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News Mon Oct 06 2008
Chicago may have just come one step closer to daily farmers markets and seeing more local produce available year round. Chicago's Downtown Farmstand opened on October 1 as a pilot, and while it may close for the season this winter, the goal is to have it open year round next year. This market, in the Loop at 66 E. Randolph, stays open 5 days a week through mid-December - Tuesday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. - re-opening in the Spring. Products come from within 250 miles of the city.
The Farmstand, put together by Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs, reminds me a lot of the Green Grocer. Both sell a variety of local produce and locally made packaged goods. The Farmstand's refrigerated cases currently chill local English muffins, various apples, jugs of cider, preserves, small pumpkins, and greens like Swiss chard, arugula, and spigariello. Shelves and baskets are stocked full of locally grown beans, artisan bread, jars of vegetable dips, and locally roasted coffee. You'll also find Brussels sprouts, onion, peppers, green beans, potatoes, and tomatoes. Behind the counter near the registers, they'll make you a smoothie of cider, fruit and ice. Cooking related classes start September 11. Photo courtesy of Kate Gross Photography.