All good things must come to an end. And the 2015 outdoor, downtown
market did make its final appearance on November 7. For 27 Saturdays, rain,
sleet and shine, farmers and food vendors provided us with wonderful fare! And
many returned to Evanston to participate in the ever-popular Thanksgiving
market held at Immanuel Lutheran Church the Saturday before the holiday. On
December 5 and throughout the winter, two markets will entice us to continue
buying directly from growers. (See information about the winter markets by clicking here)
As Friends reviews 2015, again we count our blessings. Our donors,
Northshore University HealthSystem First Bank and Trust, an Anonymous Donor
and your contributions allowed us to give $19, 531.00 to Link shoppers at the
downtown market. This year, a record, brought a total of $39,404 to support
healthy eating and small, local farms. Thank you, donors!!
Even before the first market in May, Friends was busy collaborating with
Campus Kitchens NU and the Evanston Public Library to host a film series
educating attendees about food issues and food policy. These films, Dirt! the
Movie, Foodstamped and a preview of a documentary about Henry’s Farm were
supported with panel and audience discussions. Another film, to be determined,
will be shown on April 10, 2016. Again, Friends will be joined by the wonderful
people at Campus Kitchens NU and Evanston Public Library.
Our blue tent in the SW corner of the market saw plenty of activity this
summer. For 24 Saturdays, we hosted chefs, the Heller Bees of Highland Park,
District 65 teachers and Campus Kitchens. This was the first year that volunteers
were trained to assist in all this activity and we were impressed with their grace
and flexibility-especially the young men from Curt’s Cafe!
And our newsletter, sent out weekly, is a gem. Mark Dolnick has been our
web manager since our earliest days. This summer, much to our delight, he
accepted the job of newsletter writer. His wit, market experience-you can find him
on Saturdays at Green Acres -and passion for all food and farm issues make his
weekly entries a must-read! Don’t miss these-sign up today on this website!
Friends began this summer of celebration with a lovely essay in the
RoundTable written by a guy who knows and loves markets and cooking. Steve
Littell gave a rousing tribute to farmers and our fabulous Evanston Market. Read it here.
Then, On September 19, at the market, a tribute to farmers was hosted by
Nell Funk of NWC Food Incubator and planned with Friends and market
manager, Myra Gorman. After a scary night of storms, the clouds cleared, the
chefs arrived with their mysterious towers of food boxes and shoppers began
scrambling for tickets to participate in the first truck to table event at the market!
The happy beneficiaries were Friends and the Spud Club. Myra Gorman,
architect of Spud Club, plans activities galore for the youngest market shoppers.
In 2010, Friends and the City of Evanston worked together to improve the
Farmers Market Ordinance. This fall we reviewed that document and some
needed changes are in the works. If interested, you can contact your alderman or
send ideas to Friends. You can see the current ordinance on this website.
As President of Friends, I’d like to thank a very hard working board-Jane
Hampson, Grant writer and Treasurer, Sheldon Proctor, Secretary, Cindee Bath,
Community Liaison, Mia Mouratis, Volunteer Director. There’s more good news
here-we welcome Laura Davies to our board. Already she has really put her
energy to reviewing the farmers’ markets ordinance.
FEFM is grateful for all the efforts of Myra Gorman, Market Manager, and
Ryan Tasovac, Assistant Manager. Their diligence is the backbone of this market
and includes the application process in January, farm visits, 5am Saturday
arrivals at the market, checking all food products and providing a safe market for
all. We tip our hats!
Myra Gorman, our estimable Market Master and her right-hand man, Ryan, put a lot of effort into making the market fun for visitors and vendors alike, all season long. But they shone as bright as the sun–well, the sun from the day before–on Halloween. So even though it was cold and rainy, tons of kids took part in all the special activities they offered from 9am to noon.
Chefs are found in many contexts. Joe Dugan is a personal chef who was born, raised and lives in Evanston. For the past 12 years he has combined catering with the preparation of meals for families in their own homes.
Chef Joe sources from local farmers whenever possible, and that made him a perfect fit for a recent tent event. More than 200 people enjoyed the following dishes. Now, you can try them yourself in YOUR own home.
Cut a French baguette into 1/2 inch circles. Brush with olive oil and place on sheet pan in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes on rack in the top position in your oven.
Place onions sugar and balsamic into dutch oven, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook onions for 2-3 hours. The onions should taste sweet. Let cool for 45 minutes. Serve over roast or on a sandwich.
Get grill temperature to at least 500-degrees.
Grill each side for 8 minutes (depending on thickness of roast), then place on sheet pan in a preheated 400 degree oven until internal temperature reads 120 degrees. Let stand for five minutes to allow juices to redistribute back into the meat. Thinly slice across (opposite of) the grain to insure tender slices. Place on top of onion marmalade.
Between the Market’s own “Spud Club” for children, the many kid-centered events at Friends’ own tent events, the musicians who perform every week, and all the incredible food at the dozens of vendors, the Downtown Evanston Farmers Market can be a magical place for kids.
For instance, the activity a couple of week’s ago involved the creative production of “veggie people.” Here is the creation of Spud Clubber Lily.
Spud Club will have a full range of activities on Saturday, October 31 as part of the city’s celebration of Halloween.
Friends tent events have included visitor’s from District 65 and Heller Bees among their many kid-centric activities The Heller Bees return on October 17.
And sometimes, families make the fun happen themselves. Here are some lovely snaps capturing the joy of a pair of young music lovers. It appears they like mangos as well.
So, Spring, Summer or Fall, let your children learn about the joys of food in manners fresh, delicious and sometimes a bit educational. The whole family will love the experience.
Chef Vince of Campagnola and Union Pizzeria was our guest and featured chef at a recent tent event, really the first one with true Fall weather. That made his fall minestrone the perfect, satisfying match for a brisk October market. Here’s how to make it at home.