Smile Politely

Market Watch: September 4, 2010

Heavens to Betsy, it’s Labor Day weekend already. Of course, getting food to the people never stops, so Urbana’s Market at the Square is open and ready to do business at its usual time this Saturday — 7 a.m., for those of you who still have not attended. And if you have never been to the Market, MW has to ask… what’s holding you back?

This is actually a terrific weekend to show up, what with the likelihood of things needing to go on grills, visitors from out of town needing something cool to do, the weather not just behaving itself, but behaving itself beautifully, etc. Honestly, though, if you’re new to this whole farmers’ market thing, this is a great weekend to come out, and if you’re an old hand, this is the best weekend to bring someone who’s never been — your grandma, your neighbor, your BFF, your spouse, your newborn baby. MW hopes to see a lot of people browsing all five of those rows for the very first time!

Hungry? Here’s what you can expect to find ultra-fresh at the Market this week: green beans, rainbow chard, okra, cabbage, fresh herbs, lettuces (better arrive early if you want some), many varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, peaches, nectarines, plums, apples, eggplant, sweet corn, potatoes, garlic, fresh whole onions, all kinds of melons, green beans, 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 goat cheese, honey, and baked goods. Please note that MW left eggs off the list — due to huge demand for eggs not from a grocery store, and due to hens being more stressed this time of year due to heat and changes in amount of daylight, MW is just not sure what the availability of eggs will be at the Market this weekend.

As for prepared foods, Veggie Trails, is back to supply you with their veggie chili bowls and suchlike, and Fryer Tuck and their lovely egg and sausage sandwiches have also returned for the weekend. Just a reminder, too, that Baking Bakers, the folks who were doing the gluten-free baked goods in Row 5 next to Tiny Greens, are done for the season. You can contact the Market’s director for the Bakers’ contact information in case you need a recipe or want to order something.

Special events this week: The Urbana Free Library is in effect this weekend, as they usually are on the first Market of the month. They are happy to talk with folks about Urbana’s award-winning library, read to the small fry, sign residents up for library cards, and hand out balloons and other swag. Come find them at the NW entrance to the Market, right next to the City of Urbana tent.

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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