While in theory I’d like to, I just don’t end up buying all of my produce at the farmer’s market every week. I love the freshness and the opportunity to support local farmers. I like the communal feel to a good outdoor market. I love that people bring their dogs, their kids, and it feels like a little party. But I’m a seasonal farmer’s market shopper. I go when the weather (or a good friend) pulls me there. So when I read the Oak Park Farmer’s Market was opening today, amid a week of 90+ degree heat, I thought - get there when it opens at 9am, and stay only as long as you need to.
Cris and Ryan joined me on the trip, which made for a lovely outing. Cris chased Ryan around and allowed me to browse more than I would have been able to without her. I had a list with me - ingredients for mother’s day brunch the next day: four kinds of berries, a brioche loaf, eggs, pecans, white peaches, russets and thyme. (Yes, it’s going to be yummy.) Most of which I expect to find at a local outdoor market here. Eggs are not always available, though how awesome when they are. I grew up with chickens and feel particularly nostalgic about fresh eggs.
Unfortunately, the market did not deliver for me. At least not for my list. I was able to get strawberries of course, and white peaches. But that’s it! I wasn’t disappointed, though. I know it’s a new market and getting a good variety of vendors is going to take a while I imagine. I was pleasantly surprised to find a few new items, and that to me marks a good market. That and kettle corn. Oh the smell of kettle corn!
I’m glad Oak Park got a market. I wish every community had one - they’re great for socializing and for promoting buying local and organic. They’re not intended to be full-service grocery stores, or to be your one-stop shop for everything on your list. If you’re lucky you’ll sample some delicious fruit, listen to a little live music and enjoy wonderful weather with friends. And on that it definitely did deliver.