Smile Politely

Market Watch: October 30, 2010

Holy ghosts, it’s almost Spooky Halloween! Time’s running out on enjoying the Market outdoors — and yes, MW is enjoying being outdoors at the Market this season. Last year’s October Markets were chilly affairs, riddled with cold raindrops and obnoxious winds. This October has been warm and calm by comparison, and this weekend’s looking good. Don your costume and get thee to the Market this weekend!

Thursday night’s freeze will have done some damage to tender plants. Here’s some of what you should be able to find at the Market this week: rainbow chard, various cabbages, fresh herbs, lettuces, salad mix, spinach, bok choi, tatsoi, carrots, peppers, winter squash & pumpkins, apples, potatoes, garlic, fresh whole onions, sweet potatoes, radishes, turnips, broccoli, and who knows what else? Of course, there will still be a vast array of frozen, farm-raised meat at the Market, as well as eggs, goat cheese, honey, and baked goods. Many of our vendors are finished for the season – if you do not see one of your beloved vendors, please ask someone in charge! As for prepared foods, check out Veggie Trails and Fryer Tuck for some hot food and beverage options.

REMINDER: Haven’t gotten your Halloween pumpkin yet? If that’s the case, as it most certainly is chez MW, there will still be pumpkins available at the Market this weekend.

The Market will have changed shape this weekend, going from 5 rows to 4. While MW has heard that major efforts are being made to transpose Row 5 vendors to row 4, some folks will be in different places. If you’re not seeing a vendor, please ask at the City tent — the nice people there will help you locate them

Special events this week: the Market will offer the final Art at the Market session of the season (thanks, Urbana’s Public Arts Program) as well as a book signing with Professor May Berenbaum of the University of Illinois’ entomology department. Her book is called Honey, I’m Homemade, and is a collection of honey history, recipes, and lore. Books will be available for sale at the booth, and Professor Berenbaum will be signing copies from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Also, as mentioned previously, the Market is a great place to take that Halloween costume out on a test run. Market at the Scare starts at 9 a.m. — treats will be had, photos will be taken, costumes will be worn, etc. It should be the nicest Halloween weekend in recent memory, so get in the spirit of things and dress up!

OK. If you are anything like MW, the idea of the Market ending just brings on the sad. Fortunately, the Urbana Business Association’s Holiday Market picks up where the City of Urbana’s Market at the Square leaves off. While MATS ends 11/6, HM starts 11/13 and runs for six glorious weeks. HM opens at a very reasonable 8 AM and closes at 1 PM. While the HM definitely has a holiday vibe to it, the two markets share many vendors, including produce growers. You can get your cheese, eggs, meat, baked goods, greens, carrots, root vegetables, apples, and much more at the HM! Mark your calendars, OK?

Looking for parking? Don’t forget, there’s additional parking just south of the Market site (and west of the dry cleaner’s) that’s brand new and ready to be parked in.

Just a reminder to all users of credit, debit and LINK cards: the Market now accepts all of these at the City tent. You can bring your card(s) to the tent, located at the Market’s NW entrance, get them swiped for whatever transaction amount you desire (credit and debit purchases carry a one dollar service charge), and you’ll get tokens that are spendable anywhere within the Market. Pretty dang cool. Of course, cash and checks are gladly accepted by all Market vendors – this is just another payment option.

Two Market policy reminders:

1. Dogs = allowed, just keep them on a short leash, clean up after them, and make sure they’re not scaring anyone with their barking or jumping.
2. Smoking of any kind = NOT ALLOWED inside the Market. Please find the Director if you have questions.

If you need another canvas grocery bag to add to the menagerie, Market totes are available in limited quantities for the low, low price of $8. More t-shirts are available — if MW heard right, there are a few little kids’ sizes! Bigger kids – these shirts will also look totally awesome when you wear them on campus! Not only that, they’re great gift options for the farmers market nerds in your life. Anyway, the City is accepting cash and checks only for these items, not their own Market money, which is kind of funny. MW has heard that Common Ground Food Co-op is carrying the bags and shirts at their store right by the Market, so if you get denied at the Market, try the co-op. MW also hears the City is considering shipping these items outside the area for former residents who desperately miss Urbana’s Market. Email Lisa, the Market’s Director, if you’re an out-of-towner who needs some Market merch.

Have a great weekend! Eat well!

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