Hi all!

Looks like fall has finally arrived, my favorite time of the year. Not only because of the beautiful changing leaves, lovely weather, and not to mention football season, but because of all the wonderful fruits and vegetables that are in season such as sweet potatoes, squash, apples, various greens, and of course pumpkins! Because pumpkins are one of the staple fruits of fall, let’s dig into its nutritional benefits.

Pumpkins, also known as the squash fruit, are exceptionally high in antioxidant vitamins. A five pound pumpkin contains about 314% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamin A! Benefits of vitamin A include good vision, healthy skin, well developed teeth and bones, and protection from the daily toxic damage of oxidation. It also provides the body with other antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, which assist in lowering the risk of cancer, prevention of colds or infections, and protection from free radical damage to cells.

It is a great source of minerals such as calcium, copper, potassium, and phosphorus. Benefits of calcium include maintenance of strong bones and teeth. Copper aids in proper growth of the body and health of connective tissues, hair, and eyes. Potassium is essential for maintenance of blood pressure and renal function. Finally, phosphorus is also beneficial in healthy bone and teeth formation, as well as energy production from proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

We can also find many of pumpkin’s health benefits in just its seeds. According to “The World’s Healthiest Foods” online, pumpkin seeds are high in several nutrients such as manganese, tryptophan, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, protein, zinc, and iron. The seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which allows one to feel full faster and aids in digestion. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat that promotes good heart health and regulates cholesterol levels.

So, make sure to take out your favorite pumpkin pie or pumpkin bar recipe and get to baking! And don’t forget to make full use of the entire pumpkin. With the leftover pumpkin seeds, pop them into the oven to be roasted. Simply toss the seeds in a bowl with some melted butter and a little bit of salt, spread them out on a baking sheet, stick them into a 300 degree oven for about 45 minutes and they are done. There are several recipes to include this nutritious, fall fruit! Now get to experimenting!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and we hope to see you on our final market day of the season this Thursday!

– Sarah De Ocampo, Food and Nutrition Associate







Cash & Flash Mob the Market!

cash-mobWe are being taken over by enthusiastic shoppers this Thursday along with you as our regulars or maybe first timers! Join the Elgin Young Professionals Network and Dance It Off With Kim Studio in supporting their semi-annual CASH MOB & FLASH MOB! Read below about what it is about!!

“The cash mob is an event intended to create an influx of revenue for a local business or in this case, businesses!, by organizing a mob of people to go and spend at least $20 on a designated day. It shows our support for the “little guy,” not the big box stores! And this time, we’re mixing it up a bit! Kim and her flash mob will be joining us to mob the market! Make sure you make it down to the Harvest Market at 1:00 to witness our Cash Mob Flash Mob!!! (Feel free to join in by learning dance moves HERE!)

And that’s not all! All mobsters that check in at the Information booth when you enter the Market will receive a $1 off token to use at the vendor of their choice and an “I ❤ Mobs” sticker to show your support of this great event!

But we can’t do this without you… Tell your neighbors, friends and family. Post it on Facebook, Twitter and text it! EYPN “mobs” Elgin establishments twice a year, targeting a different business each time.”

Other updates & happenings at the market this week:

  • Remember to stock up for the winter, sign up for email lists with your favoritefall_foods_2 vendor, and bring your knives to get sharpened!
  • Auntie Vee’s cupcakes will be present and this is the last week for the Mirai Corn. Also Reader’s Apiaries and Grace Studio Farms will be absent this week but back for the last day!
  • “Family Yoga by the River” will have its last FREE session this Thursday 9:30am – 10am by the market and bike path with Daisy Bliss.
  • Kim’s Black Belt Academy will be out at the market 9am – 11am giving information and demonstrations.
  • Dorothy-Labuda-and-Chicagos-Favorite-Strolling-Violinist-at-the-Elgin-Harvest-MarketStrolling Violinist Jennifer Silk will be back 11:30am – 1pm to delight with various tunes!
  • Also Simple Balance Holistic center, Maximized Living/Judge Family Chiropractic, Davey Tree Expert Company, Community Crisis Center, and the Elgin Bicycle and pedestrian Advisory Committee will be out with information and helpful resources!
  • Don’t forget to use up your Harvest Market/BMO Harris tokens as well.  Just one more week left of the market!


With it being National Hispanic Heritage Month it seemed fitting to title this week’s blog “Vamonos”.  Vamonos can mean in Spanish either “Let’s go”, “We’re going/leaving”, or “Shall we go?”  With three weeks left of the market’s season I feel like all three of these encapsulate the feelings and reality of the market. Check below to see what I mean:

“Let’s Go.” 

  • FNM060112_008As customers we are running out of options on when we can go this particular market.  There is only this Thursday, September 19, September 26, or October 3.  This week there are several reasons to go as Early Bird Farm (pork) with the Twin Gardens Farm Mirai corn will be back and with us the remaining weeks of the market.
  • TIMC-logoIn celebration of Hispanic Heritage month we will have Rediscover Records, 9am – 11am pulling out classic songs on vinyl with this theme in mind, as well as our Mariachi singer Miguel Nuno who will come out noon – 2pm and serenade us!
  • Also the Hemmens Cultural Center and The Literacy Connection will be out with information on upcoming events, how to volunteer and get involved, and keeping you in the loop here in the Elgin community.

“We’re Going/Leaving.”

  • The market, being seasonal, will be gone in a few short weeks.  Now is the time tospices take advantage of vendors being close by and accessible to store up for the winter.  Though most vendors do have product throughout the winter and we will have a list of what markets, stores, etc. you can go to or how to contact them to restock, but it might be more of a wait and drive.
  • Also this week Auntie Vee’s cupcakes and Golden Eagle Hotdog will not be present at the market but will be back next week!
  • Lastly make sure to spend your purple, green, and BMO Harris tokens this year.  Because even though you can use your purple and green tokens next year, you know as well as I that they can easily get lost.  So spend them these last couple weeks.  Also BMO Harris tokens are not guaranteed to being available next year so use them up!

“Shall We Go?”
It is sometimes hard if you do not have the financial means to come to the market all the time.  But there are two reasons to come out to take advantage of free community offerings: