For the last 19 years, gardeners, farmers, and antique collectors have gathered in the grounds of the Dundee Township Visitor’s Center every Saturday starting in May to sell their wares as the Old Dundee Farmers Market.
This year they will do the same, one year away from its 20th anniversary and far from its early days when only three vendors opened their booths.
Except for the number of vendors and customers, not much has changed since the first year.
“That year we had three farmers,” said market manager Bill Zelsdorf. “Now, we have a mailing consisting of 350 names and contacts of more than 600 people.”
According to the market’s website, there are about 40 vendors per week.
The price for booth space has not changed much. Vendors pay $20 a week for unlimited space, and they can sell pretty much of anything except for weapons, illegal drugs, alcohol and pornographic material.
The length and hours of the markets also hasn’t changed. It begins in the middle of May; this year its first Saturday was May 12, and it runs until the last Saturday in October. Its hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We still have many of the original vendors,” Zelsdorf said. “They don’t sign contracts and they’re not required to follow a lot of rules. It’s informal. This is more of a mom and pop organization than a large corporation.”
Attend the market and there will be few, if any, complaints from customers and vendors. Some may complain about the weather, but who can control that?
The summer’s largest tomato and largest fall pumpkin contests also are longtime market favorites. Customers still bring their prize produce to the East Dundee business district along North River Street with the hopes of earning bragging rights for their green thumbs.
The market has gained much of its popularity because of its location. North River Street is on one side of it and the Kane County bike path is on the other side.
For more information about the market, visit dundeedepot.com, or call the center at (847) 426-4307. The Dundee Depot also has a Facebook page.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.