We're pretty corn-centric on the blog these days. For good reason, though - this year's sweet corn, when it finally arrived, has been juicy and sweet but not too-cringingly so. It's been good raw, on the grill, boiled with a little bit of milk, on the cob, off the cob, buttered, plain. I've bought some from nearly every vendor who's had it this year (there were about 5 or 6) and all of it, from Peoria to Effingham, was delicious. Corn was also the featured edible at last week's Sprouts at the Market event. And this weekend, corn is going to reign supreme.
Yes, it's time. The Urbana Sweetcorn Festival - featuring corn harvested in Illinois - gets underway tomorrow evening in downtown Urbana, and the party continues on Saturday. Market at the Square goes on in its usual place (corner of Illinois and Vine) at its usual time (7 AM - noon), and we'll have vendors selling this mighty vegetable/fruit/grain (seriously!) for home preparation. Get thee to Urbana this weekend!
Speaking of Sprouts, we had a record turnout at last weekend's installment. We'd like to thank Common Ground Food Co-op, Jim and Carol Toler (they do the kettle corn in row 3), and Mark Schottman (he sells corn in Row 3) for their generous food donations for the Sprouts event. THANK YOU! The next Sprouts event will be a trick-or-treat of sorts on Saturday, October 24. More info soon - we might even get Sprouts its own blog, so keep your eyes peeled.
This Week's Food: You can expect a lot of sweet corn, peaches & nectarines, some plums, early apples, pears, cucumbers, beets, zucchini and summer squash, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, basil and other herbs, kale, arugula, leeks, shallots, garlic, potatoes, melons, cabbage, lettuces, peppers (hot and sweet), heirloom tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and much more. Don't forget the wide selection of baked goods and prepared foods, plus meat, cheese, eggs, and honey. YUM.
This Week's Events: Carle Foundation Hospital will be out at the Market this weekend to launch their year-round medical waste acceptance program. Look for them at the east end of the community groups row to drop off your medical waste and pick up some free gifts while they have them. Also, look for Urbana Fire Rescue at the NW entrance to the Market - they'll have one of their trucks with them, stickers for the kids, but most importantly, they'll be trying to "fill the boot" for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
September 12 - Art at the Market - artist and activity TBA.
September 19 - The University of Illinois women's soccer team will be on hand at the Market to help you with your soccer skillz, sign some posters, give away some merch, and maybe a few tickets. The soccer squad is a University sports team well worth watching - they're top-tier athletes and really nice women who also happen to be TOUGH AS NAILS.
September 19 - U-Cycle will be out for Recycl-ympics! Details soon.
See everyone out there this weekend...