Smile Politely

Market Watch: Good, Clean and Local

This week’s salmonella scare in the nation’s tomato supply should make us realize how lucky we are to have such a vibrant farmer’s market here in Urbana. We can get to know our local farmers, where our food was grown, how it was handled and feel safe about what we are putting in our bodies.

Last weekend’s Market at the Square was a literal wash-out; heavy downpours put a damper on shopping. Yet, I was able to fill my market bags with produce in several hurried stops between farmers.

Jon Cherniss and the folks at Blue Moon Farm had big smiles on their faces and a surprising amount of vegetables including: six varieties of kale, perpetual spinach, swiss chard, arugula, sugar snap peas, basil, cilantro, salad greens, spinach, turnips, radishes and some small seedlings. I adore the produce from Blue Moon Farm; it’s certified organic and always exceptional. You rarely find a vegetable that doesn’t look like it came out of the pages of a gourmet magazine shoot.

This weekend looks good so far, with nice weather and plenty of good eats. Lisa Bralts, Urbana’s market director, gave me a heads up for what’s in store for this Saturday.It’s quite the list: arugula, asparagus, blueberries, bok choy, cabbage, cherries, cucumbers, garlic scapes, green onions, herbs, kale, kohlrabi, radishes, rhubarb, salad mix, spinach, sprouts, squash, strawberries, sugar snap peas, swiss chard, tomatoes and turnips. Of course there will be all of the great baked goods, pastries, farm-raised meats, honey, eggs and goat cheeses to round out our Father’s Day menus.

Also, Bralts is now reporting on Market at the Square from her own blog at Check it out for great photos, links to local farms, market surveys and more.

Market on the Square runs every Saturday from 7a.m. -noon, rain or shine now through Nov. 8. It is located in the parking lot of Urbana Square Mall on the corners of Vine and Illinois Streets.

Photo Courtesy of Market at the Square

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