Smile Politely

Market Watch: July 10

Hard to believe, but the growing season is heading toward its peak. It makes sense, actually, since the Market is in its 11th (?!) week. This buildup will be marked along the way by the appearance of a few summery things MW has not yet noticed, like melons, heirloom tomatoes, heirloom peppers, and the like, but really, we’re just about there. And it is glorious, Market shoppers. The weather, despite the heat and the relative dryness of the last couple weeks, has been very kind to growers and eater this year. A little rain would be nice, but whatever. I’ll take this summer over last summer any day.

Last week, MW made the rounds and noticed a few different varieties of sweet corn. Last night we grilled some up — I’m sure there’s some fancy way to do it, but MW’s partner just slathered the ears in some olive oil, salted them, and threw them on the grill for a few minutes. MW then fantasized about putting pesto on the grilled ears, but did not follow through. Perhaps this weekend.

Here’s a little list of what you’ll be able to find this week: arugula, broccoli, beets, green beans, radishes, mixed greens, rainbow chard, kale, green onions, cabbage, fresh herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, turnips, peaches, nectarines, apricots, early apples, eggplant, kohlrabi, raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, currants, sweet corn, potatoes, garlic, onions, and who knows what else. There might be some melons, even.

If you dig plants, flowers, art, crafts, performance, and the best people watching in town, the Market is a good way to spend your Saturday morning. This weekend you’ll also have the chance to give the Urbana Park District some input about their plans for a new pool at Crystal Lake. Their booth will be right next to the City of Urbana’s tent at the northwest entrance to the Market, and they will love hearing from you. After you’re done at the Market, it’ll be way too nice out to go home — you can check out the Second Saturday event happening in downtown Urbana, courtesy the Urbana Business Association. Best bring some freezer bags to keep that produce cool.

Once again: The Market’s merchandise for the season is finally available — there’s this great “I Heart MY farmers market” design on the front of the t-shirts (the heart is actually the Market’s rooster logo); on the back is a groovy bike/tractor design. They also were selling very durable and sturdy and big tote bags made from recycled cotton —those have the “I Heart MY farmers market” design, too — but sold out last weekend. MW hears more are being printed and if we’re all good little boys and girls the Bag fairy might deliver some for sale on Saturday. If not, then next Saturday. Everything is available at the City tent. MW hears the City is accepting cash and checks only for these items, not their own Market money, which is kind of funny.

The Market will have its next Eat Here awareness event on July 17, and Sprouts at the Market makes a comeback on July 24.

Have a great weekend… eat well!

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