Asparagus-palooza at the Green City Market in Chicago

[Photographs: Chelsea Ross]

Green City Market launched its outdoor season a couple weeks ago, and judging by the hordes of shoppers streaming through the market this past weekend, Chicagoans are hungry for farm-fresh provisions. Saturday's market was on the chilly side, but that didn't stop local residents and chefs from stockpiling asparagus, dairy, mushrooms, preserves, and more asparagus. It's pretty much asparaguspalooza at the market these days, as it's one of the earlier items to come into season while farmers twiddle their green thumbs waiting for rhubarb, strawberries, and the like. Shoppers can stock up on stalks from a number of different farms, plus eat asparagus salad and purchase pickled asparagus.

A few new vendors joined the ranks this season, including Castle Rock Creamery and Honest Meal Project, making for a veritable carnival of Midwestern food. There looks to be more prepared foods than ever this year too, from mushroom tamales and bacon cookies to asparagus salads and the always popular crêpes. Especially on Saturdays, make sure you arrive earlier than 11:00 a.m. if you don't want to miss out on popular items (the other market day, Wednesday, is slightly less dog-eat-dog). Chef demonstrations are going strong, featuring a different Chicago chef cooking market food at 10:30 a.m. Check the Green City Market website for vendor info and chef demo schedule.

The Green City Market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive from May 4 through October 26, 2013. It is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.