Smile Politely

Market Watch – Week 8

Do you have an old t-shirt lying around your house that you can’t quite part with? Maybe it has sentimental value or is a favorite that isn’t quite fit for public consumption anymore? This weekend, come to the market and make it into something more useful! Art at the Market will teach patrons how to make a reusable shopping bag from that old t-shirt. The workshop runs from 8:00 a.m. to Noon at the northwest corner of the Market. During Art at the Market, the three-piece ensemble Los Guapos will play from 9:30–11:30 a.m. Los Guapos is known for their danceable rhythms and wide range of musical selections. When you are finished making your tote, you can fill it with great market goods! Both of these events are free and open to the public, for more information see the Art at the Market website

If you are interested in seeing more Market Art, the City of Urbana’s latest Artist of the Corridor exhibit features photography of the Market. The exhibit is on display in the City Building lobby at 400 S. Vine Street in Urbana until July 31, 2013. For more information about this exhibit, see here

This week, the Market will have lots to offer in terms of produce. There will be fresh and potted herbs, lettuces galore, snap peas, asparagus, strawberries, some tomatoes, bok choy, kale, cucumbers, and sprouts. Also, there might be some early peaches! 

Summer doesn’t really arrive in central Illinois until peach season. Fresh, local peaches can be made into so many yummy things — pie, cobbler, ice cream, jam — but I love to eat them “plain” as well. Peaches are one of nature’s very best convenience foods — you can just eat the container. I have a feeling that you will want to get to the Market early if you want to nab some of these early peaches.

Fresh meats, cheeses, and baked goods will also be available in abundance this weekend at the Market. You can pick up bacon, eggs, and sausage for your weekend brunch from Market vendors, along with many cuts of pork, beef, chicken, lamb, and goat. The artisan cheese selection at the Market is quite good. There are cow and goats milk cheeses, as well as gelato. There is also a dizzying array of baked goods: breads, angel food cake, cupcakes, maple-bacon donuts, and a whole lot more. Be on the lookout for the made from scratch “twinkie” — Hostess might out of business, but that won’t stop Market-goers in Urbana from enjoying delicious snack cakes.

There will also be a lot of handcrafted items for sale at the market. Last week, I saw some adorable sock monkeys. There were also some very cute, hand-stitched owls that would make great gifts for the little people in your life. The goats milk soap is a perennial favorite for Market-goers. I also have seen some very pretty jewelry, creative t-shirts, adorable clothes for kids, hair doo-dads, and lots of other handcrafted items. Be sure to check out the craft tents for new items each week.

Don’t forget that the Market is phasing out the Market tokens from last year (this doesn’t affect LINK tokens). If you still have some leftover tokens at home, be sure to bring them to the Market soon. For more information see the marketscratch website

On June 29, the Market will be hosting a BUY ONE, DONATE ONE event with the Eastern Illinois Foodbank. This event will benefit the Foodbank by providing much needed fresh produce. More information can be found about this event here. Please consider making a donation to the Foodbank during next week’s Market.

Forms of payment: All vendors accept cash, and a few may take checks. Some vendors have card readers on their smart phones, but these seem to be the minority. See information about LINK tokens here. If you run out of cash at the Market, there is an ATM in the Lincoln Square Mall.

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 shots of Market life in C-U.

The Market runs from 7:00 a.m. to noon every Saturday through November 2. All events are scheduled rain or shine. Come out this week and see what the Market has to offer!

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