Jul 7, 2012

Farmer's Markets

Today was like every Saturday....get up, make sure everyone is fed and head out to the Downer's Grove Farmer's Market for some fresh produce.  There is nothing more exciting for me to do on a Saturday morning.  It's unreal that a pop-tart, sugared cereal lover from the 80s and 90s could transform into a kale chip popping, raw foodie.....but it has and I'm so thankful and grateful!  So, back to the Farmer's Market.  A few weeks ago, I talked with one of the vendors about all of the Farmer's that come to share their produce.  Well...I received an extensive education on the matter and this is why I pretty much just make it a one-stop shop at this particular stand.  Why?  Because all of the produce at this stand (with a few exceptions) is grown on her farm.  Why is this so different, you ask?  Glad you are so inquisitive.  Here's the low down...many of these vendors (when you ask them) only grew a small percentage of the items that are on the table.  For instance, one vendor had about 40 different varieties of fruits and veggies, but come to find out when I asked, he could only claim 5 as coming from his farm.  The rest are shipped from other states to him to sell, which is why the prices are so high.  You, the consumer, are paying for all the gas....and it's not even locally grown.  Even if the tag says, "Grown in Illinois" and it's a later season crop, chances are it's not from here.  For example, 4 weeks ago, the only thing that was in season was leafy greens, but many vendors were selling corn, which is not in season yet.  Why be so picky?  Well, if I'm going to by produce from a Farmer's Market with the intention of supporting local farmers, I better be getting a locally grown head of kale or I might as well head over the Whole Foods. 

This is why my one-stop shop is Lange's Farm.  The husband and wife team are very friendly and their produce is extremely reasonable.  I walked out with 5 bags of fresh produce today for $11.  And they are honest.  They do have 1-3 items that are not from there farm, but she will be upfront and tell you that.  No scammers! 

If you are from the area, make sure to check them out! 

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