May 15, 2019 – Cross-pollination will be the focus when the Oak Park Farmers’ Market kicks off its 44th season at 7 a.m. this Saturday, May 18.
Just like how bees and flowering plants rely on each other for survival, Market officials will shine a light on the interconnected nature of local organizations and businesses that contribute to the greening of Oak Park as part the annual Go Green Days celebration the first two weeks of the Market season.
Highlights for Go Green Days include seed potting activities for children and a number of organizations providing information about local sustainability efforts. Guests can also discuss environmental initiatives with members of the Village Board of Trustees and the Village’s Environment & Energy Commission, and a limited supply of free reusable bags will be available.
In addition to Go Green Days, opening day also marks the return of the fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants, honey, cheese, eggs, frozen meat, bread, donuts made on-site, fresh coffee and live bluegrass music that has made the Oak Park Farmers’ Market a destination for decades.
The dynamic, open air, producer-only Market is held from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. rain or shine every Saturday from opening day through October. The Market takes place in the Pilgrim Congregational Church parking lot, 460 Lake St., one block west of Ridgeland Avenue.
New to the Market in 2019
This year more than two dozen permanent vendors from across the region will bring their organic and locally sourced goods to the Oak Park Farmers’ Market. Some vendors have been Market fixtures for decades, while others are newer to the scene.
The newest permanent vendor is I Love IL Native Plants, which offers native plants that can be taken home and planted in the garden.
This year also marks the first time fish will be sold at the Market thanks to the arrival of Sitka Salmon Shares, which will offer line-caught frozen seafood on a bi-weekly basis.
Another new feature at the Market this season is an on-site knife sharpening service provided by returning vendor American Pride Microfarm.
Information about all of this year’s vendors is available under the “Meet the Farmers” section at www.oak-park.us/farmersmarket or by downloading the 2019 Market map.
A majority of vendors accept credit/debit cards, as well as WIC and senior coupons. All vendors accept LINK cards, and LINK cardholders can double the value of their purchase up to $25 thanks to the Market’s Double Value Coupon Program.
Transportation to and from Market available
Oak Park Township is offering transportation to and from the Farmers' Market in another new wrinkle this season. Look for the Township's bus at the Market entrance.
The bus will transport shoppers to locations within Oak Park and River Forest. Reservations are encourage and accepted from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday by calling 708.383.4806. Walk-ons are welcome.
There is a suggested donation of $1.
Special events at the Market
Go Green Days on May 18 and May 25 mark the first in a series of special events that will take place at the Market throughout the season.
The Market’s annual Corn Roast is scheduled for Aug. 10, the Pie-Baking Contest returns Sept. 7 and stone soup will be served at the final Market of the year Oct. 26.
Children’s activities typically are held the first and third Saturday of each month. Non-profit bake sales are also offered each Saturday as well as occasional cooking demonstrations featuring chefs from local restaurants.
A rundown of upcoming Market events can be found under the “This month at the Farmers’ Market” section at www.oak-park.us/farmersmarket.
Shoppers are once again being encouraged to shop green this season by bringing reusable bags to help cut down on single-use plastic bags. Market-goers are also urged to bring small containers from home to transport small produce items like berries and to bring reusable cups for coffee and drinks.
To help support Market administration, a variety of items will be sold at the information tent, including reusable shopping bags, t-shirts and travel mugs.
For more information about the Farmers’ Market, call 708.358.5780, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.oak-park.us/farmersmarket.