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.


Last Saturday’s third annual Pie Bake-Off was a roaring success with 11 year-old Bella Garcia taking home the first place trophy. Her pie, Bella’s Favorite, featured Red Haven peaches from Hardin Farms and raspberry vinegar made by Herbally Yours and cayenne pepper from Genesis Growers Organic. Bella was thrilled as she hopes to become a professional pastry chef and has already forged friendships with the growers at the Market.

The second place trophy winner was Emily Paster with The Red (Apple) and the Black (Berry) Pie. Emily used various varieties of apples from Nichols Farm and Orchard and blackberries from Walt Skibbe Farm. Her flour was a mix of Brian Severson’s all-purpose and her own.  The honey was provided by Dennanne Apiary/Three Bees.Third place went to Alexandra Smith with Fruit Basket Pie featuring Zestar apples from Hardin Farms.

Thank you to the amazingly creative bakers, volunteers, judges, commissioners, and shoppers for supporting our Bake-off. All the recipes (and vendor ingredient lists) can be found on our Market website under Special Events Here: 

It was a delicious and joyful day at the Market. 

And guest writer and Chairwoman of the Market Commission, Laura Lencioni, shares her expert tips on cooking with Market ingredients below.

–Colleen McNichols


  • Stone Soup giveaway, closing day, Oct. 26
  • Knives sharpened every week at American Pride Microgreens booth
  • Live Folk Music, every week, starting at 9:00am
  • Church donuts, coffee (iced and hot), OJ, every week

3. Bake Sale: Shawnash Institute 

4. Vendor Update:

Sitka Salmon Shares is back. Try a fillet or purchase a share to be delivered to your home. Fisherman owned co-op supports twenty fishing families in Sitka Alaska with their sustainably and line-caught seafood. You will not find this level of transparency in the food chain with any store bought fish. 

Brian Severson Farms grains will be sold at the Breadman booth for the remainder of the season, as the Severson’s staff went back to college.

I Love Native Plants are back to sell you natives for Autumn planting in your home gardens. This week they are located in the North East corner near Nichols Farm and the bake sale.

Herbally Yours are back from vacation. Their raspberry vinegar was used in the first place pie “Bella’s Favorite Peach Pie” during the Pie Bake-Off 2019 contest.  


Start with the perfect base; beneficial bone broth 

The first few weeks of September are technically the last few weeks of summer, but it already feels like fall to me. Even though this week’s weather has been hot & steamy, I’m looking forward to one of my favorite autumnal cuisines- soup!

At the start of every great bowl of soup there is a great soup stock. And the beginning of my soup stock is bone broth! 

I like to make my own bone broth from scratch using OPFM ingredients for a healthy, delicious beginning to all of my favorite soup recipes. Making a great bone broth couldn’t be simpler; all it takes are a variety of bones (Finn’s Ranch, Mint Creek or Greenfire Farm will have a variety to choose from),  hot water, salt, apple cider vinegar (Herbally Yours), and time. If you like, you can also add fresh turmeric root, fresh sage, thyme, oregano, rosemary, bay leaf, etc. Personally I do not add onions or garlic to the bone broth because I also use this broth in my pet food recipes, but you could if you want to. That’s really it.

For the bones, I like to use a mixture of beef bones with meat on them, one or two pieces of chicken on the bone and/or chicken feet, port neck bones, etc. I like to keep an eye out for different kinds of soup bones and keep them stocked in the freezer until I’m ready to make a big batch. If you are using meaty soup bones (I got some delicious ones from Finn’s Ranch just a few weeks ago) then you will be delighted to make a few meals out of the meat once the broth is made. I also bought a big bag of soup bones from Mint Creek for $12. 

I like to use my instant pot for making bone broth but you can just cook on your stovetop in a big soup pot. On the stovetop, be prepared to leave the heat on low for hours and hours; the longer it simmers, the better it will be. I’m talking all day, or overnight. It is a task best left for a rainy afternoon when you aren’t going anywhere and can keep an eye on the pot throughout the day. In the instant pot, I add my bones and add water to make the desired amount of broth. The greater the bone to water concentration, the thicker and richer the broth will be. I just use the soup setting which takes about 40 min of pressure cooking. I add a teaspoon or so of Himalayan pink salt and a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. The vinegar helps pull minerals out of the bones and it will also soften the chicken bones. After 40 min of pressure cooking your stock is done and can be used, but I like to let it slow cook for another few hours to really get all the good stuff out of the bone. 

Once the stock has cooked I remove the meat and eat it for dinner that night. Between the chicken drumsticks and the meaty beef bones, I got enough meat for about 3 meals. The beef tacos and shredded bbq beef were the best. Then, I pour the bone broth into mason jars and let them cool on the counter. When cooled down a little bit, I put the lids on and store in the refrigerator to finish cooling down overnight. The fat from the meat may float to the top; it can be discarded but you may want to use it for cooking. In either case, skim it off the top of each bottle. I enjoy using the fat as a substitute for butter when sauteing or pan-frying. It can be frozen for later use. 

The finished broth can be stored in the freezer for several months. I think the longest I’ve stored it is about 4 months before using it all, so I really don’t know how long it will keep after that. It has many uses: as the base for soup stock (add your root vegetables and simmer until they are soft), in place of water for making rice, when cooking vegetables or meats that need a little liquid in the pan, etc. Bone broth is also soothing in and of itself. When I’m feeling under the weather, I like to take a little plain bone broth, add some salt and maybe a little bit of tomato juice (Tomato Mountain) and sip slowly. It is the perfect cold buster!

Laura Lencioni


Catch-All Chicken Soup

This soup is a great option for using up leftover roast chicken, but using store bought rotisserie chicken also makes quick work of this recipe. Feel free to substitute whatever types of beans you like or and variety of peppers you find at the market, but be sure to serve this family-friendly dish with cheese quesadillas for dunking.


  • 1-14ounce can chickpeas
  • 1-14 ounce can cannellini beans
  • 1-14 ounce can pinto beans
  • 2 Tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
  • 2 poblano pepppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 Large white onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 6-8 Cups homemade bone broth or chicken stock
  • Juice of three limes
  • 4 medium red potatoes, diced into 1/2” cubes
  • 1 Cup shredded carrots
  • 3-4 Cups shredded cooked chicken
  • ½ Cup chopped parsley
  • Sour Cream, Scallions and Crushed Tortilla Chips


Drain and rinse all the beans. Place half the beans in a large bowl and mash with the back of a fork until nearly smooth.  Reserve the whole and mashed beans.

Heat the canola oil over medium high heat in a large heavy-bottomed stock pot. Add the peppers, onion and celery to the pot. Season the vegetables with salt and saute, stirring frequently until softened (about 8 minutes). 

Add the garlic and spices and saute until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add 6 Cups of chicken stock, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper and the lime juice to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil before adding the potatoes, carrots and beans (mashed and whole). Allow the soup to simmer until the potatoes are tender and carrots are wilted (about 25 minutes). Add the chicken and cilantro to the soup and mix well.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper; add more stock as desired to adjust consistency. Serve the hot soup garnished with a dollop of sour cream, sliced scallions and crushed tortilla chips.

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