Smile Politely

Fall sees peaches replaced by apples

It’s the last weekend of astronomical summer, y’all.

The Autumnal Equinox is Monday, September 21. Crowds have a tendency to show up later at the Market during the fall. Maybe it’s because the sun rises later now than it did during peak season (the early part of Market setup now takes place in the dark!), or maybe it’s because peoples’ schedules are so full of things to do in the morning (kids’ activities, etc). Maybe it’s due to the perception that with peak season over, there’s nothing left to eat locally. Let’s put the lie to that one, shall we? Here’s what you’ll find at the Market this weekend:

apples, basil, beets, bok choy, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chard, cilantro, cucumbers, edamame, eggplant, fresh herbs, green beans, green onions, kale, leeks, lettuce, melons, mushrooms, okra, parsley, peaches, pears, peppers, plums, pumpkins, raspberries, salad mix, spinach, sprouts, summer squash, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, zucchini and who knows what else?

Also seen: gorgeous jars of jam and honey in several stalls, and the bread choices for slathering said jam and honey are amazing. And for the carnivores in the house, let’s talk for a sec about bacon. You know how bacon’s this really hot food item right now? How it’s in everything from appetizers to dessert?

You must try bacon from one of the Market’s meat vendors. YOU WILL NEVER GO BACK. Basically, it’s a total food paradise at the Market right now. Who cares when you arrive? Just come out!

If you’re bringing kids along on your grocery shopping excursion, make sure you say hello to the University of Illinois soccer team, who’ll be signing posters, giving stuff away, and doing simple drills with any kid wishing to participate. Know a kid who plays soccer with the Park Districts in Urbana or Champaign? They should be able to get out to meet the team either before or after their Saturday game. It’s a great opportunity for kids to meet elite college athletes up close and personal (and to get a little coaching on the side). Look for Coach Rayfield and her team at the Market on Walnut Street, between Row 1 and the new bike racks.

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