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Sustainability, Freshness Inspire Green City Market

The Green City Market

The Green City Market in Lincoln Park. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) - More than 60 local farmers are featured at the Green City Market, located right across Stockton Drive from Lincoln Park Zoo.

But as CBS 2’s Susan Carlson reports, it’s not like any other open market out there – and maybe that’s why attendance is growing like a weed.

The Green City Market is now in its 12th year, as the only year-round farmers market in the city. It’s also the only farmers market that is truly green.

“Green City Market is driven by a mission of supporting farmers that use local, sustainable agricultural practices,” said executive director Lyle Allen.

That means all the participating farmers eliminated pesticides to preserve the land, and treat animals humanely. The market caters to those who want to live green, and/or eat greens.

“We specialize in micro-greens, and micro-greens are the baby versions of all the plants you see here,” said Dana Altman of Champaign-based Tiny Green Farms. “They’re the first sprouts that come up, they’re super nutritious.”

The Green City Market is home to what is likely the only organic and vegan fast food stand, where you can sample hummus and order a tofu sandwich to go.

“This really gives people an opportunity to eat when you’re out and about, instead of stopping for something fried,” said Tiny Greens Chef Paula Jeremias.

The number of visitors to the Green City Market has doubled in recent years to about 80,000 people a year.

“The plums taste better, so the jam tastes better,” one customer said.

For those who are used to buying organic, another customer said, “I like this, because it’s a little more affordable than in some stores.”

Says Allen: “It’s important to help support the movement, and ultimately help support family farms that are preserving agriculture and land for generations to come.”

The Green City Market is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., year-round. It is held outdoors through the end of October, then moves inside to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Dr.