Drought, Heat Ends Farmers Market Early

Lake Zurich Heritage Farmers Market cancels rest of season.

Blame it on the heat. This summer's extreme temperatures kept people inside and the drought made it more difficult for local farmers to grow their crops. Lack of attendance and lack of vendors have resulted in an early end to this year's Lake Zurich Heritage Farmers Market, which was being held at Lions Park on Saturday mornings.

"I hate to blame it on the weather, but I do think that was it," said organizer Rob Boyce, who is also an organic grower. "I love the markets and even until the last Saturday, it was just me, but it was fun."

Boyce sells his produce at other farmers markets including Deerfield, Skokie, Mundelein and Ravinia. He said the more established markets are not as packed as usual, due to the heat. Farmers with irrigation problems do not have as much supply and have to raise their prices, he said. 

Boyce said he's thankful for the support of the and the . 

As a strong advocate of farmers markets, he intends to try again next year. He said volunteers to help with promotion are welcome. 

He may experiment with holding the market on a different day. This year it was held on Saturday mornings and the previous year on Friday evenings. Boyce said more people came out on Friday evenings. 

"As a vendor, I had people no matter. They came and bought their greens and their kale and whatever they liked," Boyce said.

Residents can still buy produce from Boyce at this business  on Old McHenry Road.

Other local farmer's markets are at Community Park in Hawthorn Woods on Friday

3-7 p.m.; Mundelein on Friday, 3-7 p.m.; Barrington on Thursday, 2-7 p.m.; and Wauconda on Thursday, 3-7 p.m. 


Peter Friddle August 08, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I wish that there was someone in the area that could organize a BIG farmer's market that really drew a crowd (and a LOT more vendors). All of these little markets are poorly attended and I'm sure that they're not very productive for the vendors. Check out downtown Madison, WI on a Saturday morning or drive into the city to see farmer's markets that rock with great produce, fun vendors and so much more ENERGY!!
DaddyO August 08, 2012 at 02:18 PM
We had a farmers market?? I have driven by the Hawthorn Woods farmers market before, which is pretty pathetic. I imagine LZ is the same. I like Peters idea to stop with all the little markets and organize and advertise a large one.
kel August 08, 2012 at 02:34 PM
There are a lot of local, very large, farmers markets in our area. Grayslake, Barrington and Palatine all have very nice selections. The Mundelein one isn't bad, either. Here is a list of local markets: http://www.agr.state.il.us/wherefreshis/listing.php
Lead Follow or Get Out of the Way August 08, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Peter, I agree and I disagree. I have frequented both the farmer's markets in Wauconda and Barrington and they are very, very busy. Obviously, they are doing something right. I believe the LZ market failed because of 1) Location 2) Lack of vendors (as well as inappropriate choice of vendors and entertainment 3) Inadequate/antiquated marketing. The LZ market needs a better location. By the time you’ve see it, you've driven past it. And sorry, but no one is driving through downtown LZ on a Saturday morning unless they are already on their way to some place else. I might suggest looking at the following locations: back of the Ela Library parking, Paulus lot, Old K-Mart lot, back of the Regal lot. I would suggest closing Main Street and having in the street as Barrington and Wauconda, but the street closure would be even more reason for people to avoid downtown. Perhaps closing and having it on Lions Drive? People could still use Jaime to get around the market as they do for AlpineFest. Continued...
Lead Follow or Get Out of the Way August 08, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Is anyone doing an analysis of what is working for these other markets and what is different at ours? For example, I do not see Tupperware being sold at these other markets. I see food vendors, unique offerings, and child friendly entertainment. In addition, a little research and some advanced planning could beef up the entertainment with a weekly line up of local talent. Many groups would be thrilled to perform for no cost and it would bring in their parents and other family members. Continued...
Lead Follow or Get Out of the Way August 08, 2012 at 03:52 PM
The marketing of the LZ market needs to change as well. This is 2012, not 1912. An online search for Lake Zurich farmers market finds mentions in The Patch, Courier (which no one pays any attention to any longer), the LZ Lion’s Club website (well that covers about .01% of the LZ area population), Lake County tourism site, the LZACC site, and a mass listing of all markets in the state. I found these ONLY by searching by ‘Lake Zurich farmer’s market’. When I search NW suburban farmer’s markets LZ does not show up in any searches. People are not going to search by your town name if they don’t know you exist. Where the LZ market is not listed is in the TribLocal Farmer's Market Guide, which should have been at best, the first advertising that was done. Lake Zurich is also not listed in the NW Suburban FM Guide. Goggle ‘suburban farmers markets 2012’, and see what search results you receive. The TribLocal listing is the second result. Continued...
Lead Follow or Get Out of the Way August 08, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Before you go and blame it on the weather, take a harder look at the real reasons why the LZ market did not succeed for the second year in a row. Market to how people search; be where people are; learn what people want and provide it. I would be happy to help on a committee charged with making a future LZ market successful.


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