Smile Politely

Market Watch: October 9, 2010

Ha — remember last Friday when MW told you that the Market’s weather would be fabulous for last weekend’s Market? Not being a meteorologist, MW went ahead and trusted those who are, and nearly drowned in the process. Yes, it rained, but that was then — this is now. High pressure is in control, and it’ll be warm — into the 80s for Saturday’s proceedings. It’ll be just like late June, only with fall color!

Here’s some of what you’ll find at the Market this week: green beans, rainbow chard, various cabbages, fresh herbs, lettuces, salad mix, spinach, fennel, bok choi, many varieties of tomatoes (low on the cherry type, though), peppers, cucumbers, winter squash & pumpkins, apples, eggplant, potatoes, garlic, fresh whole onions, melons, sweet potatoes, radishes, turnips, okra (maybe), mushrooms, broccoli, and who knows what else. Of course, there will be a vast array of frozen, farm-raised meat at the Market, as always, as well as eggs, goat cheese, honey, and baked goods. Produce/bakery vendors done for the season include Mileur Orchard, Upper Crust Bakery, and Jerry & Dawn’s Produce.

As for prepared foods, Veggie Trails is back this week! MW is giving serious thanks, as the rice and bean bowl is a Saturday morning marvel. Fryer Tuck will DEFINITELY be in the house this week with its fantastic egg sandwiches made with (some) local ingredients. Tiny Greens makes wicked, sprouty sandwiches and wraps. The cupcake folks from last week are back, too, and will be located next to Tiny Greens (Row 5, yo). Shop all five rows of the Market this weekend, even if it seems a little sparse, to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Special events this week: U-Cycle, Urbana’s recycling program, will be out at the Market to answer all your questions about recycling, where to take things that can’t be recycled, and will also be showing off some of the Landscape Recycling Center’s fine products. MW is devoted to the leaf compost for the garden, for example. Look for U-Cycle at the NW entrance to the Market between 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. this weekend

Also, the U of I’s Physics Department will be offering up “Locally Grown Science” in the Community groups row this weekend. Bring your science questions — you might get them answered by someone who has won a Nobel Prize. At the very least, you’ll get your questions answered by someone who knows what they’re talking about.

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! MW noticed the lot area got gussied up with some prairie plants this week. Nice.

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! 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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