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Farmers markets with good produce - NW Suburbs

imclear Aug 22, 2008 12:38 PM

I have been to the "farmers markets" in both Dundee and Algonquin and have been very disappointed. Both of these are more like flea markets. A bunch of stands with people selling trinkets and other garage sale type items, but produce stands are rare. The ones that are there, well, I suspect that some of the items were purchased at the local grocery store. For example, the cherry tomatoes at one booth, I swear, were just bought at Jewel and then they cut the lids off to hide the label.

So... with that said, anything nearby that has decent locally grown produce?

Oh yes, I am new to the suburbs so any pointers to good locally grown produce stands in the area is much appreciated as well.

Thank you for any help.

  1. i
    imclear Sep 8, 2008 11:08 PM

    Just wanted to update this. I went to the Crystal Lake Farmers Market which is every Saturday (until I think Oct) from 8am to 1pm. It's located at the Metra Station in Crystal Lake at a location I think is called Depot Park. This is another great market with lots of fresh produce and some very organic vendors. I bought some cantelope that is the best I have tasted all summer, among other items. Probably found the best green pepper ever in my life as well. Lots of other stuff that I went into shisk kabobs (OK, some items such as the steak, mushrooms and asparagus were from Caputo's in Algonquin) for that night's grilling session. Overall, a good market but the prices seemed to vary wildly from vendor to vendor which was a surprise. The organics seemed to be quite high although their potatoes (can I put an "e" here Dan Q?) were second to none.

    1. c
      chris Sep 5, 2008 08:07 PM

      This might be a bit far for you....but it's worth mentioning.

      Schaumburg! Friday mornings - in the parking lot at the southwest corner of Roselle and Schaumburg roads. They're open until October 10.

      Nichols Farm is there - great produce (the guys can tell you which restaurants have been buying their stuff - they've supplied some higher end places) and fantastic selection. There's also a couple farmers from Michigan (the one across from Nichols does all fruit - great quality stuff).

      There's also a vendor who sells Mirai Corn (Twin Gardens, I think) - that guy has a smaller selection but his produce is consistently strong.

      Schaumburg - according to one of the guys I spoke to who works it - has fairly strict rules about who can set up so nonsense like Jewel suspect produce (which I've seen at other markets) isn't there.

      1. Chew on That Sep 5, 2008 01:28 PM

        I'm all ears for finding a good farmer's market around here too. But I have to say, I'm almost burst out laughing at the comment about the cherry tomatoes with the lids cut off. How terrible that would be!

        1. c
          cat08 Sep 3, 2008 11:55 AM

          Go to the Woodstock square...every Sat. and Tues. from 8:30 am to 1 pm. VERY good selection and nice people!

          1. w
            Wrigley12 Aug 25, 2008 11:01 AM

            Even though there are only a handful of vendors, I would try Huntley's market (Sats in the downtown square from 8-12). There are definate local farms there, with organic produce as well. I have been happy going there and the vendors are friendly and upfront with the produce. I think only one Sat a month there are craft vendors. I have not been to the markets you have been to, so I cannot compare them.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Wrigley12
              imclear Sep 2, 2008 09:06 PM


              Thanks for the tip! I went to the Huntley market on Saturday and it was just what I was looking for. Great produce from a variety of local vendors. I was so happy to find this I had to buy a little bit of something from just about every vendor there. You are right, there are only a handful of vendors, but the produce was outstanding!

              1. re: imclear
                Wrigley12 Sep 10, 2008 01:51 PM

                Glad you enjoyed it...right now I am roasting some buttenut squash I got there last Sat. I got some corn and red peppers too - I had to restrain myself from buying everything! This Sat they are having an apple pie bake off contest. I think I will enter, although I am a little nervous having my food judged.

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