NewsLocal Food Forum: Green City Market’s Sustainable Supper Series

Posted Jun 29, 2022

During the off season, Green City Market began hosting a Sustainable Supper Series that features and cultivates conversation on local sustainable food and the farmers who grow it. Grace Novacek, GCM Programs Manager, recently wrote a reflection on GCM's Sustainable Supper Series in Local Food Forum

Give it a read below and stay tuned for more info on our upcoming events this fall.

Green City Market (GCM), the nonprofit organization behind Chicago’s premier sustainable farmers markets in Lincoln Park and the West Loop, is hosting our first series of local food-focused dining experiences this year: the Sustainable Supper Series!

So far, GCM has hosted two sustainable suppers, the first in March at Big Delicious Planet, a farm-to-table catering company in the West Town neighborhood that sources ingredients from their on-site urban farm, and the second in April at Cultivate by Forbidden Root, a vegetable-forward pub and botanical-inspired brewery in the Ravenswood community.

At Green City Market, our team is on a mission to secure the future of food by deepening support for sustainable farmers, educating our community and expanding access to locally grown food — our three pillars.

While our Wednesday and Saturday farmers markets in Lincoln Park and our Saturday-only market in the West Loop are our best-known program, Green City puts on a variety of programming, designed with our three mission pillars in mind.

This is why we created the Sustainable Supper Series as a space to foster educational, interactive conversations about the local food system. 

Each event includes a three-course meal and beverage pairing, and features a lively panel discussion about the local food system led by Mandy Moody, Green City Market’s Executive Director. Kicking off the series in March 2022, GCM invited Hayden Holbert, owner of Wisconsin’s Avrom Farm and long-time market vendor, , and Heidi Moorman Coudal, owner and culinary director of Big Delicious Planet, to explore the topic, “What is local food, really?”

The event series continued in April, when we were joined by two leading growers from Chicago’s South Side, Stephanie Dunn of Star Farm Chicago and Janelle St. John of Growing Home, to discuss the importance of community and nonprofit urban farming.

The Sustainable Supper Series highlights local sustainable farmers because community members so rarely get the chance to hear firsthand from farmers about how we can support their work. Our investment in their business, material or otherwise, affects what they’re able to accomplish. For instance, supporting Star Farm and Growing Home broadens their abilities to provide job training and community resources, and supporting Avrom Farm allows them to expand their regenerative agriculture practices. 

Showcasing these farms can also broaden our ideas of what a farm looks like! Avrom Farm is unique in that the entire staff (including owner Holbert) is under the age of 30. Growing Home and Star Farm provide job training for folks interested in farming at any point in their lives, reinforcing that the next generation of farmers can be cultivated at any age.

Green City Market believes in fortifying and expanding relationships between farmers and members of the culinary community in order to deepen support for sustainable farming and bolster the next generation of farmers in the Midwest. GCM believes it is absolutely crucial that we foster a community around sustainable food, and encourage a learning environment for people of any age to come and engage with the local food system.

Although these two suppers have passed, we still have plenty of events coming up in the future that were developed with these goals in mind. We have two more Sustainable Suppers in October and November — stay tuned for panel guests, restaurant details, and ticket sales. 

And don’t forget our Chef BBQ, which is both the biggest fundraiser for GCM’s programs and the most anticipated annual tasting event in Chicago. Chef BBQ 2022 is scheduled for September 8 and tickets go on sale soon.

During peak harvesting season, we’re focused on our markets, which are in Lincoln Park on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. - 1 p.m. and in the West Loop on Saturdays from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., from May to November. But when the season ends in November, it doesn’t mean our programming is ending! In the fall, we have plenty of opportunities for members of our community to get involved and learn about sustainable farming and local food. 

Green City Market’s events give you the chance to connect with your community and meet new people, and to brainstorm about what our role in the local food system can look like. Sharing a meal is a sweet and intimate way to do so. Look out for more details about the next Sustainable Supper coming soon and subscribe to the Green City Market newsletter to stay connected. 

Subscribe Now