Skibbe Farm via OPFM

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. 

Farmers Market Manager, Colleen McNichols, is looking forward to the annual pie bake off at the Oak Park Farmers Market this weekend and reminds market goers it is peak soul food season at the market.

Do not miss the Pie Bake-off this Saturday. Once the judges choose the winners, we cut all the pies up and let the shoppers enjoy a taste. Since you will be shopping at the market for your Labor Day parties, try to plan to be present between 10am and 10:45am for the pie tasting.

In addition to creative baking from local market goers, we are proud of the seasonal soul food offerings available at the market. Our market finds deliver the the taste your grandparents would appreciate, but with a few healthy twists on the classics. You cannot go wrong seasoning your greens with the succulent (and sustainable) turkey from Mint Creek Farm. Also, our new permanent vendor, Brian Severson Farms, sells their sublime Yankee-style corn breads using the Native American grains they grow organically. Or if you want to make your own cornbread at home, they will sell you the cornmeal and everything you to need to follow your own family recipe or they will happily share their own recipes to help you get cooking.

Soul food season at market:

Crowder Peas (Nichols Farm and Geneva Lakes)

  • crowder peas are similar to black -eyed peas, but are named for how they “crowd” into the pods.

Okra (Nichols Farm)

Green tomatoes (Geneva Lakes)

Turnips (Geneva Lakes) 

Collard greens (starting next week at Genesis Growers and Geneva Lakes)

Peaches (various vendors)

  • speaking of southern staples; forget Georgia peaches –try the Michigan succulent Red Haven Peaches that fall right off the pit and are perfect eaten fresh or baked.

Many varieties of beans, peas, hot and sweet peppers, heirloom tomatoes , non-GMO sweet corn, organic cabbage and slaw ingredients, eggs, assorted apple varieties will be available from several vendors. Southern-style and Cajun-style seasonings will also be available from Herbally Yours.

VENDOR UPDATES:

K.V. Stovers and Sons: Kenny is bringing his best-selling Red Haven peaches (picked ripe), blueberries, apricots, nectarines, plums, champagne seedless grapes and Mollies Delicious apples.

Herbally Yours: Along with their famous seasoned vinegars, they are offering Hunan Stir Fry Blend (back by popular demand). Add your own salt to all their rubs and seasonings and stay healthy.

Ellis Family Farm: Check out some of the ingredients our pie bakers are using; grown by Rene and family in Michigan. Taste their famous juicy peaches (including the ever-popular Red Haven), red raspberries and blackberries, Zestar apples, 5 varieties of plums and two varieties of seedless grapes. Also, try their tomatoes, yellow summer squash and zucchini.

Prairie Wind Farm: The Tendersweet cabbage is perfect for a fresh BBQ Labor Day coleslaw side dish (and they have scallions, kohlrabi and other slaw ingredients, as well). Everything for the freshest green salad is available.

Finn’s Ranch: Your Labor day BBQ will be enhanced by brats (4 for $30), beef burger patty ( 4 for $36) and rib eye steak ($22/lb). This is a small sampling of their (Certified humanely raised and organically fed) meats and eggs.

Katic Breads: Specialty Bread: Spelt Loaf/Specialty Croissant: Pistachio-Blackberry Croissant

Breadman Baking Company: Frank will have delicious FOCACCIA’s; Spinach, Mushroom and Feta or Tomato, Green onion and Mozzarella or 3 Cheese, Cheddar, Feta and Mozzarella. And new whole grain bread created with another OPFM vendor; Brian Severson cert. organic grains. These loaves are selling-out quickly every market, so do not procrastinate.

Tomato Mountain: When a grower specializes, the outstanding qualities in their sublime produce are evident. Farmer Chris is a perfectionist, when it comes to the art of tomato growing. Fortunately, TM is offering the best tomatoes and tomato products available in the Middle West (salsas, sauces, etc.). This week taste the sweetness of the Sungold tomatoes (best children’s and adult snack ever), Mountain Medley tomatoes , and Verona tomatoes. Their shallots, Orange sweet peppers, Carmine sweet peppers and Lunchbox sweet peppers are Certified organic, as well.

Mint Creek Farm: The award-winning farm will have their usual offerings which include their plentiful supply of meats. This Saturday, try the sausages, steaks, and beef patties for your Labor Day festivities.

Geneva Lakes Produce: Load up on watermelon, sweet corn, green beans and Crowder peas and enjoy your weekend.

MARKET READY RECIPE:

Cinnamon Sugar Chicken Apple Sausage Patties (Makes about 16-18 patties)

This recipe can be cut in half for a lower yield or half of the chicken mixture can be frozen and thawed for cooking at a later date.

  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil, plus additional for cooking sausage patties
  • 3/4 Cup minced yellow onion
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 Gala apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 Pounds raw chicken breast, diced into 1” cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ Cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ Cup chopped Italian parsley
  • Garnishes: Maple syrup, rosemary, sage and diced fresh apple

Heat the canola oil over medium heat until hot.  Add the minced onion and a generous pinch of salt to the pan and allow the onion to cook until it begins to soften, but does not brown (about 5 minutes). Add the diced apple and fennel; cook stirring occasionally until onions and apple are soft (about 5 more minutes).  Add the rosemary and sage to the pan and allow to cook until herbs are fragrant (about 1 minute).  Remove the pan from the heat and allow the apple mixture to rest while you prep the chicken.

Place the diced chicken into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Process the chicken until just finely ground.  Transfer the ground chicken to a large mixing bowl.  Add the salt, pepper, brown sugar cinnamon and parsley and mix thoroughly.  

Fold the cooled apple mixture into the chicken mixture and make sure the onions and apples are evenly distributed throughout the chicken.  Using a 2” round cookie butter press 2 ounces (a scant ¼ Cup) of the chicken mixture into ¾” thick rounds until all the chicken mixture is used up (patties can be made free-form if desired).

Heat about 2 Tablespoons canola oil in a well-seasoned skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook the sausage patties in batches for 4-5 minutes per side until well browned and cooked through.  Serve as part of a full breakfast drizzled with maple syrup and diced fresh apple.

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