Today, I was craving some new vegetables unique food and decided to hit up a farmers market. I found one in Northbrook, Illinois, which is just outside of Chicago and was pretty excited. I packed up the little one and her stroller and we headed to Northbrook.
I usually don’t enjoy farmers markets for a few reasons. The one’s I’ve been to-
1. Don’t usually carry organic foods
2. Specialty vendors are pretty overpriced compared to if you would find those items/products somewhere else.
3. There’s not usually a big variety of vendors.
Basically, I usually leave disappointed and low on cash. But today, I was confident Northbrook’s Farmers Market wouldn’t disappoint.
The market is set up just when you get inside downtown Northbrook and when I walked up, I was happy to find a bunch of tents and vendors- more than I was usually used to seeing. And I was excited to find they were filled with various kinds of produce, meats, cheese and bread. I ran up and down the line of tents looking, almost desperately, for organic produce. I didn’t find any. Not a single item was labelled organic and there was no mention of GMOs. When I saw some amazing looking corn from a farm called “Geneva Lakes Produce“, I asked the guy who was stocking it (forgot to ask his name!) if it was Non-GMO, and was super happy to hear it WAS Non-GMO Corn! He told me very nicely, that their farm does not use any type of GMO seeds. So while it wasn’t organic, I was delighted to hear that the produce didn’t have GMOs. But would love to see them put up a sign saying just that!
Walking around the Geneva Lakes Produce Stand with my 5 ears of Non-GMO corn, I saw the biggest Kohlrabi I have ever seen in my life. I’m not a farmer, and apparently some Kohlrabi varieties grow insanely large, but the tiny little nubs of purple kohlrabi in my garden don’t hold a candle to the ones that I saw today. I have a soft spot in my heart for kohlrabi- my grandmother used to grow it in her garden, and her, my mom and I used to pull kohlrabi out of the garden and cut it up & eat it with a sprinkle of salt. It was really one of the things I vividly remember from my childhood. So when I saw these giant kohlrabi’s for sale today (for only $2!!) I had to buy one. As soon as I got home, I cut it up and I’m eating it as I write this! 🙂 It is absolutely delicious. I just wish it was organic.
I didn’t talk to the farmers who were selling the produce very much, but now wish I had. I’d love to get their opinions on using pesticides, eating pesticides, and growing with GMO seed. I know that running an organic farm, or even just using some organic practices must be extraordinarily difficult. It makes me sad that things are so complicated for our farmers. I definitely want to buy local and support our farmers, but I just don’t want to buy (and feed my family) conventional fruits and vegetables with pesticides.
While I love the idea of Farmer’s Markets, I’d love even more to see more organic and Non-GMO (labelled!) products. The people I met were super nice, and the two wonderful women who I believe organize this farmer’s market were awesome and very welcoming and helpful. I also got some great looking hormone free, all natural chicken breasts and some amazingly delicious all-natural olives which I can’t stop eating.
If you’re ever in the area on Tuesday stop by and see what they have, maybe next time there will be some more Non-GMO labels and organic food! 🙂