Thursday, October 7, 2010

Home Stretch

After 3 seasons as the Market's Boss-Lady, I can safely say that it's the weather that always does it to me. It really stresses me out sometimes. Only occasionally deos the weather do me wrong, like it did last weekend when the heavens opened up while we were getting everything set up and lo, rain cameth down in buckets. At 6:15 AM, it was pouring, it was ridiculous, and all I could do, really, was laugh and hope that the rain left us, which it did (the significantly-less-stressful wind arrived shortly thereafter - another story for another time, perhaps). I have not wept this season.

This weekend, it looks like the weather is going to do me (and, by extension, YOU) right. I know, that's what they said last week, but this time I believe them. 84 unseasonably balmy degrees and sunny this Saturday, Market-lovers. It should be splendid. Soak it up, peeps, because we won't have this weather for too much longer.

So, let's talk about food for a few minutes. As you know, fall is here and the fall food has been in effect for a few weeks now, while summer stubbornly hangs on with its tomatoes and its peppers and its melons and its cucumbers. While all of those things will be findable this weekend, they are most definitely on the wane; fall produce is in firm control now. Notably, that produce includes fennel, broccoli, various cabbages, bok choi, winter squashes, apples, onions, potatoes, turnips, sweet potatoes, salad lettuces and other greens, spinach, kales and chard, carrots, and much more. After the heat of this summer and the occasional restrictions that can put on the menu (who turns on the oven when it's 95 degrees outside??), it's going to taste good to get down to the business of preparing pies, tarts, galettes, roasted vegetable dishes, soups, and more. I guarantee you the spread at the Market will serve to inspire. Come look!

As for stuff happening at the Market - this week we have U-Cycle, Urbana's recycling program, out to talk about all things recycling with a little bit of Landscape Recycling thrown in. She'll be there from 8-11:30 at the U-Cycle tent at the northwest entrance to the Market. Also, the University of Illinois' Physics Department (maybe even a couple of Nobel Prize-winners) will be on hand to provide Locally Grown Science. Bring your science questions to them in the Community Groups row between 8 AM and noon.

Next week, it's our final installment of Eat Here, our programming designed to educate consumers about the myriad benefits of shopping your farmers markets for locally-produced foods. Stop by the Eat Here tent, located at the northwest entrance to the Market, on 10/16 for more information.

Sprouts at the Market's last installment is happening 10/23, and is a collaboration between the Market and the Eastern Illinois Foodbank. Bring your Sprout to the Market that day to participate in a food-insecurity scavenger hunt and to try a few vegetables in season. more information about this event will be available soon, but mark your calenders for 10/23, 9-11 AM!

That same day, the Urbana High School String Orchestras will be playing at the Market, also from 9-11 AM. They'll be playing on Walnut Street, which is the barricaded area located just west of the Market.

The Market's final day is Saturday, November 6. Starting November 13, the Urbana Business Association starts hosting the Holiday Market inside Lincoln Square Mall. The Holiday Market will run from 11/13 - 12/18, 8 AM - 1 PM. Many of Market at the Square's vendors/growers participate in this market, so please check it out!

Lots going on as we close in on the end of our season - come visit while the weather's good and the produce is plentiful!

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