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Markets & Stores 6

Oak Park Farmer's Market 7/20/02

Vital Information | Jul 20, 200206:37 PM

Mushrooms for breakfast? That's what the dapper one suggested as we angled for some crimini's at the Lyons stand. I thought today's link would be about how good ol' mushrooms have morphed into crimini mushrooms (and their bigger off-shoots, portabella's), but instead I found the link below. Dave's not the only one who's into mushrooms for breakfast. Actually, crimini's aside, the Oak Park market is not so long in mushrooms. We have no specialists like the mushroom people who populate the Division St. market. Yet, whenever I think about the lack of mushroom variety or the lack of a totally organic stand, I am drawn back to the magic fact, we have donuts.

And a lot of other things. The market was brimming today. The cheese people dragged along a refrigerator, soy nuts made a triumphant return, and The Farm, with their trailer loaded with sweet corn, finally took their deeded spot in the parking lot. It was not a week for big transitions, just a lot more of everything. Plums and the first sweet corn were the only new things I noticed, and the plums got snagged before I could throw my money down. Nichols unveiled the full fury of their potato variety. I sought advice from Mr. Nichols on which ones. He was no use. Use them all was his best advice. Well, I'll use all of them that run $2 a lb. The teensy fingerlings at $4 a lb., I avoided, even though Hannah yearned for a something called russian banana. We were already stocked up on fresh oregano and black cabbage from the Green City market, so we went a little light today. With enough money left over for Ms. VI to get a big bunch of glads.

I am glad she got glads and I am glad the aforementioned "The Farm" arrived. Without them, there are essentially three choices for vegetables at the market. First there is my love, Nichols Farm, then, there are two places bookending the eastern corners of the market. While Nichols brings great greens (and oranges and reds and browns) each week, their stuff aint cheap. The other two places, however, appear to get their produce from sources more akin to supermarkets. It's like buying at Stanley's or Caputos. It may be a bit better than Jewel, but not that much better, and unlike Caputos, there is no cardoons, baby artichokes or fresh almonds. The Farm, which is a farmstand in Plainfield splits the difference. It actually looks like produce grown on a farm, but not a farm so lovingly tendered as Nichols. I do just love their prices for cucumbers, cabbage and other plain things.

See you next week, first at Nichols and then at the Farm.


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