Every major city has great art, and every major city has farmers markets. Chicago just happens to have both in one place.
The Daley Plaza Farmers Market — the anchor for the 13 markets run by the City of Chicago — opens the 2019 season this Thursday, May 9, from 7 am – 2 pm. And every Thursday between now and October, visitors will buy delicious, regionally produced vegetables, fruit, baked goods, preserves and to-go meals under the shadow of Chicago’s most famous public art installation: the 50-foot-tall steel sculpture by Cubist legend Pablo Picasso, which was installed with great fanfare at the heart of the city’s civic center in 1967.
The Daley Plaza market opening will be followed in short order by the Division Street Market, at 30 W. Division, this Saturday, May 11, and the City Market at Federal Plaza (50 W. Adams St.) starting Tuesday, May 14. (Federal Plaza has its own towering sculpture, this one produced by American artist Alexander Calder.) The others will open on a rolling schedule across the city, and several are located in underserved communities such as Englewood, Bronzeville, Pullman and Roseland.
There are dozens of other farmers markets in Chicago and environs, many of them run by non-profit organizations. Green City Market, located at the south end of Lincoln Park near the Zoo, is the largest farmers market in the city and is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The Illinois Farmers Market Association, known as ILFMA, has a handy map to help you find the market nearest to you.
The Chicago City Markets, Green City Markets and most other Illinois farmers markets accept Link/SNAP EBT cards to provide greater access to healthy, delicious local food for people of limited economic means.
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Photo Credit: Bob Benenson