I spent a few hours today visiting the farms of a couple of the Market's growers. While all new growers are visited prior to being allowed to sell at the Market, established growers are visited much less regularly. I'm trying to get to all of them this season.
Jeff Meyer and his onions - Villa Grove, IL
I saw much of the food Market patrons are already enjoying (asparagus, berries, potatoes) as well as the food they'll be enjoying in a few weeks (sweet corn, green beans, eggplant). There's a lot growing in those fields, and it's not all just soybeans and feed corn, y'all. Make the Market part of your weekly grocery shopping! Your local economy (and farmer, and taste buds) will thank you for it.
To see more photos of Kleiss Produce Farm, click here. To see more photos of Meyer Produce (including photos of his tropical greenhouse - bananas, figs, and pineapple - I kid you not), click here.
At the Market this week: lots of strawberries, a few blueberries, asparagus (nearing the end of the season, so stuff yourselves), chard, kale, salad greens, spinach, peas, green onions, potatoes, turnips, radishes, arugula, fresh herbs (it's pesto time!) greenhouse and hydroponic tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and maybe a few surprises. Don't forget our excellent selection of baked goods, farm-raised meat, eggs, and goat cheese, and our huge selection of handmade clothing, jewelry, woodwork, soaps, and other craft items. We have more vendors of all kinds coming in throughout the next two months, and the Market will be as full as it's ever been. Don't forget to shop all five rows... you might miss something.
Art at the Market: Urbana's Public Arts Program offers up the latest installment: local artist Renner Larson encourages patrons of all ages to collaborate on an oil pastel exploring our feelings about water. [My feeling: it better not rain. Other than that, we're good.] This workshop is free and open to the public and will be taking place on the blocked-off section of Walnut Street, on the west side of the Market. Come on out and get arty!
World Wide Knit in Public Day: Knitters and non-knitters - show your solidarity with knitters worldwide this Saturday by coming out and knitting with the folks from Klose Knit in Urbana on World Wide Knit in Public Day! They'll be knitting, purling, and yarnovering right next to the City tent at the NW corner of the Market.
Second Saturday: The Urbana Business Association is sponsoring Second Saturday all summer long. Check out Urbana's Downtown renaissance on the second Saturday of each month through August - downtown merchants will be showcasing their wares outdoors and the atmosphere promises to be festive.