Smile Politely

Market Watch: Week 6

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Self, I just don’t have enough Market themed items in my wardrobe/home/office”? Well, have I got the solution for you! The City tent at the Market sells Market themed t-shirts and tote bags. Buy one, and when you’ve got to go out of town, you can let everyone know that you come from a great Market city. So, not only does the city tent provide lots of great information and water, but you can also buy your very own poultry themed items. The city tent is located at the northwest corner of the market. Now if they only had foam rooster hats…

This week is the sixth market of the year. The variety of produce and plants will be even better this week. More cheeses, locally grown meats, and “eat now” options too. YUM. There are a few events happening as well. 

Blood Services will be on-site for a blood drive this week at the Market. You can buy healthy produce, support local farmers, and do something great for others at basically the same time. Do so much good for so little effort! Each person who donates blood at the drive can save the lives of up to three people. Not too shabby for a Saturday morning while you sip your coffee, tour the wares, and eat some baked goods. You can learn more about the blood drive here

Also, if you are a LINK patron at the Market, there is a change that will affect you. The Market has been awarded a grant from LINK Up Illinois that doubles the value of LINK purchases up to $20. That is a pretty great bargain for LINK users. Learn more about LINK Up Illinois here

So, what will the Market have this week? Produce forecast is looking great with Marketalogists calling for asparagus, leeks, lettuce, baby broccoli, bok choy, radishes, and greens. Also, there will be a great variety of potted flowers, herbs, and plants. If you are interested in growing your own vegetables or produce, the Market is a great place to get some starter plants. Also, be on the lookout for jams, jellies, goat milk soap, cheese, gluten-free and gluten-filled breads, and many fine handcrafted items for sale. There will also be lots of flower bouquets, as both lilies and peonies are in season. Did you get some peonies last week? If not, here’s another chance.

If your pets are really grouchy about you leaving them at home on Saturday mornings, you can bring them back some of the homemade pet treats that will be for sale this week. And, as always, there are great items to eat at the market. Be on the lookout for pulled pork sandwiches and kettle corn, as well as lots of other options. I was eyeing some pretty yummy looking breakfast sandwiches last week!

Forms of payment: Debit/Credit tokens from last year are still being phased out. If you have any leftover tokens from last year, bring them to the Market soon! LINK card tokens are still available. See information about LINK here. All vendors accept cash, and a few may take checks. There is an ATM in the Lincoln Square Mall just in case you buy so much you need a few more bucks.

Parking: Free parking is available in the parking lots surrounding Lincoln Square Mall and the lot south of Illinois Street. Bike parking is also available at the entrances to the mall and at the bike corral area past the entrance to the Market off of Illinois.

Information: Get information about the Market. You can follow the Market on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for Market mail here. There is a map of the vendors here. If you want more information you can email Market Director Natalie Kenny Marquez or call her at (217) 384-2319. And check out the Market flickr for some great photos from the Market each week — check out the luscious vegetable shots!

The Market runs from 7:00 a.m. to Noon every Saturday through November 2. All events are scheduled rain or shine. This weekend’s forecast says overcast in the low 70s, but no rain. I’ll believe it when I see it. 

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