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A Guide to the Farmer's Markets 

Provisions

Chicago has devoted new resources to its annual farmers' market program this year, not only producing more than 30 markets around the city but hiring--in conjunction with the nonprofit Green City Market--a "farm forager" to help recruit new suppliers to meet booming demand. Major farmers' markets in the city and nearby suburbs, including a few sponsored by nonprofits, are listed below. In addition there are 21 city-sponsored neighborhood markets; see chicagoreader.com or cityofchicago.org/specialevents for locations. Markets are often tailored to the communities they serve: Loop locations stock plenty of flowers, which are popular with office workers; Green City Market, a chefs' favorite, carries only produce that complies with strict organic and sustainability standards. Speaking of organics, you don't necessarily have to restrict yourself to produce labeled as such. Many vendors use organic and sustainable methods--just ask. Early-season offerings available this week should include asparagus, early strawberries, rhubarb, greens, and potted herbs and plants, but you'll have to wait till August for those mouthwatering heirloom tomatoes.

TUESDAYS

Federal Plaza

230 S. Dearborn

7 AM-3 PM | Through 10/24

One of the anchors of the city's 27-year-old program (along with Daley Plaza), this market draws vendors from the four-state area selling seasonal produce, flowers, honey, cheese, bread and baked goods, and live plants suitable for urban gardens and patios.

Museum of Contemporary Art plaza

220 E. Chicago

10 AM-6 PM | 6/6 through 10/24

This market has longer hours than many others run by the city; vendors offer a mix of produce and other products.

Prudential Building Plaza

150 E. Lake

7 AM-3 PM | 6/6 through 10/24

Smaller than the bustling markets at Daley and Federal plazas, the Prudential market and its Thursday counterpart at 311 S. Wacker are still well stocked and convenient for Loop workers.

City Farm

1240 N. Clybourn

3-6 PM | Through 10/21

Run by the Resource Center on city-leased land near Cabrini-Green and the Gold Coast, City Farm grows a wide range of organic produce on-site, including more than 20 varieties of tomatoes. It also provides job training for adults and local students. For more visit resourcecenterchicago.org.

WEDNESDAYS

Green City Market

1750 N. Clark

7 AM-1:30 PM | Through 10/28

This nonprofit market features as many as 50 vendors selling fruits, vegetables, herbs, baked goods, dairy products, meats, honey, flowers, and soaps produced in line with strict organic- and sustainable-agriculture standards. Free demos by local chefs and children's educational programs are scheduled throughout the season. There's $4 one-hour parking with validation and a $5 purchase. In November and December the market plans to move indoors at a location yet to be determined. Tours and benefits are planned throughout the year; visit chicagogreencitymarket.org for more.

THURSDAYS

City Farm

3-6 PM

See listing under Tuesdays.

Daley Center Plaza

100 N. Dearborn

7 AM-3 PM | Through 9/28, except 6/8, 6/15, 6/29, 7/13, 7/27, 8/31, and 9/14

See Federal Plaza listing under Tuesdays.

The Park at Jackson & Wacker

311 S. Wacker

7 AM-3 PM | 6/1 through 10/19

See Prudential Building Plaza listing under Tuesdays.

SATURDAYS

Evanston Farmers Market

University and Oak, Evanston

7:30 AM-1 PM | Through 11/4

aOne of the oldest in the area, this market regularly draws more than 30 vendors, mostly offering organic and sustainably farmed goods. At least one booth each week is manned by an Evanston-based nonprofit organization selling baked goods; the September 16 market will feature more than 35. There's free parking with validation until 1 PM at the Maple Avenue garage. Visit cityofevanston.org/enjoy/market.shtml for more.

City Farm

AM-1 PM

See listing under Tuesdays.

Garfield Market Place Farmers' Market

300 N. Central Park

Starts in July

Seasonal fruits and vegetables, some grown in the city, are available at this market housed in converted stables just north of the Garfield Park Conservatory. It's also a pickup site for produce boxes sold through Growing Power's community-supported-agriculture program. Visit garfieldconservatory.org or growingpower.org for more.

Green City Market

7 AM-1:30 PM

See listing under Wednesdays.

Homegrown Chicago Market

2626 W. Division

Noon-3 PM | 7/8 through 11/4

CO-OP Humboldt Park (Community Organizing for Obesity Prevention in Humboldt Park), the program managing this community-based market, has created a space for backyard gardeners, crafters, and musicians; vendors are urged to apply. Local growers have access to Growing Power's materials (compost, seeds, greenhouse space at Garfield Park Conservatory) and technical support. This market is also a pickup site for Growing Power's CSA produce boxes. Prices range from $8 to $26; call 773-278-6737 for more info.

Oak Park Farmers Market

Pilgrim Church parking lot

460 Lake, Oak Park

7 AM-1 PM | 6/3 through 10/28

This 31-year-old market has about 25 vendors selling fruits and vegetables, honey, flowers, plants, cheese, and meat products. Local nonprofit organizations make and sell baked goods, doughnuts, and coffee, and there's live bluegrass every week. A corn roast is planned for August 19. Free parking is available at Scoville Neighborhood garage; visit oak-park.us.

SUNDAYS

The Market at Lakeshore East

220 N. Park Dr.

-11 AM | 7/16 through 8/27

City market tailored to the growing ranks of downtown condo dwellers.

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