Logan Square is diving into the deep end of the local, seasonal, sustainable pool. This summer the three-year-old Logan Square Farmers' Market is divesting from the city's market program and going independent, along the lines of the Green City Market. According to Logan Square Chamber of Commerce executive director Josh Deth, local control of the market can benefit both farmers (who're assured of a solid base of neighborhood support) and shoppers (who're assured a regular base of vendors). While it's too early in the season for the vendor list to be nailed down, he says that the ten or so regulars from last year will be back--including Golden Rise Bakery and the Lawndale-based Chicago Honey Co-op in addition to fruit and vegetable farmers--and there's the possibility of others selling everything from hand-dyed wools to organic baby food. They're looking into having prepared food for sale as well (much as Green City sells hot crepes and panini)--an option not permitted at the city-run markets.
The market's also working with the city to acquire a permanent home on what's now a muddy impromptu parking lot on land owned by the CTA at Logan and Milwaukee (right where the blue line dives back down underground). A permanent site would be great, says Deth, since for the last two years the market's had to set up in the street on the side of Logan Boulevard--an arrangement at times headache-inducing for both organizers and local drivers. It'd probably take another year to clean up and develop the CTA land, but assuming the city closes on the property soon the market may give it a test run this summer.
One other new development planned for 2007 is the addition of on-site CSA deliveries from a couple of market farmers. Tonight (Thursday, 3/1) there's an info/enrollment session on CSA membership with reps from Ottowa's Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm and Montalbano Farm, near Marseilles. It's at 7 PM at the Logan Square branch library, 3030 W. Fullerton.