Friday, September 6, 2013


The only reason I will wake up before noon on a Sunday is to go to the Logan Square Farmers Market. I have lived in Chicago for four years now and every neighborhood I have lived in has had a weekly farmers market, but none of them have impressed me like the one in Logan Square. Every Sunday from May 19th until October 27th, farmers from all over the Midwest gather on Logan Boulevard to sell fresh produce and products. This week I brought my camera and my Ambatalia products.

Good morning Logan Square Farmers Market!
Growing up in Marin County, California, my mom practically bought all of our groceries at different farmers markets. We had our butcher, our blueberry farmer, our heirloom tomato stand, our kettle corn provider. We knew the faces of our food.  Every Sunday my mom, my dad, and I would all go to the Civic Center market, Tuesdays my mom and I would go to the smaller market at the Marin County country mart, and of course on Thursday nights my friends and I would attend the market in downtown San Rafael.

When I left for college I found myself in the city of Chicago. I began buying my fruits and veggies at supermarkets because I thought it was more convenient and cheaper, more suited to a college kid’s budget. However when I started attending the market in Logan Square I found this not to be true at all. There were plenty of bounteous stands selling fresh produce at reasonable prices, it seemed that the more expensive items were the fresh packaged items such as jams, cured meats, etc. Shopping at the city farmers market on a budget is possible, you just have to be conscientious on how to spend your money.

This week I bought some super sweet cherry tomatoes and delicious lemon basil from Sweet Earth Farms. What drew me to their stand was their colorful tomatoes and their handpainted sign. Once I got home I was interested in finding out more about where my produce came from. Located in Wauzeka, Wisconsin, they travel four and a half hours to come to the market. I loved what Farmer Renee of Sweet Earth Farms says on their website, “By the ordinary act of eating we can affect our world, we can have a more life giving environment and more life giving food.” This excited me because this is what Ambatalia encourages in a different way. By making small adjustments in our weekly routine we can not only improve our own well-being, but it can also help the environment. I am looking forward to seeing what produce Sweet Earth brings to the market next Sunday.

I brought home all my produce in Ambatalia bento bags.
Another booth that caught my eye was Underground Food Collective. Their catchy red logo and their giant glass jars in the display immediately had me hooked. This week I tried the mind-blowing Spanish chorizo. Perfect to bring home for a cheese plate or throw in your market bag for a picnic, these meats are truly worth the trip to the market. Based in downtown Madison, Wisconsin, their handcrafted salami and cured meats are all done in house.  

Love their packaging. Simple and classic.
The cherry tomatoes, lemon basil, and Spanish chorizo were just the beginning. While walking around the market I began to accumulate quite a full market bag. I stumbled upon Brockway Farms towards the end of my trip. What caught my eye were all the mason jars of fresh flowers and the giant chalkboards in front of the stand. Randy (pictured below on the far left) was extremely interested in Ambatalia and sent me home with some sweet flowers.

Thank you, Randy!
Using recycled glass jars from sparkling water, wine, or apple sauce is a fun way to display flowers.
A successful trip. Pictured are Ambatalia bento bags in grey ticking. Perfect for bringing home market finds.

All in all it was a great afternoon at the market. If you are interested in attending a farmers market in Chicago, check out the schedule! With over 20 different farmers markets all around the city, there is bound to be one that could fit into your schedule. 

Attending the farmers market in your area (wherever you may be) is a weekly routine that can keep you in touch with your local community. I would love to hear about your experience.

What is your experience going to your local farmers market? How is an urban market different then a more rural market? What is your relationship with your food?

Headed home from the market with my Ambatalia market bag.


Amber said...

You're so lucky to have such fresh, locally-grown food available every week! Although I live in a region of Australia where a wide diversity of produce is grown, we sadly don't seem to have the same farmer's market culture.
Love your bento bags too! :)

Molly de Vries said...

Thank you so much for reading Amber! The bento bags are sold on if you are interested.

I have always wanted to visit Australia-I'm sure the produce there is just as delicious : ) probably even tastier!