Local Foods Connection Blog

Local foods, hunger relief, sustainable agriculture

Chicago’s Green City Market Turns 10! May 17, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — caroline@LFC @ 1:18 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I’m splitting my time between Iowa City and Chicago this summer, so I rode my bike over to the opening weekend of Chicago’s Green City Market this morning. The kickoff was billed as a Rally for Sustainable Agriculture, but what that really meant was a 10th birthday party for the Market, complete with an emcee, a speech from Frontera Grill chef Rick Bayless, and a ceremonial organic rhubarb cake cut by none other than Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Chef Bayless

[Chef Rick Bayless greets his adoring fans.]

Mandel and Daley with Cake.

[Green City Market founder Abby Mandel and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley cut Green City Market’s birthday cake.]

Rhubarb Cake

[Organic rhubarb birthday cake was served to all the attendees.]

It was great to see so many people out on an early Saturday morning, talking with local farmers and sampling food from the many vendors. The children from the Market’s Sprouts for Kids Program added a little color to the gathering with their bright chef hats.


[Kids from the Sprouts for Kids program at the Market.]

Despite – or perhaps because of – the turnout, though, I was reminded that Chicago’s low income residents don’t seem to be well-represented at the market. To the best of my knowledge, the only farmers’ market in Chicago to accept food stamps is still the Logan Square Farmer’s Market, which began accepting food stamps for payment in Summer 2007.

Two groups at the Green City Market, though, are working against this elision of low-income Chicagoans at the market: Growing Power and Growing Home. Milwaukee- and Chicago-based Growing Power “inspires communities to build sustainable food systems that are equitable and ecologically sound, creating a just world, one food-secure community at a time,” while Chicago- and Marseilles-based Growing Home‘s mission is “to provide job training and create employment opportunities for homeless and low-income people in Chicago within the context of a non-profit organic agriculture business.” Their produce is also gorgeous!

Growing Power Produce

[Green, green, and more green on display at the Growing Power table.]

Keep up the good work!


5 Responses to “Chicago’s Green City Market Turns 10!”

  1. drew. Says:


  2. caroline@LFC Says:


  3. Lyle Allen Says:

    Thanks for the great coverage of our event – it was a truly magical day. Just wanted to pass along an update regarding food stamp acceptance at the GCM. Starting in June 2008 , the GCM will also have the capability to accept food stamps! We hope this will extend our reach to new patrons and allow everyone the opportunity to purchase the very best produce our city and farmers have to offer.

  4. caroline@LFC Says:

    thanks for the info, lyle. that’s great news about accepting food stamps! keep up the great work.

  5. npmaier Says:

    Hi. I am organizing a ride around Lake Michigan with a clean energy theme. To further the clean energy theme, we will be eating local produce. I am looking to string together local farmers markets, farms themselves, and restaurents. My blog is teamcircadia.wordpress.com. Please leave comments to help us find food. I am setting up the blog right now. Another site we have is teamcircadia.blogspot.com.
    Hope to see you at Green City Market –
    Nathan Maier

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