An indoor winter farmer’s market was something I had to check out. Not only because I’m a new member of Temple Sholom’s Eco Chavurah, but because I really couldn’t think of what in the world could be grown during this “chiberia” winter. Coming from Miami, when winter is the growing season, I knew that Chicago and the surrounding area was going to be quite different. I was pleasantly surprised by all the goodies at the market, and it was great to see so many people enjoying the offerings of the vendors.
I admit, I can be a pretty good shopper. I started at one end of Bettie Port Hall and circled around to the other end. It was fun and I definitely bought things to help me make it through the cold. I bought some cinnamon honey and then some loose leaf tea called “cozy fire” and a pack of single-use filters. I’m feeling warmer already! I bought some dried vegetable soup mixes, a few for my family and some to give as gifts, and for my winter-dry skin, I bought a salt scrub. The other thing I bought which really makes no sense for the winter season was a pint of ice cream. I know some people just won’t understand how even ice cream is really good in the winter. It just is, especially if it is salted caramel. Come on, how can anyone resist that?
After I was finished shopping, I found myself back at the entrance in front of a booth that had a crafts activity. Actually in my mind it was a Jewish educational activity where people could decorate a small ceramic pot and plant parsley seeds. After all, we were gathering at the winter’s market right before the holiday of Tu b’Shevat- the Jewish new year for the trees. Planting parsley seeds is a great way to connect to the miracle of nature and rebirth and with luck, water and some sunshine I will have some fresh, homegrown parsley for my seder. By Passover this cold winter will surely be a memory, right? Please say so-although I’m sure I will soon be hearing stories of snow during Passover in Chicago!
I hope our wonderful Eco Chavurah will continue to have more farmer’s markets at Temple Sholom. It was terrific! Stay warm everyone.
Melanie Cole Goldberg is a long time Jewish educator and new personal stylist with J.Hilburn a men’s luxury clothing company. She is a volunteer leader with the National Association of Temple Educators and loves to bake challah for Shabbat each week.