Wettstein Organic Farm of Carlock in central Illinois has been showing up at the Oak Park Farmers’ Market for many years.
First thing every Saturday morning, I always head directly to the Wettstein’s tent, so as to score eggs, though it seems like other vendors are getting the idea that Oak Parkers are willing to pay a little extra for farm fresh eggs, so now my options for eggs are many…but I still choose Wettstein.
Last Saturday, I spoke with Phillip Stoller, Wettsteins’ Egg Man, who told me he “touches every egg that’s sold.” He means that literally: he hand-washes every egg before it goes into the carton with eleven confreres. He weights them, too.
Fun fact from Stoller: eggs are “sized” by weight not volume, so large eggs are not bigger; they just weigh more.
Wettstein has an out-dated blog, Stoller confessed; it’s not been updated in a while because it’s “hard keeping the site up when you’re selling so much,” and Wettsteins sells a whole lot.
Offering a range of excellent meat – pork, chicken and beef – Wettstein has never disappointed. I used to buy their pork all the time (before I bought a pig of my own), and I’m willing to spend more to buy their chickens because they’re so good, and the carcasses make superb stock, as do the beef bones.
Wettstein Organic Farm also makes the effort to package the meat into recognizable cuts, some of which are little untraditional, like “stir fry,” “kebabs” and “cheek meat,” which I’m guessing is choice.
Wettstein eggs and meat are organic, but that doesn’t matter too much to me. What keeps me coming back is the taste of their stuff. It’s so clean and delicious, tasting like what it is. The chicken tastes like chicken, which may seem a tautology but is really a rarity, unfortunately.
It’s hard to imagine the market without Wettstein family being there and bringing the goods.