Mundelein Farmers Market is great addition
Mundelein, 3/23/01 --Pioneer Press Columnist, Millie Maughton.
Updated: August 6, 2012 6:23AM
I spotted Laurie Murphy walking around in her volunteer vest making sure things were in order. As the market manager for the Mundelein Farmer’s Market, she is one of about 20 volunteers that help it run smoothly.
The market is open every Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. through Oct. 12, but volunteers arrive a couple of hours early to assist vendors in setting up their wares, tables, tents and more. On hot days, they will cover for vendors and bring over water if necessary. Each Friday evening, they help take things down and clean up.
Volunteers make up one important aspect for the success of the market, now in its second year. Vendors come from all around and make up 20 of the seasonal spots for the summer. The four remaining slots are filled by vendors that rotate with a specialty item. For example, the Friday I was visiting, there was a table occupied by Inkapirka, a group from Racine, Wis. that plays Andean music. They will be back later in the summer performing and selling their CDs as they requested to come by more than once this summer.
With a few exceptions, all of the market’s growers are within 40 miles of Mundelein and Murphy says that the market tries to offer unique artisan foods that are local, seasonal, but from vendors that you might not find in other places. In addition, she suggested, you could make a complete meal from the items you find at the market.
Beginning with several vendors that sell veggies and salad fixings, such as Brookdale Road Farm from Woodstock or Geneva Lakes Produce and Greenhouse from across the border in Burlington, there is plenty to choose from. It was a steady stream of customers looking over the tomatoes, butternut squash and eggplants as well as the broccoli, kale and herb bunches. Nearby, Sasha’s Salad & Sandwich Dressings can help you top off your fresh leafy greens or the Nordic Creamery has fresh cheese and butter to try maybe on bread from Wild Flour Bakery.
For an entrée, head over to Arnold’s Farm from Elizabeth, Ill. that began in 1886 and is a fifth generation farm. Last year on a delivery to our Garden Fresh store, a customer suggested that they should sell at the Farmers Market. On this day Andy stood by his freezer full of beef, chicken and other meats. When I asked what were his big sellers, he mentioned the breakfast links that he was putting out to sample and the Italian sausage. He has been impressed with how welcoming the market was, how accommodating the Village has been providing electricity and even remembered at the end of last summer how volunteers strung lights when the sun began to set earlier.
Dessert can be found from vendors such as M. Belle’s Pie and Bake Shop, Nana’s Rum Cakes or even our own Taste of Paris. Maggie’s Munchies is even around to sell dog treats for your four-legged friends.
But has the market been a good addition to the community? Ask the Fraymans. Eight-year old Charlie tried sugar snap peas for the first time during his visit but said he liked the sharp cheddar cheese better. Six-year old brother Ben listed the cheese spread, garlic bread and raspberries that he was able to sample, and two-year old Carolyn sat in her stroller sucking on a strawberry honey stick as mom Cindy walked around enjoying a Friday afternoon at the Market.
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