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The Glenwood Sunday Market Returns!

By John DiGilio in Food on Jun 6, 2011 8:20PM

With a little bit of flourish and a throng of eager shoppers, the Glenwood Sunday Market made a triumphant return on Sunday. The winner of last year’s America's Farmland Trust farmers’ market contest, the Glenwood group is hoping to not only repeat last year’s victory but also build upon its overall success. Mother nature must have been in their corner as the day was warm and sunny - perfect farmers’ market weather.

Though still early in the growing season, there was no shortage of growers or vendors. More than 20 market stalls lined Glenwood Avenue from Morse to Lunt with everything from live garden plants, to fresh vegetables, to baked goods, meats, and cheeses. The diverse selection of products and vendors was impressive. One of the site volunteers even told that there was a growing waitlist of folks wanting to exhibit. Judging by the number of people strolling the market, there, it was no wonder that spots were so highly coveted. What we called a "hidden gem" last year has become a full on diamond.

On this particular Sunday, we decided to check out a number of the vendors, as well as set a meal challenge for ourselves. The challenge was that our dinner had to come from what we found at the Market. Our first stop was at the booth of Montalbano Farms. Farmers Christine and Rob had a wonderful selection of fresh greens and herbs on display, as well as aparagus, green garlic and rhubarb. They were also selling shares in their CSA, which they hope to take fully organic by 2013. Grabbing a few items there, we next moved on to the Stamper Cheese stall. The array of cheeses they had on display had us salivating in no time. Some cheddar and a bag of curds later and we were on our way. River Valley Mushrooms was next for a carton of some of the finest looking shiitake mushrooms we had ever seen, followed by a sensational selection of cookies from B True, and fresh eggs from Kings Hill Farms. We could have shopped for hours longer, but our bags were heavy and our wallets much lighter.

Our visit to the Glenwood Sunday Market was not entirely about buying things to take home and cook later. There were plenty of temptations available for anyone needing a Sunday morning snack and we are not ones to pass up such opportunities. The almond brioche we sampled from Bennison’s Bakery was light and sweet. The veggie pizza from Zullo’s was savory and delicious. We even had to try the kale chips and raw chocolate at the Green Spirit booth. Talk about a tasty new find! Overall, our first visit of 2011 to the Glenwood Sunday Market left us stocked and ready for the next. Here’s hoping for a fruitful and delicious growing season!

Oh . . . and our dinner challenge? The eggs, cheese, chives, asparagus and mushrooms made for one heck of an egg bake. We are going to be enjoying the leftovers for days!

The Glenwood Sunday Market is located at Morse and Glenwood in Rogers Park. It runs from 9 AM until 2 PM on Sundays through October.