In the last half hour of the last day of the season for the Downtown Evanston Farmers’ Market, there was driving rain.

Tylor Schaloert of Geneva Lakes Produce loads up the truck on Saturday, Nov. 5.

Adding to the rain were high winds, with some gusts predicted by the National Weather Service to be as much as 65 miles an hour. The High Wind Warning was put into effect shortly before 11 a.m. and not scheduled to end until 7 p.m.

Worker for Geneva Farms Produce runs after a carton. Credit: Susy Schultz

It sent tents flapping, empty boxes, bags and milk cartons flying and people scrambling.

“Obviously, this wasn’t the best day we’ve had,” said Tylor Schaloert as he loaded up the truck for Geneva Lakes Produce in Burlington, Wis. “But it’s been a great season.”

The elements didn’t impede shopping. Hannah Boyd of Evanston was looking over the greens at the Geneva Lake stall and said, she knew it was the last market: “That’s why we came, to get the last fruits of the season.”

The last hour of the last Downtown Evanston Farmers’ Market of the season. Ram Vokkarane and Hannah Boyd, both of Evanston, look through greens as Tylor Schaloert of Geneva Lakes Produce loads up the truck. Credit: Susy Schultz

She and Ram Vokkarane, also of Evanston, had gone to yoga and then came to the market. “It is the best farmers’ market there is,” Boyd said, as a gust of wind knocked the crates of dried sunflowers off of the table and sent them sailing across the ground past a large carton of pumpkins. Vokkarane kindly went after it and placed it back on the table.

Down the way, Dimitra Gianes, who now lives in Rogers Park but is originally from Evanston, was reading a sign describing the different types of winter squash. “Yes, it is always sad” on the last day of the market, she said. She took stock of what she already had: “Let’s see. I’ve already got radishes and parsley.”

Dimitra Gianes, who is originally from Evanston but now lives in Rogers Park, stands firm against the cold wind as she shops for winter squash from Geneva Lakes Produce. She already had radishes and parsley in her bag from Nichols Farm and Orchard. Credit: Susy Schultz

But the wind also seemed to blow away any last vestiges of sentimentality as Gianes looked up at the squash, took a step backward, clutched her blue cloth bag and planted herself as another gust blew in, lifting the sign in front of her to a 90-degree angle.

Workers from K & K Farms load up the bushels of Honeycrisp apples. Credit: Susy Schultz

The group selling baked breads, scones and cookies for Misericordia Home was trying to decide whether to pack up as the rain picked up. “We might leave a little early,” one of the workers in the red aprons said, smiling and wiping her glasses off.

But the staff at K & K Farms, which was set up along University Place on the northern end of the market, were still selling bushels of bright red Honeycrisp apples up even as others trucks were pulling away.

Susy Schultz

Susy Schultz is the editor of the Evanston Roundtable. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years, and is the former president of Public Narrative, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching journalists and...

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