farmers market

Spring is here, flowers are in full bloom and the weather is getting warmer. Luckily for Illinoisans, this also means that farmers markets are popping up across the state. With the third highest concentration of farmers markets in the country, Illinois residents should have no problem finding a market nearby to purchase local produce and goods. And Illinois MarketMaker makes the search for a local farmers market incredibly easy. Click here to search the MarketMaker database and find nearby farmers markets.

During the past 20 years, the number of farmers’ markets nationwide has increased from 1,755 markets to more than 8,000 today. These direct-to-consumer markets help generate millions of dollars in economic activity, expanding the number of nutritional options and opportunities for market participants as well as surrounding businesses. Make sure to get out and show your support for local farmers by visiting one of the many farmers markets across this great state.

Sarah Kaiser.Head Shot smSarah Kaiser is an Evanston based artist and teacher who received her MA in Art History and MFA from the University of Chicago. Her work focuses on the juxtaposition of figures, animals and patterns unified by a nature-inspired color palette.

She mainly works in oils, using gestural brushstrokes to convey universal themes such as the transience of life, the persistence of time, and the relationship between humans and nature.

ILI: How long have you been an artist or when did you start? Was there a single incident or moment when you realized this was your passion and if so, tell us about it?Evanich Commission Detail Shot sm

Kaiser: My earliest recollection of making art comes from a photograph my mother took of me when I was three or four years old. I was painting with watercolors, and I remember that there was a picture of Donald Duck on the tin paint box. At the moment in which the photo was taken, I told her that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. I’m glad she encouraged me. Since I was an only child until age 13, I also needed to fill the time, so I turned to drawing and painting. Mom and I moved often because of her job. I went to 7 different schools between kindergarten and the 12th grade. As a result, I was often the new kid at school, and had to make new friends. This meant that I often had to play alone. When I was bored, I would make art.

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23242970312 31f663aeb5 bAre you in Chicago and looking for some good deep dish pizza? Are you looking for the best deep dish pizza? Then look no further than Pequod’s on Clybourn Avenue. Recently named the “Best Pizza in Illinois” by The Daily Meal, Pequod’s has been serving up Chicago’s signature pizza for 25 years.

What sets Pequod’s deep dish apart from the others you might ask? Pequod’s famous “caramelized crust,” which the Daily Meal described as “chewy, crusty, quasi-burnt cheese crust that forms the outer edge of this cheesy casserole.”

The Daily Meal set out several criteria for their rankings. The rankings looked at over 800 restaurants across the nation whose menu was entirely pizza or had a section completely dedicated to pizza. They then had a panel choose the best location in each state.

This isn’t the first time Pequod’s has been recognized, either. In 2015, the Food Network named Pequod’s one of the top five pizza places in the entire country.

Whether you’re in the mood for pizza, pasta or an Italian beef sandwich, Pequod’s is the neighborhood place to fill up with family. For more information about what Pequod’s locations have to offer, you can visit their website here.

Located on the West Side of Chicago, Garfield Park is a jewel in the “emerald necklace,” a ring of parks and tree-lined boulevards built around what was the western edge of the city in the middle of the 19th century. The goal of this development was to make urban living more active and healthy. Covering about 185 acres of land with recreation facilities, green space, Prairie-style buildings and its famous Conservatory, Garfield Park remains true to the vision put forth by its founders in 1869.

Garfield Park is best known for its conservatory, which has been described as “landscape architecture under glass.” The Garfield Park Conservatory is about two acres in size. It is designed to resemble a haystack, a nod to the Midwest’s agricultural tradition and connection to nature.

The month of April is the height of The Garfield Park Conservatory Spring Flower Show, a yearly exhibition that runs from mid-February to mid-May. In honor of the Chicago Cubs’ recent World Series victory, this year’s theme is “Spring Training.” The exhibition, which features azaleas, tulips, snapdragons and camellias, is decorated with homages to baseball in Chicago. The conservatory is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of Wednesdays, when the conservatory stays open until 8 p.m.

With its rare plants and expert landscape design, the Conservatory has drawn people to Garfield Park since it opened in 1908, but there are numerous other attractions and amenities. Garfield Park is home to several statues and monuments, baseball fields, boxing, basketball, gymnastics and fitness facilities, football and soccer fields, multiple playgrounds, a lagoon for fishing and much more. While the conservatory closes early, the park is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day.

As the weather warms and green leaves return to trees, the emerald necklace begins to take on the green hue that has made it popular for nearly 150 years. There is perhaps no better time to take advantage of all that Garfield Park has to offer.

Every year, seniors in college start to weigh what their options could be if they attend a graduate program. Many factors are considered when making that decision. Illinois schools have tried to take those factors into consideration and have been ranked highly recently for offering some of the best graduate programs in the country.

Recently, the U.S. News & World Report revealed rankings for graduate school programs. The rankings are intended to help prospective students when they are looking for a graduate program of their choice. The disciplines included in the ratings are business, law, engineering, education, medicine and nursing.

Illinois was well represented throughout the rankings.

UChicago Booth SchoolThe University of Chicago Booth School of BusinessThe University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern both ranked in the top five nationwide in schools to receive a master of business administration degree.

Northwestern also received a top 10 ranking for law and education. The University of Chicago joined Northwestern as a top 10 school for a law degree as well ranking No. 3 nationwide.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also was awarded with a top 10 ranking for those looking to get a graduate degree in engineering.

Graduate students across the country and world attend Illinois schools to get a top-notch education. With these most recent rankings, that does not look like it will end any time soon.