NewsGreen City Market Aims to Open Early, April 6 in Lincoln Park, May 4 in West Loop

Posted Mar 26, 2024

Vendor fees fund only 50% of the cost to run GCM’s markets; organizers are depending on community support to fund an extended season.

To unlock more economic opportunities for local farmers and increase access to nutritious produce for food-insecure neighbors, Green City Market (GCM) is set to relaunch its outdoor farmers’ market season a month ahead of schedule and reopen its Lincoln Park location on Saturday, April 6, 2024, and its West Loop location on Saturday, May 4, 2024. 

In 2023, GCM welcomed 445,000 customers as demand for local, sustainably-produced food skyrocketed. This year, to meet this ongoing demand, GCM recently launched a campaign to raise funds to support the increased costs of operating an extended season while ensuring the market remains affordable for its small-scale, local farmers during the crucial spring season.

“With peak market season still months away, many farmers are grappling with the financial burden of preparing for the upcoming season at a time of year when their cash flow is at its lowest,” said GCM Executive Director Mandy Moody. “While we’re more than ready to open early, added markets create added expenses, and we rely on donations from our community in order to continue scaling market frequency and support our farmers after the challenging winter months.” 

Customers are eager for an early start too: “There is more [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP] matching here than at other markets,” said a participant of GCM For All, the organization’s program dedicated to expanding food access to Chicagoans facing food insecurity. Last year, the program generated more than $279,000 in purchasing power for food-insecure Chicagoans. The shopper continued, “I want to support the farmers. If farmers don’t do what they do, we don’t eat."

Kyle Jacobson of Jacobson Family Farms and GCM vendor shared, 

“Early spring is the scariest financial time for us, so having Green City Market open in April is our saving grace. It also allows our planting schedule to be much more fluid. For a smaller farm like ours, allowing us to capitalize during the shoulder seasons is essential. It allows us to survive.”

In 2024, GCM Lincoln Park plans to operate every Saturday from April 6 through November 23 and on Wednesdays starting May 1 through October 30 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. GCM West Loop will operate every Saturday, May 4 through November 23, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 115 S. Sangamon St. 

GCM’s 2024 extended outdoor season will feature 60+ local farmers and food producers, including longtime favorites like Nichols Farm & Orchard and Mick Klug Farm, as well as nine new vendors, such as Willowbrook Farms, Chicago Farm Flowers, and Gaijin (a full list of vendors is available on the GCM website). 

View upcoming markets and plan your visit at   

Plan Your Visit