One of my (many!) favorite things about summer is the opening of Farmers Markets! And lucky for all of us living in Chicago – there is an abundance of them! My market of choice is the Division Street Farmers Market. They have two streets worth of amazing produce, rotated throughout the summer based on seasonality, & it’s right outside my front door!
For those that regularly shop at farmers markets, I don’t have to waste anymore time convincing you how amazing they truly are. For others who haven’t given them a try yet… what are you waiting for!?
Here are [my top] 5 reasons to hit your local markets this summer:
- HEALTHY PRODUCE
- This is by far the most important reason! Produce sold at these markets is grown at small farms around the Chicagoland area. The food is non-gmo and doesn’t need to be packed with steroids and fertilizers to comply with supermarket standards – a WHOLE other topic for another post!
- REGIONAL & ORGANIC; & your supporting your community
- Because your farmers are all coming in from local regions – so is your food! When shopping at your local market, you can trust that the food you are purchasing traveled a very short distance to get to you. It was grown from soil and minerals native to your region and picked ‘at the peak of perfection’ so to speak, without a long journey ahead. You won’t see avocados from Mexico at the Chicago markets but I promise there will be an abundance of produce native to the Midwest.
- IT’S CHEAP
- Oh my god. I was shocked the first time I shopped at my local market. I walked away with more bags than I could carry, for under $15! Since you are eliminating much of the middle man – high costs for large farms, looong travel & transportation costs, supermarket fees, etc. all you are really paying for is the produce itself, imagine that!
- YOU’RE EATING SEASONALLY
- People may not understand the importance of eating seasonally and with your local market, you don’t have to! Going along with healthier, regional, and organic, you can trust that the produce you are purchasing is in season as well. That means that it was cultivated at the right time and in it’s natural environment & climate. [More to come on seasonal produce]
- TASTE & LONGEVITY
- This is pretty self explanatory. The food you purchase locally will taste SO much better and actually last longer!
Yes, that’s right. You are paying less, for healthier food, that will taste and last longer!
Some of the Saturday Markets I love, and a complete list here–>
Division St. Farmers Market: Division St. & Dearborn Pkwy : May 14–Oct. 29, 7am–1pm
The Sidetrack Saturday Market : 3349 N. Halsted St. : May 6-October 8, 1-4pm
Green City Market : 1800 N. Clark St. : May 7–October 29, 7am–1pm
Lincoln Park Market: Armitage Ave. & Orchard St. : June 18–Oct. 29, 7am–1pm
& After you purchase all your wonderful produce, here is a great video I stumbled upon from HGTV on how to properly store for maximum freshness! Happy eating =)