consumption of locally grown foods.

Green City Market showcases sustainable practices. From that first year in 1998 next to the Chicago Theatre to the present time, Green City Market has morphed into Chicago’s most vital farmer’s market that industry leader Alice Waters calls “the best sustainable market in the country.”

Green City Market is funded by individual donations, corporation sponsorships, grants and fund raising events. It is a 501 (c) (3) independent farmers market .

Green City Market’s (GCM) incredible momentum comes from our broad base of support including conscientious and caring farmers and producers, consumers, chefs, restaurateurs and other culinary professionals. It also reflects Chicagoans’ increasing concern for a more sustainable food system by improving the quality of food on our table produced by local farmers using organic and sustainable practices that preserves the environment for future generations. GCM’s support of these local artisan farmers and producers increases the density of fresh, high-quality, locally produced food in Chicago, and provides the basis for a regional cuisine.

After visiting European sustainable farmer’s markets in 1998, Abby Mandel, chef, author and entrepreneur, returned to Chicago determined to create a similar market in her own city. Green City Market was her brainchild and began as a small startup with nine local farmers in the crosswalk next to the Chicago Theatre. The Market quickly outgrew the location and moved to the south end of Lincoln Park where it currently operates May – October. Four years ago, the Market continued to remain open November – December, first in the Lincoln Park Zoo and later moving to The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

The Market experienced record crowds closing 2013 with 8000 to 10,000 visitors each Saturday and 2000 to 3000 visitors on Wednesdays. From January – April, Green City Market operates in the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum each Saturday. Weekly market attendance year round has increased steadily since April of 2009 when the market began opening throughout the winter as consumers continue to seek out and buy locally grown food directly from the farmers.  Green City Market provides this opportunity year round.

Visit Green City Market’s website for on-going events and programs.