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

A NOTE FROM MARKET MANAGER COLLEEN MCNICHOLS:

As I visit and inspect our vendors’ farms, I witness the reality of humanely-raised, pastured, and hormone-free chickens thriving on our independent farms. Not only do their feet touch the ground, they are running around in huge outdoor organic pastures during the day and are enjoying vegetarian feed. Sometimes a powerful white Great Pyrenees pooch is instinctively guarding them from predators. Like chickens, these diligent dogs are weather tolerant and are an important part of the farm family. I can testify what truly free-range poultry is supposed to look like, regardless of what confusing misinformation we read on our egg packages at the grocery store. Many of our egg vendors are Animal Welfare Approved. If you care about animal welfare and transparency in the food chain from birth to farrow, purchasing farmers market eggs is an essential way to avoid industrial caged hen production. Buying locally is preferable to buying organic from the grocery store. I have researched this subject extensively, because someone has to do the boring work so you can simply enjoy the food. Most importantly, our Market eggs taste incredible and have the quality yolks that make cooking a joy.

Along with our versatile egg varieties which include duck eggs (Finns Ranch), pastured chicken eggs, non soy-fed eggs, we have some delightful produce this week; Worth-the-wait watermelons, honey dew melons, musk melons, cantaloupe (Organic at Genesis Growers), apples, pears, peaches and more. Specialty beans like butter (lima) beans and crowder peas. Sweet corn and peppers and fresh ginger root are just a few gems on our extensive list of seasonal goodies available now.

Pie bakers will be purchasing their Severson Organic flour (sold by Breadman now) and their fresh market ingredients for the annual Pie Bake-Off on September 7. Show up after judging on Sept. 7 and you will have a chance to taste the pies. This is my favorite time of year to eat locally. 

Katie Weaver, Dietician and Market Commissioner, shares her Market Egg tips and photographs with us below.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

  • Pie Bake-Off on Sept. 7 (Shoppers can taste the pies, post judging!)
  • Native Plant Sales return on Sept. 7
  • 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: PFLAG

CHILDREN’S ACTIVITY: Promusica 

VENDOR UPDATE: Sitka Salmon Shares is back. Small boat sustainable fishing, mostly line-caught seafood. Fisherman owned company from Sitka Alaska and Galesburg, Illinois. Brian Severson Farms grains will be sold at the Breadman booth for the remainder of the season, as the Severson’s staff goes back to college.

MARKET EGGS BY KATIE WEAVER:

What’s the deal with eggs? Should we eat them? Should we just eat the egg whites? Don’t they have a lot of cholesterol in them? Should I eat pastured eggs?  The conclusions on eggs might be a bit confusing, but I’m here to tell you that whole eggs are a great protein source in a healthy diet. It turns out that cholesterol in food that we eat isn’t as much of a problem as the other food we might eat along with it. Ahem, bacon and sausage, otherwise known as sources of saturated fat, the stuff that hardens at room temperature.  Eggs are excellent sources of vitamin E, vitamin A, choline, iron, and of course, protein. Most of the vitamins are found in the yolk, so if you’re tossing the yolks, you’re tossing out the vitamins.

Several studies have compared vitamin concentrations of eggs from pasture-raised hens to eggs from conventionally raised hens.  Pasture-raised hens are typically allowed to forage on grass, bugs, and sometimes some lentils. These studies have shown that eggs from pasture-raised hens have nearly twice as much vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids (those heart-healthy fats), and more vitamin A than eggs from conventionally raised hens. The evidence is sometimes right there in the yolk. Have you ever seen the almost-orange color of a pasture-raised egg? It’s beautiful.

For me, eggs are a quick way to get protein in the mornings or a solution to making a fast weeknight meal – brinner anyone? Several vendors at the OPFM sell eggs.  You should buy some if you have the chance. These farm-fresh eggs are definitely another item I look forward to when farmer’s market season starts. Sure, you might be able to find pastured eggs in the grocery store, but fresh off the farm eggs have such great flavor.  The easiest way to savor the flavor of a farm-fresh egg is to make an over-easy egg and dip some toast in the runny yolks. Another great, and versatile way to prepare eggs is in the form of a frittata. Frittata is pretty much quiche without the crust – so it’s much easier to make.  You can add whatever you’d like to your frittata. It’s a great way to clean your fridge of leftovers. Frittata makes a great breakfast or even dinner and keeps well in the fridge. Simply heat the leftovers in the microwave. Here is a simple recipe – with lots of room for you to add your own spin.

MARKET READY RECIPE FROM KATIE WEAVER:

Frittata: serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • Filler ingredients
  • Vegetables (e.g. zucchini, spinach, kale, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, leeks, oyster mushrooms)
  • Meat (e.g. Canadian bacon, sausage)
  • Cheese (e.g. cheddar, ricotta, goat cheese)
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Cook any vegetables or meat you will be adding to your frittata in a 8-10 inch non-stick, oven safe skillet over medium high heat

Whisk eggs with milk

Add whisked eggs and milk directly to hot skillet with cooked ingredients

Bake the frittata for about 10 minutes or until cooked to desired firmness.

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:

http://www.oak-park.us/our-community/oak-park-farmers-market

REMINDER: 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,

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