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First Spring Produce (and some Winter Leftovers) At Green City Market

By Anthony Todd in Food on May 4, 2011 7:00PM

Green City Market quietly opened this morning at 7 AM. The market wasn't crazy busy, and the offerings were a tiny bit slim, since most veggies haven't started to come up. But getting back into the market, seeing friends and farmers and coming home with a bag of food were wonderful reminders of why we love eating locally. The big stars of the market today were starter plants - herbs, flowers and vegetables. Most of the vendors who will be selling piles of heirloom tomatoes in about 3 months were pushing plants instead, and we got a few seedlings for the Chicagoist garden plot.

Asparagus was present, though not in huge quantities, and all sorts of leafy greens were everywhere. Lettuce, spinach, bok choy - the only thing that seemed universally sold out was kale - clearly, people read John's post over the winter and were just dying to get ahold of some fresh. Beets, potatoes and last years apples were also popular, as most people have long since run out of their root vegetable stores from the fall. Eggs, meat, jam, tomato sauce, and all the usual prepared suspects were in attendance. We finally picked up a dose of our favorite food that we had been missing for months, Brunkow's 10-year aged cheddar. At $15 a block, it seems expensive, until you realize that the cheese was made in 2001. Then you taste it, and you'd pay just about anything. A new addition for 2011: standardized signs at each stall telling the story of the farm or vendor and letting customers know exactly how many miles their food has travelled to get to the market.

The first demo of the year was hosted by Rob Levitt of The Butcher & Larder - he broke down an entire lamb from Mint Creek Farms. A tip - if you love chef demos but hate the crowds, go on Wednesday mornings. It's worth taking a morning off to be able to get up close and ask the chef questions. Enjoy the pictures, and get yourselves out of bed on Saturday morning and get down to the market.