Smile Politely

Market Watch: July 28, 2012

It’ll be another warm one, but not a hot one at the Market this weekend. That’s because … it’s summer.

Sweet corn update: Schottman Sweet Corn WILL be at the Market this weekend thanks to some timely rains in the last week. Row 3, red truck. Corn’s also available from Kleiss Produce in Rows 1/2, and Roth Countryside Produce in Row 2. Your corn needs will, MW believes, be met.

It’s also tomato season. The heirlooms are starting to come in, and they’re gorgeous — red, orange, purple, green, yellow, and all colors in between. There are giant tomatoes and there are tiny tomatoes, all with unique flavor and myriad uses. The cherry tomatoes are particularly difficult to resist, especially when you can make cool looking tarts with them.

Market-goers will also see copious stone fruits, limited lettuces (greens are not huge fans of heat), cucumbers, chard, arugula, kohlrabi, mixed greens (again, limited), onions, carrots, turnips, fresh and cured garlic, potatoes, a few surviving berries and currants, melons, zucchini and other summer squash, hydroponic tomatoes, field-grown heirloom tomatoes, and the aforementioned cherry tomatoes. The fresh-cut herbs are also amazing. There’s probably a ton of stuff MW has forgotten about, and there are always a few surprises. The Market’s vendors will also be serving up farm-raised meats, eggs, honey, goat cheese, goat milk gelato (they offer samples), scratch-made baked goods, and homemade jams and jellies. Cut flowers, hanging baskets, and bedding plants are also being sold.

Photography, textiles, stuff for your dog or cat, jewelry, upcycled clothing, wood items, derby stuff for your derby girl, soap, trinkets and doo-dads and whimsy … the Market will have all these and more on Saturday. 

ONCE AGAIN: The City tent, where you can swipe your credit, debit, or LINK card for tokens to spend in the Market (don’t worry, everyone still accepts cash), is now located in the intersection of Walnut and High Streets — that’s the corner by Health Alliance, near the northwest entrance to the Market. They sell Market swag, too, like T-shirts (all sizes back in!) and tote bags. As a result of this new location, there’ll no longer be through traffic there during Market hours to keep things safe for folks traveling on foot between the Market and various Lincoln Square businesses. The parking situation remains the same, too, with the same number of free public parking spaces available in Lincoln Square and south of Lincoln Square. Plenty of bike parking, too, for the two-wheel set — look west of the Market, in Lot 24 south of the Market, or all around Lincoln Square.

THIS WEEK’S MARKET WEATHER FORECAST: Sunny skies will prevail with a 7 a.m. start temperature in the high 60s, with a noon temperature approaching something in the high 80s. There is no rain in the forecast. None. Zero. There are a million places on the internet to look at the weather, but you can click here for a forecast.

PAY A VISIT TO: Art at the Market! The Urbana Land Arts people will be there from 8–noon, and the Michael Fenolglio Trio will be providing entertainment from 9:30–11:30. Free iced coffee from Einstein’s, too, over by the beverage tent. Get over there and make some art & see what’s happening. This is a free program, guys, and is great for patrons of all ages and artistic ability.

YOUR TASKS FOR THIS WEEKEND’S VISIT: Try a purple/black tomato. See if you can find any blackberries in the Market if you arrive early. See what Burrito King made for breakfast. Take a photo or two (or more) of your favorite displays (we like the Oosterhoff’s flower display at the north end of Row 2). Buy some Market Scratch for the friend who took care of your dog while you were gone, or your kid’s swimming teacher, or yourself!

THIS WEEK’S MARKET TIP: Seasonality is what drives produce availability at the Market. Asparagus is available in spring and the season is short, for example. The weather can affect how long something is available, or if it’s available at all. The folks at the City tent have seasonality charts for the state of Illinois is you need some guidance.

Have questions? Desire more information? Check out the Market’s home on the web. Follow them on Facebook. Follow their Twitter and Pinterest feeds. You can also email the Market’s director, Lisa Bralts, or call (217) 384-2319.

Market #13 starts at 7 a.m. on Saturday and runs until noon. See you there!

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