Smile Politely

Market Watch: September 25, 2010

MW hears there’s a lot going on in town this weekend — a couple of music festivals, a big soccer tournament thing, U of I volleyball — and MW digs that people are busy and alla that, but you indie rockers and folk rockers and sports nerds need to remember: YOU HAVE TO EAT. And there is no better place in town this weekend to grab food for quick meals than Urbana’s Market at the Square. None!

You can get some salad mix, a little box of cherry tomatoes, and some fresh goat chevre and call it salad. Grab a loaf of bread and you’re TOTALLY in business. Apples are everywhere, and we all know what people say about apples and the doctor. Pears. Scramble some eggs. Thaw some meat and grill for something fast you can eat before heading to the next event. Seriously, it doesn’t take long to make something simple and fast with food from local producers. Of course, you can get fancy and make something complicated, too, if you’re not running around like a crazy person this weekend.

The weather this Saturday will be fantastic — cool and sunny and a tiny breeze. Wear a light jacket if you go to the Market early.

Here’s some of what you’ll find at the Market this week: green beans, rainbow chard, cabbage, fresh herbs, lettuces, salad mix, many varieties of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, summer squash, early winter squash & pumpkins, peaches (?), plums (?), apples, eggplant, sweet corn (?), potatoes, garlic, fresh whole onions, all kinds of melons, the odd berry, 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. As for prepared foods, Veggie Trails, is back to supply you with their veggie chili bowls and suchlike. Fryer Tuck will also be in the house this week. Tiny Greens makes wicked, sprouty sandwiches and wraps. The cupcake lady from last week is back and will be located in the same spot (Row 5, yo). MW will be snarfing croissants Saturday morning. Shop all five rows of the Market this weekend to make sure you don’t miss anything. There will be lots to look at.

Special events this week: Art at the Market is on this week, woith local artist Roberta Bennett showing everyone how to create nature-themed mobiles. As always, Art at the Market is free, open to patrons of all ages, and is sponsored by Urbana’s Public Arts program. Art gets underway at 8:00 a.m. and goes until about noon.

Additionally, the folks from the C-U Safe Routes to School Project will be hosting another of their popular Bike Rodeos — look for them around 9:00 a.m. on Walnut Street, the blocked-off area just west of the Market site. They’ll be coaching kids through an obstacle course and offering tips on bike safety until about 11:30.

This just in — additional parking just south of the Market site (and west of the dry cleaner’s) has opened up! Look for more bike parking over there, too.

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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