Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hot Tips

Continually pressed for time, we offer instead these photos from last weekend (click to make big):

As you can see, things are getting colorful at the Market. The plums were a revelation for us - they're deep red inside, hence their name - "Red Heart". Oh - and corn is in, and there's plenty of it. 

The weather will take center stage once again this weekend, with a forecast high of 95 degrees and mostly sunny skies. It won't be that hot during the Market, but it'll still be very warm. We encourage patrons to come early, and to bring sunscreen and water bottles and hats for an optimum marketing experience.

Art at the Market is happening this weekend! There'll be a letter press workshop with the Soybean Press, and local musical wizard Ryan Groff (he's also in the band Elsinore) will be provided from 9:30-11:30. Einstein's Bagels in Urbana is donating coffee, too! Look for all the action at the NW entrance to the Market - the whole thing is completely free.

Also of note: The Illinois Farmers Market Task Force is meeting for the first time this week in Springfield; we'll be in attendance. It should be interesting - for more info about what the Task Force is all about, you can read the text of the Public Act right here

Thursday, June 21, 2012

So Much Food...

We're a little pressed for time this week, so the update will be short. First - some photos from last week. If you click them, they get bigger!

Last week's Sprouts event set a record for number of attendees for the June event - almost 100 kids participated. Thanks very much to Jen Hewitt, our Sprouts coordinator, and her army of volunteers for working with the kids at the Market. July's event will happen 7/21 - stay tuned for more information. Next week we'll have Art at the Market - an art workshop with the Soybean Press, musical entertainment by super-talented local musician Ryan Groff, and free coffee from Einstein's in Urbana!

This week, though, the Market looks to be quite full of vendors, so traverse all five rows to avoid missing anything. Oh - and the Crave Truck will be back after last week's technical difficulties. The weather will be bright and sunny and not too hot... but plenty warm. And the food is magnificent. Come early for very limited sweet corn, stay late for everything else.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Solstice Approaches

There's no doubt the Solstice is on the way when things get this colorful at the Market. Warning: Seriously vibrant photos ahead.

Right now it's looking like even more of the glorious same for patrons this weekend, with some bonus warm weather (the forecast high for Saturday is in the low 90s). There will be some serious eating this weekend.

Sprouts at the Market is also happening this weekend - bring your favorite Sprout(s) (ages 3-8) to the Market to meet some farmers, sample some produce, and learn a few things about the foods they're trying and the farms the food came from via a trivia scavenger hunt. 

Sprouts runs from 9-11, is completely free, and requires no pre-registration. Just check in at Sprouts HQ (near the City's tent at the NW entrance to the Market) or at any of the three Sprouts tables inside the Market. Those folks will hook you and your Sprout up. Kids who finish get a certificate of participation that can be use for a discount at Art Mart Toys (Saturday only) and at least one cool sticker!

See you out there on Saturday. The water tent will be super-stocked and ready to go.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gentle Reminder

We all know fruit is the Queen Bee of farmers markets everywhere - everyone loves fresh-picked fruit in season. It's the basis for incredible summer desserts, of course, but it's also good to eat right out of the bag or box. And it's healthy. And so colorful. And delicate. And full of flavor. C'mon. PEACHES.

But let us not forget vegetables. If fruit is the fancy topper, vegetables are the foundation. And they're coming on like gangbusters at the Market.

We're seeing peas, beans, broccoli, bok choy, salad and other types of greens, cucumbers, hydroponic tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, turnips, radishes, beets, and probably more. There are also garlic scapes and fresh herbs. That's DINNER. Your evening meal. Add some farm-raised meat and cheese, go ahead and buy that fruit, and you're set for a killer evening meal.

This weekend, the Bloodmobile will be joining us - they'll be located in the parking lot just west of the Market site. The U of I Nanotechnology folks will also be in the community groups row (Row 5) this Saturday as part of our Science at the Market series. Next week will be our June Sprouts at the Market event - stay tuned for more details!