Kissing June Goodbye & Hello Fourth of July! (June 28 Market Highlights)

ImageWow – it is hard to believe this will be the fourth week of the market!  I feel like we are just getting started with all that we have to offer here!  Well peruse below for the many demonstrations, picnic and grilling purchases, and more, that one can find tomorrow from 4-8pm.

  • Tree Pruning Demonstration @ 4:30pm: Davey Tree Expert Company, one of our marketImage sponsors, will have a crew out to show us how one prunes a tree correctly at the market. They will be trimming up the tree on the SW corner of Kimball and North Grove. So bring your cameras and questions!
  • Image How Can I Can? Canning Demonstration 4-8pm. The basics of how to get started with canning and its benefits with Elgin resident and canning enthusiast Amanda (Mandy) Garcia.

    Raffle Prizes: Top three people chosen will get a Discovery Canning Kit and a Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, plus a canning party sampler of coupons, samples, and beginner brochures! (Courtesy of the Discover You Can Grant)Image

  • Music with Fun time Music DJ Greg all night long!
  • Link Cards Work!  Along with using your cash, check, and credit card at the market, we have smoothed out the kinks and Link cards now work at the market.  So shop fresh and local!
  • Get Healthy:  Check out where you are with blood pressure and body fat with Alexian Brothers and/or check out what programs and walks are being offered through Hawthorne Hills Nature Center!
  • For the Kids! Kids Row has Highland Fellowship Church & Christian Academy with games and prizes, plus try lettuce from Troggs Hollow farm here in Elgin and show your Gail Borden public library book for a prize! The Elgin Fire Dept. will also be out to give kids a tour of the trucks plus a firemen hat!Image
  • Ideas for the Fourth picnic?  Try various meat rub blends from Let’s Spice it Up, drizzle some honey from Reader’s Apiaries, get tips and a taste of grilled corn on the grill with Chef Quincy, get your fresh veggies for the salads and berries for pie from our four local farms, sweets for the dessert after from Cupcake Daddy and J&W Bakery, bread for the sandwiches from Bread for the Heart or Breadsmith, and oh we could go on and on:)
  • Prep for the Fourth:  Make sure you have your knives sharpened, you get dinner or a snack at our four different concession vendors to propel you into the weekend.  You might also want to pick out a belated or early gift for that family member you will see this holiday whether it be art, crafts that benefit the Community Crisis Center, or get an Elgin Rewards card for free to give out to everyone!

So do not be scared by the heat by this end of the day market – with cold beverages and shaved ice nearby and your air conditioned vehicle or library close at hand! See you there:)




A Cupcake with an Olive on Top

Ok, well maybe you will not find that combination at our Harvest Market, but you will see our new cupcake vendor, Cupcake Daddy, and our veteran vendor Olives 4 You selling their various wares every Thursday.

Last Thursday I sat or stood with both of them to uncover some treasures about their business and product. Hopefully you will find it as insightful and appreciative of eating their products as I did!

ImageCupcake Daddy is a new start up business begun by Henry Crews out of his home in West Chicago.  Several years ago he had taken a cake decorating class, as he enjoyed baking and decorating, but at the time he did not pursue it any more than just a hobby.  But after 31 years of working for Motorola he was laid off and unemployed for over a year.  With friends encouraging him to start a business, his wife supportive of the idea, and having seen enough cupcake wars, Henry said he started to weigh the options of starting a cupcake business.

He could still look for a job, and it was not too expensive to start a business, especially with the passing of the new Illinois Cottage Food Law, which allows one to bake out of their home and sell at farmers markets, with just some guidelines and limitations. So Henry decided what better time than this.Image

One can find Henry and his fifteen year old granddaughter Kailey(who has some ideas of the business as well) with a display of some of the cupcakes they offer, with the bulk of them in coolers and cute boxes for transport to your home and then tummy. Henry does not have a favorite cupcake to bake/decorate, but he is loving the suggestions the customers come up with like key lime pie – which was one of the featured cupcakes last Thursday! So stop by and try one, take home a dozen, and give a suggested flavor:)

ImageOlives 4 You has been a staple to this market, especially with Pierre Brocardi behind the tables with his great French accent!  Last Thursday it took five or so minutes before I would talk with him, with customers picking out their olives, hummus, and pita bread. Since I did not want to take up too much of his time I decided to just ask him a couple questions about their olives and products.

Question: How did Pierre and his family get into the olive business?
Answer: They had run a pastry business for a while in Los Angeles, California and in Florida, but it was lots of work.  His wife Paule decided there must be a simpler way to do business.  So she thought up their olive business.

Question: What is Pierre’s favorite olive?
Answer: The Black Cerignola olive – for its good taste.

Question: What is the best sampler or combination of olives to get for a party?
Answer: To get a bowl and fill it up with three different olives, preferably different colors to stand out, or just buy the Medeterrainan Medley olives that are already mixed for you.

Question: What is the best martini olive?
Answer: The stuffed blue cheese olive.

Question: Does your kitchen in Wheaton offer cooking classes?Image
Answer: Yes. They had over 3,000 people signed up this past winter.

Question: So who makes what in the family?
Answer: Pierre and his wife Paule season the olives.  Their daughter, Stephanie, makes the pita bread. (His wife will not bake after the pastry business – which is understandable!), and Paule has employees use her recipe for hummus and tapenade.

So there you have it – so grab some olives, pita bread, and hummus for your upcoming Fourth of July picnics!




Second Day of Summer at the Market

Got to love the second longest day of the year, or is it tied with Tuesday? 🙂 Whatever the case we will be sure to keep you cool with goodies, finding great summer finds, and entertained along the Fox River at our Downtown Elgin market.  Here is a good smattering to find tomorrow:

  1. Summer Eats: Flavored Shaved Ice. Hotdogs. Smoothies & a Tamale. (Just to name a few) Plus whatever Chef Quincy has on the grill for you to sample or buy!
  2. Vendor Update:  New bakery at the market  – J& W Bakery. Baked here in Elgin, they offer cookies, tarts, crumb cake, and various specialty breads.  Look for them near the music tent.  Also Mad Discs & Dyes will be at the market with their clothing and remember they are at the market every other week. Lastly do not forget to put your knifes and gardening tools in the car or on your bike to get sharpened by Tony with his 150 year old machine!
  3. Recycle Old Electronics & Volunteer: Along with bringing your knifes to the market, bring your old electronics to be recycled at the market by ReStore.  Also the Literacy Connection will be available in the same booth to sign people up to be tutors.
  4. Live Music 5-7pm: Jim Bartholomew will be in the music tent with his acoustic guitar and harmonica,  playing classic americana music of folk, pop, blues, rock and country from the 40’s – 80’s. His merchandise will also be on hand and there is a rumor he is related to one of our vendors…:)
  5. What’s at Kids Row and More!: Elgin Parent Co-Op will be in the Kids Row booth with fun activities and also having kids trying carrots and showing their library books for a prize! Elgin Public Museum will be having fun with butterflies and the Elgin Fire Department is weekly on hand with various trucks and equipment.
  6. Look Good, Feel good, Take Care of Your Trees: Salon Couture, an Aveda salon in Downtown Elgin will be on hand with various samples, info on their products, and more. Plus Alexian Brothers will be helping to give free blood pressure and body fat checks, and Davey Tree will be on hand to help answer your tree and bush questions.
  7. Got Link?  Got Credit/Debit Cards?: Nothing is holding you back from shopping now.  More and more people are realizing they can use their cards, and though our processor has had issues with Link the last two weeks we think all the kinks are out now. So shop on by:)