City dwellers and local award-winning restaurant chefs flock to Chicago's Green City Market to buy farm-fresh produce, pies, cheeses and meats. Setting up weekly in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Green City Market is the city’s only year-round, all-organic farmers market.
More than 50 sustainable farmers from Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan open their booths bright and early along Lincoln Avenue, filling the morning air with scents of warm-from-the-oven breads and barbequed meats mingled with music from banjos, violins and bongos. Colorful chalkboard signage announces what's for sale, and whatever is it has usually been yanked from the soil within the past 24 hours.
Save plenty of room for sampling. Vendors to seek out include Seedling Farms, with more than 80 varieties of heirloom fruits, and 80-year-old Mick Klug Farm, specializing in asparagus, peaches and shelled peas. There's always a crowd around Bennison Bakery's booth. Check out Oriana's Oriental Orchard's shapely Asian pears, and sample Burton's Maplewood Farm's dark amber maple syrup. Vendor prices vary; but generally speaking, a quart of fruit costs around $6. Stock up and picnic at the nearby Lincoln Park Zoo. Market hours are 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays from May to October. During the winter, the Saturdays-only market moves indoors to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.