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December 8, 2016

Each year at this time, Glenwood Sunday Market's staff reflects back on what the farmers market season brought our way. We are proud to share our 2016 accomplishments with you and thank you for everything you did to help us achieve our mission to make sustainable, regionally produced foods available to our whole community. Thank you!

October 19, 2016

Glenwood Sunday Market's 2016 Outdoor Season is drawing to a close on October 30, 2016. We'll follow up with a three Indoor Markets on November 6, 20 and December 11 at The Glenwood Bar, 6962 N. Glenwood.

But, you don't have to stop enjoying awesomely delicious local food when the market closes down for the long winter months! 

Lots of GSM's vendors continue to serve the community all winter long. Some make home deliveries, some bring their products to local businesses when you pre-order, some have brick and mortar businesses right here in Chicago! 

Here are a few ideas for you to consider to keep the good stuff coming into your home for the holidays and all winter long....

The Urban Canopy offers a weekly or biweekly home delivery of locally sourced, chemical free produce, a loaf of freshly baked bread, 1 dozen eggs, a bag of mushrooms, and an alternating beverage (tea, coffee, cold pressed juice, kombucha, beer, etc.) almost all winter long. Email LUCSA@theurbancanopy.org to inquire/sign up. 

Mint Creek Farm has a wide variety of meat (and some dairy) Community Supported Agriculture options for both monthly and weekly delivery. And they also have Thanksgiving Turkeys! Reserve today!

Finn's Steak and Egg Ranch is offering a Winter CSA of meat, eggs, and more. And they will drop off your share at Rogers Park Provisions, 6928 N. Glenwood. Plus, they have Thanksgiving Turkeys, too! 

More ideas for local food sourcing coming your way soon!

September 7, 2016

GSM: How’d you get your start in the business?

Raya Carr: Our business started as a hobby farm with the mission is to restore the Illinois Grand Prairie eco-system and to offer a sustainable, nutritious, and humane livestock farming model to be an example of why our society should turn away from conventional farming. I have personally continued with our family business because I believe so strongly in striving to restore a better relationship with our food and farming production as Americans, the community created around farming in the greater Chicago area, the creativity and problem solving required by farming, and for awe of and love for animals and our natural ecosystems. 


 

GSM: What was your first job?

Raya Carr: We're a family business, so us farm kids first jobs were things like helping spread straw, feeding baby animals, milking sheep and goats, and collecting eggs. 


 

GSM: What does sustainability mean to you?

Raya Carr: Sustainability means farming or acting in such a way that recognizes how humans and animals and nature in general are all connected in a profound way, and as such using methods that respect all beings as a resilient whole striving for symbiosis and nurturing each other.

GSM: What’s something about your business that you think our market visitors would be surprised to hear?

Raya Carr: How about that the ecological benefits of perennial pastures on our farm and beyond can help combat climate change? They do this by fixing carbon, holding top-soil, and cleaning the air and water systems. How about that the nutrition of organic, grass fed meat and the avoidance of soy products in any of our animal feeds can help fight chronic disease epidemics in the US such as heart disease and cancer? This is a prevention approach of healthy, balanced, omega-3 rich diet, but as such, it is still a powerful answer to a nationwide problem.

Also, we are very small business with less than 10 full time staff between my dad, farmhands and sales staff combined. I think because our pricing is on the high end, people assume that we're a bigger business, with a bigger staff, raking in the dough. This is certainly not the case. We tend to charge as little as we can while still having hope of making ends meet.

We are barely squeaking by, and although we are hopeful about the future, our business has yet to make any profits over all the costs of farming! This is a labor of love, not money. The reason our pricing is higher than other vendors is because we are doing this as a passion of heart, we refuse to cut corners on our farming practices and feeds. Our animals eat 100% soy free and certified organic. Think about that for a second. How many of us people can say that? But that's how serious we are about farming the healthiest and most sustainable meat and eggs to offer our customers!


Mint Creek has been in business for over 22 years and a vendor at Glenwood Sunday Market for 6 seasons. Their 220 acre certified organic farm in Stelle, IL which offers plenty of grazing room for their sheep, cows, pigs, goats and various poultry, all while combating climate change. We recently spoke with Raya Carr, whose father Harry owns Mint Creek Farm, to hear a little bit more about what motivates them to do some pretty amazing things on their farm.

This week, Mint Creek Farm is featuring Farm Fresh Eggs! Be sure and get yours at

Glenwood Sunday Market. Thanks Carr Family!

Come to the First Annual Wine Stroll, Sunday, September 11 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

You are warmly invited to stroll Rogers Park’s famous cobblestone arts district and sample over 60 different wines, all while supporting Glenwood Sunday Market’s vitally important Food Access Programs.

Generous hosts and sponsors, Rogers Park Provisions and Rogers Park Social, have arranged for a variety of vendors and brand representatives to be onsite throughout the event to guide you through the tasting process.  You can expect to sip everything from bubblies to reds, whites and roses as well as some unique options like vermouth and sparkling sake!


Tickets are just $20.00 in advance and $25.00 day-of.the event (if any remain that long).

I hear you out there saying, “What? All that for $20? That’s crazy!!” But that isn’t even all!

While sipping away on fabulous wines, you’ll also be enjoying the music of the Fumée Gypsy Project, a Chicago-based gypsy jazz band featuring Christy Bennett on vocals and various Chicago All Star musicians.

…And Pierogi Street Food Truck will be on hand for your snacking pleasure!

…And there will be a Bloody Mary tasting inside of the Social featuring renowned chef Cleetus Friedman and his signature Cleetus Heatus Bloody Mary Mix!

…And you’ll receive a 10% case discount if you order wines from the vendors at The Stroll!

