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 to the arrival of autumn produce like winter squash and pumpkins this weekend. She is also promoting Brian Severson’s Family Farm’s Blue Hopi grits!

Brian Severson Farms’  Blue Hopi Cornbread and Blue Hopi Grits recipes are fabulous (see one included below). Farmer Brian and Baker Kim are excited to announce their new Heirloom Cornbread Mix which contains all Henry Moore heirloom corn (no wheat flour) and their brand new Biscuit Mix. Sample their healthy baked items and ask for their recipes and ideas. Their products are the same quality and purity as the grains that our  grandparents and Native Americans consumed. 


Mint Creek Farm: This week they will have lots of ground meats (pork, beef, turkey) yum!, beef franks, and pork chops!

Finns Ranch: Their cattle, pigs, turkeys and chickens are 100% hormone, steroid and anti-biotics free and pasture raised. They offer “happy chicken” fresh eggs in all sizes and colors.

Ellis Farm: For Saturday’s market, they will be harvesting: 2 varieties of peaches, 6 varieties of apples (including Honey Crisp), 3 varieties of pears, 6 varieties of plums (not prunes), red raspberries, last of the storage blueberries, three varieties of grapes (maybe starting concord!), Zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes and maybe apple cider.

Nichols Farm and Orchard: Here are just a few of the many varietals offered this week; last of the Mirai sweet corn, beets, collard greens, onions, shallots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, winter squash, Brussel sprouts, potatoes and so much more.

R. Smits “The Farm”: Due to this warm weather, Farmer John will be bringing everything from the late summer crop (even some watermelon, his famous sweet corn and tomatoes). In addition, look for his mini-pumpkins, Acorn and Butternut squash.

Geneva Lakes Produce: Pumpkin harvest is in full swing! Long days of nonstop harvesting have commenced and will continue until Halloween. With most Summer crops still abundant,  it is common for the Koster family to put in100+ hour work weeks! Check out their impressive variety of fresh Fall produce.


The following recipe is what we started with to make Grits. Over time my wife has found that the blue commeal uses much less water (maybe only 1 cup). It’s also easier to add the cornmeal to the liquids while everything is still cold, and allow them to warm up together. A rice cooker seems to maintain a more consistent heat than our stove and allows my wife to walk away and leave them cook by themselves without so much stirring. My wife has also become like her grandmother in that she really doesn’t have a written recipe for some things, but adds “what’s needed” sometimes instead of measured amounts.

PRO-TIP: If you use grits that are too fine, they will resemble wallpaper paste; too coarse and you’ll be cooking until lunchtime.)


  • 1⁄2 cup Brian Severson Farms blue Hopi grits
  • 1⁄2 cup milk
  • 1 3⁄4 cups water
  • 3⁄4 tsp salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp pepper

Bring milk, water, salt and pepper to a boil in a medium saucepan. Sprinkle 1⁄2 cup grits into center of pan while stirring constantly to avoid lumps.Reduce heat to low and cover. Set timer for 20 minutes and stir every 5 minutes while cooking.If not tender enough, continue cooking another 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes. Adjust heat of burner from low to medium low to maintain a slow bubble.Good for breakfast or as a side for seafood or meats.

Spread leftover grits about an inch thick in a pan and chill until firm. Then cut and sprinkle one side with salt & pepper. Dust both sides with flour and fry in oil or butter, turning once when lightly browned. The flour will prevent the grits from popping like popcorn all over your cooktop. These grits recommended for anyone who appreciates genuine southern grits. 

MEL’S MARKET READY RECIPE: Beet, Potato, and Sprout Salad

Roasted Beet, Potato, and Brussels Sprouts with Dill and Horseradish Cream

(10-12 side dish servings)

For the Roasted Beets:

  • 4 medium beets, leaves and root cut away and washed
  • 2  Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme  leaves, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper, divided

For the Roasted Fingerling Potatoes:

  • 12-15 fingerling potatoes, washed and dried
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill

For the Roasted Brussels Sprouts:

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4  teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse pepper

For the Horseradish Cream:

  • 1 Cup sour cream
  • 1/4 Cup prepared horseradish, drained (more or less to taste)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

For the beets: Place the trimmed and washed beets on four squares of aluminum foil. Drizzle the beats with the olive oil, sprinkle evenly with thyme leaves and pepper. Wrap beets and place in the preheated over for 45 minutes or until easily pierced with a wooden skewer. Unwrap the beets, allow them to cook, and peel away the skins with gloved hands. Cut the warm beets into 1/8’s and set aside until ready to use.

For the potatoes: Toss the potatoes with the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Spread onto a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet and place in the preheated over for 45 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until potatoes can be pierced easily with a wooden skewer. Sprinkle the potatoes with the chopped dill until ready use.

For the Brussels sprouts: Toss the halved Brussels sprouts with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and place on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Place into the preheated oven, turning occasionally 30-40 minutes or until edges begin to crisp. Set aside until ready to use.

For the horseradish cream: Combine the sour cream and horseradish in a small bowl. Refrigerate up to one day before using.

To plate: Pour the horseradish cream into the bottom of a serving bowl. Top with the warm/room temp roasted beets, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts. Garnish with dill sprigs and serve at once.

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