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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. Call for a free pickup and ride to the Market (Tel. 708. 383.4806). Please call before 2:00pm on Friday.

I am grateful Laura Lencioni, Chair of the Market Commission, is sharing her Market expertise and passion for local food on my behalf this week. –Colleen McNichols, Market Manager

REMINDER: Registration is now open for the Oak Park Farmers’ Market’s third annual Pie Bake-Off! The contest will take place Sept. 7 and is open to professional and amateur bakers age 16 and older.  This year’s contest will be limited to 12 entries. Find the contest rules and registration form at Pie Bake-off Application 2019. Entry forms may be submitted


  • Pie Bake-Off on Sept. 7 (enter to compete, application is available now on our website)
  • Stone Soup giveaway, closing day, Oct. 26
  • Knives sharpened every week at American Pride Microgreens booth
  • Live Music, every week, starting at 9:00am
  • Church donuts, coffee (iced and hot), OJ, every week

 Bake Sale: La Leche

Vendor update: Sitka Salmon Shares (buy a fillet or sign up for a share delivered to your home)


In Mid-August the dog days of summer give way to thoughts of fall and the end of summer, but folks, we’ve still got a ways to go! Summer isn’t officially over until September 21. It is the height of the summer season and the variety and quantity of produce the Oak Park Farmers Market is astounding.

It is hard for me to pick something to feature because everything looks so good! Plants that need a long season and hot weather to produce are now easily available. Who doesn’t love biting into an ice-cold watermelon or sun-warmed cantaloupe? Because they don’t have as far to travel, farmer’s market melons can be picked at the peak of ripeness and flavor and taste amazing compared to supermarket melons that have traveled across the country before arriving on the shelf. It also seems like there’s a plethora of summer squash and zucchini varieties to be had at the market as well. Don’t forget to pick up some cool cucumbers for a crunchy summer salad!

I don’t know about you but on super busy August evenings, I don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking. It is so easy to throw together light, tasty and nutritious meals with Farmer’s Market produce! Try this No-Fat Fried Chicken in Gravy recipe from Herbally Yours, and pair it with one (or more) of the side included below.


No-Fat Fried Chicken in Gravy from Herbally Yours:


  • 1 skinned chicken breast, thin cut pork chop, shrimp or fish 
  • 1/4 cup of Herbally Yours Vinegar and pepper to taste. 

Pound meat thin and saute in vinegar over medium heat 2-3 minutes on each side until vinegar evaporates and a brown glaze starts to form. 

Add a little water or wine to deglaze pan to form a small amount of gravy.

No-Fat Vinegar Gravy from Herbally Yours:


After sauteing meat, poultry or vegetables, there is always a brown glaze stuck to the bottom of a pan. This glaze is pure flavor! To capture it, just add 4 Tablespoons of Herbally Yours Vinegar and 1/4 cup of water or wine to the empty pan. Simmer on low for a few seconds until liquid reduced to 1/2 while scraping the pan bottom. Now serve your secret gravy over meats and vegetables. 


Zucchini and Mushrooms

This super simple side dish leans on the freshness of the ingredients for its incredible flavor


  • 4-5 shiitake mushrooms chopped (River Valley Ranch)
  • 1 lions mane mushroom, sliced  (River Valley Ranch)
  • 1 bunch of maitake mushroom, chopped  (River Valley Ranch)
  • 1 zucchini or summer squash, sliced 
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
  • 1 small nub of turmeric, chopped
  • salt to taste 
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 large leaf of finely chopped swiss chard, optional

Throw ingredients together in a cast iron skillet, regular skillet or wok (evenly coat with butter or oil first). Saute until the zucchini starts to brown or turn golden & the mushrooms soften. Stir frequently. Serve immediately. 

Cucumber salad

  • Basil leaves
  • cucumbers washed, peeled and sliced. Bonus points if you can find a vendor who is selling lemon cucumbers!
  • tomato slices 
  • Soppressata from Green Fire Farm (sliced thinly as possible)
  • olive oil
  • Black Jack Balsamic Vinegar from Herbally Yours
  • 1 nub of ginger or turmeric
  • 1 clove garlic
  • feta cheese or mozzarella, optional
  • salt, to taste

Arrange ingredients in a row on a plate, alternating 1 slice of cucumber, 1 basil leaf, 1 tomato slice, 1 slice of soppressata and, if desired, small slices of cheese.

In a blender, add a clove of garlic, a couple of basil leaves, a nub of garlic or turmeric, and 1 part Herbally Yours blackjack balsamic vinegar to 2 parts olive oil. Add a pinch of salt if you like. Blend on high until smooth and pour into a bottle. Drizzle the dressing on top of your cool cucumber salad. 

“Spiked” watermelon: 

This makes a refreshing dessert

Slice up a watermelon into cubes. pour some rum, tequila, whisky or vodka over the top and stir to coat the watermelon evenly. put into the freezer just long enough to really chill the melon. Serve to everyone over 21 except the designated driver. 

Prosciutto and Melon:

  • Slice a cantaloupe into roughly 2″ squares. 
  • wrap each piece with a bit of prosciutto
  • sprinkle a little bit of chopped fresh mint leaves, optional
  • Serve as a refreshing summer side dish.

Oak Park Farmers’ Market is committed to equal access to high-quality fresh food. We believe that anyone who wants to eat locally grown and produced food should be able to, regardless of their income level. Therefore; we accept SNAP/LINK cards for payment. We match each dollar spent with a Link card with a one dollar coupon (up to $25.00 per Market day). In addition, we accept WIC and Senior vouchers, as well. To learn more about our equitable programs visit our website:

*Please remember to bring your yogurt containers or storage containers to bring your berries and fruit home. Keep your bag clean and berries safely protected. We have given out all of our compostable shopping bags, so please remember to grab your bags on the way out of the door, as well as your reusable coffee and water thermos.

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