A group of Evanstonians, representing farmers and consumers, is being formed to enhance the success of the farmers markets in Evanston.

The group, tentatively named “Friends of the Markets,” hopes to increase sales and attendance at Evanston’s main market, held Saturdays behind the Hilton Garden Inn, and smaller markets held Saturdays at Church Street and Dodge Avenue and Wednesdays at Ridge Avenue and South Boulevard.

One of the organizers, Vikki Proctor, a former District 65 schoolteacher whose son, Chad, along with Danika Murray, owns and operates Lake Breeze Organics in Michigan, said she hopes the new organization will help the Evanston markets to become “the best and healthiest show in town” by providing access to a rich variety of healthy foods for all Evanstonians.

The group has established three goals:

  • To support and improve the markets for farmers and consumers.
  • To market the markets.
  • To educate people about the many issues of farming and the importance of local markets.

Among plans are to encourage Evanstonians to sign up for regular e-mails that will tell the kinds of fruits and vegetables that are coming the next week and to provide recipes to help people cook local foods that they may be unfamiliar with.

In the next few weeks, organizers plan to visit successful markets throughout the state and to survey farmers at the Evanston markets for ideas for improving those markets for both farmers and consumers.

Persons interested in supporting the project can contact the organizers by e-mail at evanstonsfarmersmarkets@gmail.com.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. Accurate contact information?

    I’ve tried the email address listed in this article twice (I cut and pasted it, so it isn’t mistyped) and it bounced back both times.  Could you verify the contact information that you listed?  Is there a website? 

  2. Wilmette’s farmer’s market is

    Wilmette’s farmer’s market is great and at exactly the same day/time as the Evanston market – what about combining forces and making it one bigger and better market? Being on the north side of Evanston, both are about the same distance/time to get to and Wilmette wins hands-down right now. Part of the draw is having good diversity – farm-fresh produce is great, but having a few good bakeries and other vendors rounds things out nicely.

    1. That would be nice

      Evanston combine resources with a North Shore community like Wilmette? 

      Funny, would never happen.

      Too much political disharmony here in Evanston against the North Shore.  Wealth and success is to be demonized and attacked.

      Thanks leftist Evanston.  What a wonderful place to live – NOT!

  3. I just moved here from

    I just moved here from Chicago and I was surprised that the Evanston and Wilmette markets are both more expensive thanthe Chicago markets. Many of the vendors go to both markets and yet their pricing is very different. I’m also surprised that dogs are not allowed at the markets. In all the years of going to the Chicago farmers markets, I’ve never seen a problem with the dogs at the markets.



    1. Market Prices

      The Evanston market is great to walk through on a nice day, but for the most part the prices are just this side of robbery.  I’m always surprised that people are buying so much considering the prices are better just about anywhere else, often for the same produce from the same vendors.

  4. Keep market in Evanston

    Let’s NOT combine with Wilmette.  Smaller and closer is more appealing to me than bigger and further north.  I bike to our market from south Evanston and would not relish an additional 15-minute ride.  Would also make it harder for me to combine with other errands in downtown Evanston.  Why do they charge more?  Because people will pay the extra.  And we don’t go to the cheaper markets in Chicago because this one is closer to home on the day we can readily use it.

  5. Farmers Markets and Low Income Shoppers

    A recent PBS program had a story about farmers that used the market concept to provide food to low income individuals who could not afford fresh fruits and vegetables.

    From comments it sounds like the current Farmers Markets in Evanston and Wilmette have higher prices than grocery stores [maybe the quality is better] and no provision for low income support.

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