At last weekend’s Market I saw pumpkins, eucalyptus, and so-called “Indian” corn, and this weekend I’m expecting fall displays, but I also know that summer is not officially over until the Fall Equinox next week; tomatoes and peppers are still in control, there will still be peaches and it’s going to be 85 degrees on Saturday. So there.
Yes, the weather. Last weekend had a soggy beginning but turned out most excellently, and this weekend’s Market looks to be the stuff of which early fall dreams are made. Get thee out to the Market, and bring your shopping bags and some sunscreen. It’s going to be that kind of day when you stand around and jaw with your friends and neighbors between produce sessions.
Summer’s last(ish) hurrah at the Market this week: green beans, rainbow chard, okra, cabbage, fresh herbs, lettuces, salad mix, many varieties of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, summer squash, early winter squash & pumpkins, peaches, nectarines, plums, (come early for the stone fruit!) apples, eggplant, sweet corn, potatoes, garlic, fresh whole onions, all kinds of melons, the odd berry, and who knows what else.
Of course, there will be a vast array of frozen, farm-raised meat at the Market, as always, as well as eggs, goat cheese, honey, and baked goods. As for prepared foods, Veggie Trails, is back to supply you with their veggie chili bowls and suchlike. Fryer Tuck is absent this week, but will be back next week. Tiny Greens makes wicked, sprouty sandwiches and wraps. The cupcake lady from last week is back and will be located in the same spot (Row 5, yo). MW plans on buying some English muffins for Sunday AM breakfast. Shop all five rows of the Market this weekend to make sure you don’t miss anything — we hear the Market will be quite full.
Special events this week: Sprouts at the Market is back this week.The Market’s very popular nutrition and farm linkage programming for kids ages 3-8 has a new partner this month — the U of I’s Family Resiliency Center is encouraging kids to “eat a rainbow” at this weekend’s Market. There’ll be food tasting for the kids, nutrition information, and special giveaways while supplies last!
Additionally, the folks from Community Blood Services of Illinois will be out for the season’s final Bloodmobile. Look for them in the barricaded area on Walnut Street, just west of the Market.
This just in — additional parking just south of the Market site (and west of the dry cleaner’s) has opened up! Look for more bike parking over there, too.
Just a reminder to all users of credit, debit and LINK cards: the Market now accepts all of these at the City tent. You can bring your card(s) to the tent, located at the Market’s NW entrance, get them swiped for whatever transaction amount you desire (credit and debit purchases carry a one dollar service charge), and you’ll get tokens that are spendable anywhere within the Market. Pretty dang cool. Of course, cash and checks are gladly accepted by all Market vendors – this is just another payment option.
Two Market policy reminders:
1. Dogs = allowed, just keep them on a short leash, clean up after them, and make sure they’re not scaring anyone with their barking or jumping.
2. Smoking of any kind = NOT ALLOWED inside the Market. Please find the Director if you have questions.
If you need another canvas grocery bag to add to the menagerie, Market totes are available in limited quantities for the low, low price of $8. More t-shirts are available — if MW heard right, there are a few little kids’ sizes! Bigger kids — these shirts will also look totally awesome when you wear them on campus! Anyway, the City is accepting cash and checks only for these items, not their own Market money, which is kind of funny. MW has heard that Common Ground Food Co-op is carrying the bags and shirts at their store right by the Market, so if you get denied at the Market, try the co-op. MW also hears the City is considering shipping these items outside the area for former residents who desperately miss Urbana’s Market. Email Lisa, the Market’s Director, if you’re an out-of-towner who needs some Market merch.
Have a great weekend! Eat well!