Last week’s Market was bustling! It was great to see so many in the community out and about. There was sweet corn, terrific music, and craft projects. This week looks like it will be just as good, and the weather will be even better.
There are two special events happening at the Market this week. First, The Sustainable Choices 2040: Long Range Transportation Plan Community Conversations Bus will be parked at the Market. Come find out about long-term transportation plans in C-U. Learn more about this community based project here. Second, Champaign County Bikes will be back at the Market as well. Valet bike parking and lots of information about community programs and events for bikes will be available. Find out more about this great event here.
Did you see all the trucks filled with sweet corn last week? There was so much sweet corn! Everyone I saw bought at least a few ears. If you haven’t gotten your sweet corn fill, there will be even more this week. I am hoping to get several ears this week to make some sweet corn ice cream, as sweet corn ice cream is a favorite at my house. Nothing says summer like sweet corn season! There will be lots of other non-corn items at the Market too. The produce forecast for this week calls for an abundance of berries, peaches, tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, greens, lettuce, garlic scapes, kale, beets, kohlrabi, green onions, leeks, and much more. If you haven’t had the chance yet, check out the abundance of fresh herbs. There are so many fresh herbs to flavor your meals with — maybe a few you haven’t even tried yet.
The variety of homemade items is increasing each week at the Market, too. There were so many great vendors with baked items, jams, jellies, fruit leathers, grass-fed beef, chicken, eggs, and cheeses. If you are in the mood for a great post-Market treat, I highly recommend buying some French bread from Pekara, spreading on some fresh goat chevre, and drizzling on some local honey. Mix in some local peaches or berries, and that is one tasty breakfast, especially after a long bike ride to and from the Market.
There are also many non-food items to choose from. The amount of handcrafted items has gotten better each year at the Market and there is really quite a variety. There is soap, jewelry, items for kids, apparel, home décor items, and so much more. This week, one of my very favorite places in town, Living Letterpress, is at the Market. Living Letterpress is a very neat place that offers classes in letterpress, where you can make your own cards and posters. They also have some really great, unique letterpress items for sale at the Market, so keep your eyes peeled for their tent.
Next week, August 3, Sprouts at the Market returns with an event called, “Some Say Tomato!” which aims to teach kids all about tomatoes. Kids can try lots of different varieties of tomatoes and learn about how to grow their own. To learn more about this event, visit the Sprouts at the Market website.
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: 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 excellent photos of the Market.
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!