...And if you're not into wine, beer will be available for purchase and, of course, Glenwood Sunday Market, The Social and Provisions will be open for business as usual during The Stroll!

…And all of this loveliness is benefiting a wonderful cause…..Glenwood Sunday Market’s Food Access Programs.

With the highest food insecurity rate on the north side of the City of Chicago and nearly 10,000 Rogers Park residents receiving food access benefits through Illinois’ Link program, the cost of good healthy food is out of reach for many of our neighbors. Glenwood Sunday Market’s dollar-for-dollar matching grant program gave away $12,000 to Link shoppers in 2015 and is on track to surpass that in 2016.

Won’t you will help make good food available to everyone and join us at The Wine Stroll? It’s sure to be a glorious new tradition in Rogers Park….Don’t miss it! Buy your tickets right NOW!


Glenwood Sunday Market is a program of Rogers Park Business Alliance, a 501(c) 3 non-profit charitable organization. For more information contact Sheree at smoratto@rogers-park.com or 773-508-5885


 

August 26, 2016

B True Bakery was founded and is owned by Brady Braden. B True has been in business for 7 years and at GSM for 6. Brady makes the most wonderful, whole grain baked goods that you would never guess are full of healthy ingredients. Here's what Brady makes him tick:

"...After finishing French Pastry School, I opened B True Bakery to offer all-natural whole grain baked goods utilizing a shared kitchen space in Oak Park.  I sold wholesale to coffee shops and specialty food stores and joined Farmers Markets.

I lost over 100 pounds in the last two decades and have been a Group Fitness Instructor at Chicago Athletic Clubs for over 10 years.  It was actually the inspiration for starting B True Bakery.  I significantly changed my diet to only all-natural, whole grain foods and began exercising.  No one offered whole grain baked goods at that time and I decided to fill a void in the market.  Voila!

I’ve always believed that anything worth doing will be hard work.  If it was easy, everyone would own their own business.  It is exciting to think of all the things I have learned over the years about being a business owner and even more exciting that I have the opportunity to share that knowledge with other new businesses by operating a shared kitchen space of my own.  

The amazing diversity of Rogers Park is what really drew me to Glenwood Sunday Market.  I’ve lived in Andersonville for almost 20 years and have always enjoyed the variety of the different neighborhoods in Chicago.  It makes me really happy to be a supportive part of my community- to not only live in the city, but to also own a business and provide a unique product to the local residents."

Awesome, BTrue Bakery and Brady Braden!

The unchallenged champ of all things tofu, Jenny Yang has owned Phoenix Bean for 10 years of its 35-year operation. Glenwood Sunday Market has been fortunate to have Phoenix Bean as one of our vendors for several years. We had the good luck of being able to hear what drew Jenny into the business of tofu.

"....My kids and I love fresh tofu, soy milk and are lactose intolerant. I discovered a tofu company in my neighborhood one day and was intrigued by the chance to maintain the tradition of making a freshly made food that I grew up with in Taiwan.

I experienced a bit of midlife crisis and was tired of commuting and working for corporate businesses. I knew nothing about tofu making but decided to purchase Phoenix Bean and learn the business to preserve traditional tofu making methods. I learned through trial and error working with the tofu master who was retiring.

  

Providing a healthy product to our customers is our most important practice.  Our products are now made with the highest quality, IL grown, non-GMO soybeans we can source, to make an incredibly fresh tasting product high in nutrition. 

By using local soybeans, manufacturing locally, and selling fresh locally, we already have a low environmental impact.  To further minimize those impacts, our factory was renovated to use more energy efficient equipment such as tankless water heaters. We compost and reuse some of our soybean fiber (okara) as feed, fertilizer, and in food recipes.  We are always continuing to look for additional methods to improve our quality and help reduce our waste stream. For example, our soybeans are now organically grown on transitional lands.

Many customers are still surprised to learn that there is an Asian company making fresh tofu right here in Edgewater on Broadway.  They've never seen how fresh tofu is made, so we encourage them to come visit the factory to see how simple a food product it is."

Thank you Jenny and everyone at Phoenix Bean

August 11, 2016

The Urban Canopy is one of Glenwood Sunday Market's most unique vendors because, appropriately enough, it serves as a canopy for two additional farms: Videnovich Farms and River Valley Ranch. 

GSM recently had a chance to talk to Kelsey, the Farmers Market Lead at The Urban Canopy, to hear more about the powerful ways they integrate sustainability and social equality into their business model. Here’s what Kelsey had to say:

“Our business model is unique in that we are not just growers we are also eaters and composters. Our mission is to grow more food in a sustainable way that directly impacts the way we think about nutrition, environment, economy, and community....

Regarding nutrition, we strive to make healthier produce available to more people. Through our partnerships with other farms like River Valley and Videnovich Farms we can bring more varieties of local, healthy food to our farmers markets, CSA members, and community groups through donations. We strive to create a unified food system between many different businesses. Whether it is a farm specializing in a particular produce variety or a local bakery, we want to bring all those who are invested in our food system together. We want to facilitate success in the food system through our partnerships and connections.

The environment is obviously important for us to grow food. We compost on our farm and collect scraps from residential households and local restaurants/office spaces. We prioritize reducing the miles that fresh food travels to get to consumers by working with Midwest farms exclusively. This allows us to take advantage of seasonality and provide our customers with a more sustainable option than a conventional grocery store. (GSM NOTE: Check out The Compost Club here!)

Job creation in the food production industry within urban communities helps to impact the economy directly and positively while also providing us as a business the revenue necessary to expand. When we increase revenue, we can buy more seeds, partner with more local farms, and staff more markets to bring healthier produce into more communities that do not have access."

We are so glad that The Urban Canopy, Videnovich Farms and River Valley Ranch are at Glenwood Sunday Market!