There are weekly farmers markets throughout downtown Chicago. The one that is closest to me is the one in Daley Plaza. This year it's on Thursdays.
Every year, I wait for the fresh basil to come in at Smits Farms. When it does, I buy two big bunches, and call my cousins for my annual Pesto night. I think the pesto is best if the basil is young at the beginning of the season. If they are free, they come over, and I open a bottle of red wine, put Puccini on the stereo, and make a huge batch of pesto. We have an awesome dinner, and they get pesto to take home. I freeze the rest to enjoy for the next year.
Smits must have got tired of people asking constantly if the basil is in yet, because this chalk board is new this year :-D
I can hardly wait . . . :-)