New location brings new success to Morton Grove Farmers’ Market
Morton Grove Farmers Market vendor Brandon Lueck helps a customer at the River Valley Ranch Mushroom Medley stand in June 2012. Starting this summer, the market will accept food stamps and credit cards. | Tamara Bell~Sun Times Media
NAME: Morton Grove Farmers’ Market.
SPECIALTY: Farm-fresh produce.
ADDRESS: 6210 Dempster St.
HOURS: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Oct. 20.
Updated: August 13, 2012 6:54AM
MORTON GROVE — With a new location, more vendors, weekly entertainment and a variety of special activities, the Morton Grove Farmers’ Market is having its best year since it first opened in 2010.
“It’s awesome,” said Kristina Otte, one of the market managers and the village resident who led the effort to create the market three years ago. “We get a lot more traffic. It’s been tremendous.”
The market was originally located in a space off of Waukegan. While it had plenty of parking the site was off the beaten path, located away from the street and a little hard to find.
This year for the first time it is at 6210 Dempster St., on Morton Grove Park District property between Harrer Park Pool and the Morton Grove American Legion Memorial Civic Center.
The 2012 season started June 21 and runs every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. No market was held June 30 because or preparations for Morton Grove Days, but it was back the past Saturday and will continue through Oct. 20.
The new location, Otte said, has helped the market attract more customers and more vendors. Last year the market averaged 18 or 19 vendors a week. This year that number is up to about 25, she said.
“We have more vendors. It’s larger, with a lot more offerings,” Otte said.
To make it easier on shoppers Otte said organizers also made the market a little more compact, with less space between vendors and less walking.
Vendors include usually six or seven farmers selling seasonal fruit and vegetables. Other vendors sell everything from handmade Alpaca wool items and cheese to honey, nut snacks and cosmetics. Also available are a knife-sharpening service, a spice vendor and three bakeries including the local Maier’s Bakery.
Different vendors are highlighted each week and some type of entertainment, mostly area musicians, also is provided weekly.
Special events this season have included Bike to the Market on July 7 with free bicycle valet parking and a Summer Fun Fest in conjunction with the Park District that provided special activities for children.
There is a weekly drawing for a reusable bag containing items from the market, and each week one or more community organizations are at the market to provide information about services they provide.
Groups this summer include the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Morton Grove Community Church.
Otte said the market this summer seems to be drawing not only more customers — she estimated between 800 and 1,000 a week — but also more of a cross-section of residents than it did the first two years.
“Morton Grove is such a diverse town; this is the fist year we really seem to reflect that. If you walk around the market it really looks like that,” she said.
The market is run by volunteers, including Otte and two other managers, who keep things running smoothly each week. She said volunteers are always needed to help out.
To volunteer or sign up for the weekly newsletter from the market residents can call (847) 750-MGFM (6436).
Information is also available at the market website, mgfarmersmarket.com. The market is also on Facebook at facebook.com/mgfarmersmarket.