Smile Politely

Market Watch: September 21, 2013

Fall is here! Well, sort of anyway. The temperatures are still pretty high, but we’ve seen some cool evenings and signs that fall is on its way. One way to celebrate the soon-to-be crisp air is to check out the market for seasonally appropriate produce and décor. There are pumpkins, apples, squashes, and more this time of year.

This week at the market there will be a bike rodeo for children ages five and older. This fun event is sponsored by C-U Safe Routes to School, and will take place from 9:30 a.m. to noon in the parking lot south of Illinois Street. If your children ride their bikes around town, or would like to ride their bikes around town, this event not only teaches some good bike safety tips, but is also a pretty fun way to spend some time on a bike. To learn more about this event, please check here.

This week there will also be a lot to do and see at the market. There are always some good music and tasty treats to be had, as well as some good shopping. I spent a bit of time last week watching kids at the market do science demonstrations in the Science at the Market tent, and they looked like they were having a blast and learning! There are also some unique Urbana community tents in the last row, so don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about what is happening in our community.

There will be a lot to look out for this week in terms of produce. In addition to apples, squash, and pumpkins, there will also be peppers, radishes, and beets. Check out the selection of local meats, cheeses, and eggs. I have started the process of buying a little extra on my market trips to freeze or can for winter. If you are interested in learning how to preserve food, there are a few places around town that offer classes while the market is still running. Parkland Community College has a canning class, and Common Ground Food Co-op offers great classes to learn about food preservation. The market is such a great way to get into the spirit of local food, I’d really love to see some of these kinds of demonstrations there sometime!

Also, there are some many decorations for Halloween and Christmas popping up at the market. The homemade stuff is great because it is really one of a kind. I’ve been keeping an eye out for a really pretty Halloween wreath. Also, there are apparel and other items to keep you warm when the weather finally turns cold enough. A lot of these items are upcycled, so not only are you getting a great item to keep you warm and stylish, but you are keeping items out of the landfill, too.

Forms of payment: All vendors accept cash, and a few may take checks. Some vendors have card readers on their smart phones, but I haven’t seen too many of those. See information about LINK tokens here. If you run out of cash at the Market, there is an ATM in the Lincoln Square Mall.

Parking: Free parking is available in the parking lots surrounding Lincoln Square Mall and the lot south of Illinois Street. Bike parking is also available at the entrances to the mall and at the bike corral area past the entrance to the market off of Illinois.

Information: You can follow the market on Facebook  and twitter. Sign up for market mail here. If you want more information you can email Market Director Natalie Kenny Marquez or call her at 217.384.2319. Check out the market flickr for some gorgeous photos.

The market runs from 7 a.m. to noon every Saturday through November 2. All events are scheduled rain or shine. C-U at the market!

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