The market is an ideal place for open air mingling and reconnecting. (Karen Torme Olson/H-F Chronicle)
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Homewood’s Summer Farmers’ Market appeals to all the senses 

The market is an ideal place for open air mingling and reconnecting. (Karen Torme Olson/H-F Chronicle)
The market is an ideal place for open air mingling and reconnecting. (Karen Torme Olson/H-F Chronicle)

Homewood kicked off its 42nd Farmers’ Market summer season at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 25, under a cloudless sky with temperatures in the 70s. 

A steady stream of early shoppers trickled into Martin Square just off Ridge Road in downtown Homewood. Some were just out for a walk; others arrived to peruse the colorful displays of local produce, flowers and artisan handiwork. 

Kiosks showcasing wares from perennial favorites like Six Generations’ Farms, 40 Life Candles, TJ’s Kettle Corn & Nuts, and Stamper’s Cheese Company were joined by newcomers Thrive Mushrooms and Funny Farm Creations. 

Guitarists Andrew Moreno (left) and Justin Prez team fill the Market air with beautiful music. The duo said they were booked to play a festival in Pilsen after the Market. (Karen Torme Olson/H-F Chronicle)
Guitarists Andrew Moreno (left) and Justin Prez fill
the Market air with beautiful music. The duo said
they were booked to play a festival in Pilsen after
the Market. (Karen Torme Olson/H-F Chronicle)

Music from the guitars of Justin Prez of South Holland and Andrew Moreno of Oak Lawn floated through the market, completing the sensory experience, thankfully without any singing accompaniment from the thousands of cicadas that emerged this week.

“I come here every year to get fresh produce,” said Homewood resident Tiffany Vaughn, who brought her almost-two-year-old son Henry. Henry seemed to be taking in all the sounds and colors of the market from his stroller while Vaughn made her choices from Six Generations’ grower Eligio Figueroa’s displays of fruits and vegetables. Figueroa and his wife, Martha, have been selling Six Generations’ fruits and vegetables at the market for the last 10 years.

Farther down the vendor strip, Thrive Mushrooms and Funny Farm Creations drew the most attention.

Gulcin Tasyurek of Flossmoor and Thrive Mushrooms explains the benefits of eating Oyster and Lion’s Mane mushrooms and products as well as ways to integrate mushrooms in cuisine. (Karen Torme Olson/H-F Chronicle)
Gulcin Tasyurek of Flossmoor and Thrive Mushrooms explains
the benefits of eating Oyster and Lion’s Mane mushrooms
and products as well as ways to integrate mushrooms in cuisine.
(Karen Torme Olson/H-F Chronicle)

Flossmoor resident Gulcin Tasyurek’s fresh Oyster and Lion’s Mane mushrooms, grown at the family’s Kankakee farm, attracted many health-conscious customers, as did her mushroom powder and tincture. 

“The mushroom powder is made from Oyster mushrooms. I put it in my tea, and it helps me sleep,” she said. “The tincture is a double extraction made from Lion’s Mane mushrooms.” Lion’s Mane mushrooms are said to boost immune support and improve cognitive functions. 

Funny Farm Creations, brainchild of Christine Knoll of Aurora, seemed to capture the “kid” crowd with “Farm Fresh 3-D Prints” of real and imaginary creatures. Knoll says she has a background in both art and tech and merged those skill areas to make eye-catching whimsical dragons and fidget toys with a 3-D printer.  Knoll also sells her wares through an Etsy store and at a physical booth (F-7) at the Painted Tree Boutiques in Naperville.  “It’s a side-gig, but I love it,” she said. 

The mother-daughter team of Jontil Grubbs and Donna Moran offered Moran’s brilliantly colored jewelry creations made from wood, while a few kiosks away, Paulette Arredondo of Homewood displayed her sparkling jewelry, hand-made from metal and stones.  

Moran said she started making jewelry just for something to do while Arredondo said that her foray into jewelry-making was inspired by her daughter, who had made jewelry for years but gave it up when she married and had children. Arrendondo said she “inherited” her daughter’s supplies, taught herself the craft, and polished her skills by watching YouTube videos. “You can learn to do almost anything on YouTube,” she said. 

At another kiosk, the father-son team of Tyler and Jay Tempco of Momence were hand-pressing fruit to make three varieties of fresh lemon, raspberry and mango drinks, all perfect accompaniments for their marquee products, TJ’s Kettle Corn and Nuts. 

The Homewood Farmer’s Market will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through Oct. 12.

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