Remembering Opening Day of the Woodstock Farmer's Market

To Market, to Market, to Buy Fresh . . . 

By Leslie A. Cook, www.vegetatingwithleslie.org

Woodstock is home to many projects focused on the environment, Fair Trade, healthy living and localism. The following article about the Woodstock Farmer's Market was published in the Woodstock Independent. Many of the same people involved with the Food Shed Co-op effort are equally involved with the Woodstock Farmer's Market and look forward to the day when the Food Shed Co-op will extend our opportunities to shop locally and sustainably!

VEGGIES! Beautiful spring veggies!

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It was a spectacular day on Saturday, a perfect day for the opening of the Woodstock Farmer's Market. I love the Market and look forward to it moving back onto the Square each spring.

Keith Johnson, Market Director, has built this award-winning Farmers Market into a happening twice a week May through October on the historic Woodstock Square.  Off Square Music performers fill the surrounding area with music. There is no better way to celebrate spring and summer days than to greet friends and shop for local products accompanied by Woodstock's talented musicians.

And it doesn't end in October. Now we have a winter Market as well that meets two weeks a month in Building "D" at the McHenry County Fairgrounds. (And coming soon, our Food Shed Co-op, which will extend our shopping opportunities even more!)

What I made from my Woodstock Farmers Market goodies

One of my favorite stops is always Edmonds Acres. Troy Edmonds specializes in specialty garlic and onions, unique apples, fruit and vegetables, wild mushrooms and fall squash.

I can always find something that I want to run home and cook up at Troy's table, and Saturday was no exception. I combined that organic onion with some organic celery and carrots I had to make up my delicious Red Lentil Soup. This time instead of cilantro I added Troy's early kale to the soup.

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Red Lentil Soup topped with fresh kale and served in a ceramic bowl created by Tyler Owcarz of Woodstock High School.

I confess I had to have some right away in the beautiful bowl made by Tyler Owcarz of Woodstock that I purchased at the Woodstock High School table. Art students created about 100 small bowls that they are selling for $10 each to benefit the Woodstock Food Pantry.

Will the circle be unbroken...

And talk about the circle being unbroken! Not only did that bowl go from the High School to the Market to me and the Food Pantry . . . but Troy's beautiful veggies went from his table to my pot to serve up to the musicians and audience at First Saturday, an open mic sponsored by Off Square Music that meets once a month at Unity Spiritual Center on Calhoun St. in Woodstock.

And now for the fresh basil from Keith and Nancy Johnson (BlueLoom) that I snipped onto the potatoes that I just couldn't wait to cook up and eat: nothing says spring like fresh basil! I enjoyed it twice on Saturday, once with my potato lunch when I got home and again later with a juicy tomato snack.

So as I mentioned, I went to the First Saturday open mic that evening, which is always a wonderful music event. I didn't get to service my popcorn addiction that evening, tho. You can bet I did the next evening!

I ran out of Rich Brook's (Brook Farm, Harvard, IL) popcorn over the winter and was waiting eagerly for him to return to the Market. I don't know how he does it, but that popcorn is sooooooo much better than what I can get in the store. I'm halfway through the bag I bought already! Guess I'll have to plan to visit the Woodstock Farmer's Market again next week.

All in all a wonderful day Saturday. (I can't wait 'til we make that Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday as well with our Food Shed Co-op!)


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