Thursday, July 29, 2010

Somber Market

Earlier this week we received the news that Daniel Schreiber - chocolate-maker-in-chief, proprietor of local artisanal chocolate outfit Flatlander Chocolate, and Market vendor - passed away suddenly Tuesday morning at the age of 24.

Daniel's amazing energy and his passion for local food - well, all things local, really, but especially food - have been an inspiration to many, including me.

About a year ago, a mutual friend introduced us during an Art at the Market event. Dan had just tried his hand at making his own chocolate from the cacao bean and was passing it out to people at the Market. The chocolate was wrapped in foil and construction paper, and after trying mine I thought, this guy is onto something.

"If you ever decide to do this for real, you should totally sell it at the Market," I told him.

"Do you think people would go for it?" he asked.

"Oh, HECK YES," I said.

Daniel was always a huge supporter of the Market and its farmers, even before he began selling at the Market during the 2010 season; he was at the Market almost every weekend, picking up produce and other groceries. Once he started selling, he learned very quickly how to improve his display to engage potential customers and was very good at talking with them about what he did and how he did it. Last weekend, he had a LINE - not only was he educating shoppers about how he made chocolate, he was selling a new product, a chocolate-hazelnut spread/sauce called "Artella" or "UrbanaTella". He was working with other farmers on "inclusions" for his chocolate - currants from Prairie Fruits Farm, for example. I'm sure there were others in the works. He was in the process of really arriving. He was full of ideas and vigor and his enthusiasm was contagious.

Daniel's space at the Market, in Row 4, toward the north end between Great Harvest Bread Co. and Prairie Fruits Farm, will remain empty for the remainder of the season, except for the occasional musician (he loved the music at the Market). This Saturday, we encourage Flatlander fans and friends to leave flowers, notes, and other remembrances at the space.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lucky Week Thirteen

Peak produce season is here with a gorgeous, colorful vengeance.

The list is too long to post, but let it be said that unless it's an early-season item (like strawberries or asparagus) or a late-season item (like butternut squash), it's at the Market, and it's AWESOME. I will say that I haven't seen much on the melon front yet - a few central IL cantaloupes were around last weekend, but that could change this weekend.

Also, with luck, the Owenses (they do the flowers at the north end of Row 2) will have some tuberose, whose scent mixed with the smell of ripe cantaloupe totally epitomizes summer Market mornings for me.

Seriously, you guys, we are so lucky to have such beautiful food and flowers grown right here, in our midst. SO. LUCKY.
Also at the Market this weekend - we're sold out for vendors, so look for an abundance of awesome handmade art and craft items this weekend too - photography, glassware, textiles, wood items, jewelry, leather goods, etc. Baked goods and prepared foods (including the much-loved Veggie Trails folks, who were absent last week) will also be there to quell your hunger pangs (I know I couldn't make it through the morning without getting a few little tasty morsels from around the Market). I'm also pretty sure we'll have a host of performers busking and entertaining Market-goers.
We have our third Sprouts at the Market event this weekend - kids ages 3-8 will get to "eat their colors" all over the Market, and probably get to meet some farmers in the process, too. If you have questions about the event, stop by the Sprouts tent (next to the City tent) and we can help you out. Many thanks to the farmers for their produce donations. Their future customers appreciate it!
Don't forget - we have Market shirts in men's and women's sizes (American Apparel shirts, so they're sized to fit), and, with luck, we'll be restocked on our heavy-duty recycled canvas Market tote bags. Shirts are a mere $9 and the bags are a steal at $8. We'll have them on display at the City tent.
Oh - here's this week's Market Menu - I show the merch off here:

See you out there!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Market - Week TWELVE?!

Market this weekend, quick-and-dirty style:

Warm, sunny, full of food, best people watching in downstate Illinois, Market shirts and totes for sale ($9 and $8, respectively), arts and crafts, performers, Kettle Korn... where else could possibly be a finer place to hang on a Saturday morning?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pictures Tell the Story

PEACHES. Yummy, yummy peaches.

Glad for glads.

These cute little "pears" are actually made of goat cheese.

Fresh tomatoes draw quite the crowd.

Fresh basil, my personal fave herb. What's yours?

Here's a Market Menu for ya:
This weekend's weather promises to be lovely - we'll see you out there!

Friday, July 2, 2010


I cannot get a break these days! Someday i'll be a better, and more timely, updater.

Here's this week's Market Menu, back after a short hiatus.

In this video, I try to tell you guys everything you need to know, but in case you can't view it... produce of all kinds in large amounts, sunshine, groovy market t-shirts and tote bags, Urbana Free Library out for the kids (and grownups!), and an all-around great day. If you have guests in for the weekend, the Market is a fabulous way to show off how awesome east Central Illinois can be in the summertime. We're open from 7-noon, too, so even if everyone rolls out of bed a little late, it's no big deal. You can have breakfast at the Market, too.

Stop by, say hi!