Smile Politely

Market Watch: Here come the students

It’s a particularly delicious time at the Market -— there’ll be over 90 vendors of every stripe welcoming returning and new U of I students, faculty, and staff this weekend. We’re encouraging each and every one of you new residents (as well as you old-timers) to get to the Market on the weekends for some sublime people-watching, a wide variety of prepared foods, arts and crafts, and fresh, local produce. The Market is, without question, the best place in the area to pick up local food directly from the grower.

Speaking of produce, the fresh stuff right now is awesome; some of the best-looking cantaloupes ever seen were at last week’s Market, and there were unexpected plums in Row 2, and the color on the peppers was divine. Even if you’re not into food — how could that be possible? — the plethora of colors and freshness is awfully easy on the eyes. Go here for photos of market bounty.

Yet another sweet corn reminder: The Market has two large sweet corn growers bringing their loads in, but there are also several smaller growers with superb sweet corn. If the big trucks are empty, KEEP LOOKING! The folks at the City tent know where the corn is, too — ask them for help if you’re coming up empty. Corn will be available in Rows 1, 3, 4 and 5 this Saturday. The end of season for Illinois sweet corn is coming up faster than you might realize, so load up. Peach season is also starting to come to a close — so again, LOAD UP.

This Week’s Food: You can expect a lot of sweet corn, peaches & nectarines, some plums, early apples, pears, cucumbers, beets, zucchini and summer squash, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, basil and other herbs, kale, arugula, leeks, shallots, garlic, potatoes, melons, cabbage, lettuces, peppers (hot and sweet), heirloom tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and much more. Don’t forget the wide selection of baked goods and prepared foods, plus meat, cheese, eggs, and honey. There are, quite literally, WALLS of fresh, locally-grown produce for sale at the Market. Take some photos!

Of Note:

Market posters are for sale at the City tent — they’re numbered, limited to 100, and will only cost you $2.00. Available until they’re gone — and when they’re gone, they’re gone.

Sprouts at the Market this weekend — and it’s all about the corn! 9–11 a.m., workshops are free, and no registration is required. Bring the kids – and you might learn something, too.

See you out there!

Related Articles