Last week, the market was booming with peaches, berries, and musicians. The jazzy clarinet-guitar duo was back, this time accompanied by a drummer. They were piping out jazz tunes to a large audience. I even saw a few old-timers and some teeny kiddos bopping along to the music. There was quite the crowd around the honey stand when we arrived, all in search of that yummy clover sweetness. Lots of kids were participating in the Sprouts program, adults were chatting away with their neighbors, and the vendors were stocked full of delicious produce. All and all, a great Saturday at the Market. If you missed out, be sure to drop by this week, as the Market promises to be just as lively.
Sprouts at the Market was really fun last week. Did you see all the little ones wandering around the Market clutching their “tasting sheets”? Super cute! I interviewed a little friend of mine and she was excited that she’d tried beets, a vegetable her mom says she refused to try at home. Sprouts at the Market making veggie lovers, one kid at a time. There are more Sprout events coming up this summer, so stay tuned for more veggie fun!
This Saturday, there will be a blood drive hosted by Community Blood Services of Illinois. The blood drive will provide much needed blood for the local community, so if you can donate, please consider doing so. Donors will receive a free t-shirt and be entered in a drawing for a $100 gas card. The Community Blood Services mobile donor center will be parked near Walnut and Illinois, and the drive will go from 8 a.m. to noon. For more information about this event, visit this website.
Produce galore is predicted for the Market this Satuday. There will be peaches, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, gooseberries, greens, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, broccoli, sweet corn, and so much more. As usual, there will also be local, grass fed meats, chicken eggs, cheeses, and even duck eggs. If you plan to buy meats, eggs, cheese, or gelato, you may want to consider bringing a cooler to the Market in your trunk, because it is predicted to be a hot one. But, while the weather might be heating up, we have definitely hit the time in the summer when fruit is abundant and it is time for making pies and cobblers. I highly recommend peach pie with a little vanilla goats milk gelato on top — yum! You can also see what Jess did with a half peck of peaches here.
Craft vendors and baked goods will be also abundant at the Market. Last week, I checked out some heavenly scented, locally made soaps, and I really wanted to buy one of each scent. The craft offerings are really great — check them out if you get the chance. I also love to browse all the community tents and see what is happening in our local community. Last week, the UIUC geometry lab was 3D printing crafts for kids that looked really fun. So, don’t skip that last row of tents. You never know what you might find!
Heads up for Art at the Market lovers — Art at the Market will return next week, July 20. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to make your own Market art. For more information see here.
Forms of payment: All vendors accept cash, and a few may take checks. Some vendors have card readers on their smart phones, but I haven’t seen too many of those. See information about LINK tokens here. If you run out of cash at the Market, there is an ATM in the Lincoln Square Mall.
Parking: Free parking is available in the parking lots surrounding Lincoln Square Mall and the lot south of Illinois Street. Bike parking is also available at the entrances to the mall and at the bike corral area past the entrance to the Market off of Illinois.
Information: Get information about the Market. You can follow the Market on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for Market mail here. There is a map of the vendors here. If you want more information you can email Market Director Natalie Kenny Marquez or call her at (217) 384.2319. And check out the Market flickr for some fun photos of the Market in full swing. You might even see a few of yourself!
The Market runs from 7 a.m. to noon every Saturday through November 2. All events are scheduled rain or shine. C-U at the Market!