A Morning At The Farmers Market

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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 view from the entrance of the Northbrook Farmer’s Market

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!

Kohlrabi, Non-GMO Corn and some delicious mediterranean olives!

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! 🙂 

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