Alexa Rogals

The Oak Park Farmers Market, offering high quality, locally-grown produce, is held in the Pilgrim Church Parking lot at 460 Lake St. from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through October. 

Now that you are craving a sugary treat, check out tips from farmers market manager, Colleen McNichols. She is looking ahead to the 7/14 market and has some updates for Oak Park Eats readers:

It is that time of year–new produce varieties are arriving weekly! The sweet and tart cherries, along with the berries, have been delightful. Whether grilling, creating summer salads or pie-baking—we have something for you! 

We are excited about the abundance of (non-gmo) sweet corn available this week. Remember, each day you wait to eat after harvest it loses sweetness. Which is why the grocery store corn tastes so bland compared to our fresh-picked ears.

Please note: applications for the the Oak Park Farmers Market annual pie-baking contest will be available next week. The contest occurs at the market on Sept. 1.  Additionally, please mark your calendars for the popular corn roast on August 11th (cash only).

Bake sale: Assumption Greek Church

Guest vendor: Minni’s Organic Blueberries

Chef demo: A chef from The Heritage will perform a cooking demonstration

Chef Sieger Bayer from The Heritage is teaching market shoppers how to prepare Gateau Breton (French butter cake) with basil and cherries from the market from 9:00am to 11:00am. Samples of this savory-sweet treat will be available.

VENDOR UPDATES:

American Pride Micro Farm: Look for savory sunflower, radish, kale, and broccoli micro greens this week. They are harvested on the spot at the market. Stop by and try the potent flavor of fresh micro-greens. Plan ahead: on July 21 they will offer quail eggs.

Prairie Wind Family Farm: The farm is featuring an organic summer salad mix. It stays fresh in their coolers and it is crispy, delicious and ready-treat from the clamshell. It would pair beautifully with the charred lemon dressing from The Heritage (recipe below).

Mint Creek Farm: Look for loads of organic pastured beef (ask about steak and grill cuts), heritage turkey cuts (turkey breasts and wings too for grilling or not!) as well as pork, lamb, and goat (ground too for goat burgers on the grill).  Eggs will be in shorter supply this week, so come early to get them.  NEW ITEM ALERT: beef sticks, beef jerky, and beef franks!!! Bring the market to life at Mint Creek’s farm dinner with Lauren Freeburg of Lula Cafe. Get your tickets for the July 21 dinner today.

Ellis Family Farms will be harvesting sweet and tart cherries, red and black raspberries, and blueberries.  Zucchini and yellow squash should be available all summer long.

Finn’s Steak and Eggs Ranch: The organic pasture is featuring tri-tip steaks, Oberon beer brats, ground lamb, and bone-in pork chops

MARKET MATCH: Prairie Wind Family Farm and The Heritage

The chef demo at the 7/14 comes from The Heritage. Stop by for a nibble of their butter cake and whip up a batch of their charred lemon dressing at home. Pair this dressing with a the summer salad mix being offered this week by Prairie Wind Family Farm and assorted garnishes for other farmers market vendors.

MEL’S MARKET READY RECIPE: Sweet and sour red cabbage for beer brats

Pick up a package of Oberon brats from Finn’s Ranch this week and serve them up with my homemade sweet and sour cabbage rather than canned kraut. Round out the flavors with spicy brown mustard and grilled onions.

Beer brat worthy red cabbage

  • 3 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1 medium head of red cabbage, core removed and finely shredded 
  • ¼ Cup plus 2 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar 
  • ¼ Cup plus 2 Tablespoons jarred lingonberries, red current or apple jelly 
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons of salt 
  • 1 teaspoon of allspice 

Combine the butter, cabbage, balsamic vinegar, lingonberries, brown sugar, salt and allspice in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Cook the cabbage, stirring frequently, until all the liquid evaporates and the cabbage is wilted and tender. About 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning and keep warm until ready to serve. Leftovers can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

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