Smile Politely

The Market Watch: June 16, 2012

Apologies for going MIA last week.

MW got a little swamped and was unable to make deadline. Moving on… last weekend’s Market was the latest in what’s turning out to be a really excellent season, weather-wise and produce-wise.

It was warm, but not awful, and nectarines made their debut. It was gorgeous and colorful all-around. This weekend looks to be more of the same, with some bonus heat coming on to remind you that the Summer Solstice is next week and the season is all official-like.

So, yes, the weather. The forecast high for Saturday is in the low 90s and humidity will be in evidence for the first time, really, so far this season. As always, it pays to go to the Market early to avoid dealing with “conditions”, but if you decide to arrive later, just slather on some sunscreen and make sure you know where the Market’s beverage tent is (near the Market’s northwest entrance).


Peaches are settling in for their summer-long reign, and other stone fruit is around – the nectarines, as we mentioned, and some apricots as well. You’re going to see green beans alongside peaches again this weekend, though the coming heat is definitely more bean-friendly than pea-friendly. [Speaking of peaches: Buy a bunch! Make jam! Seriously. You will appreciate it with some peanut butter on bread in December.]  Market-goers will also see lettuces, chard, arugula, kohlrabi, mixed greens, spinach, green onions, broccoli, carrots, radishes, turnips, a few garlic scapes, potatoes, gooseberries, raspberries, currants, blueberries, hydroponic tomatoes and cucumbers, and basil. The fresh-cut herbs are also amazing. If you’re lucky you might be able to snag some greenhouse tomatoes.  The Market’s vendors will also be serving up farm-raised meats, eggs, honey, goat cheese, goat milk gelato, scratch-made baked goods, and homemade jams and jellies. Cut flowers, hanging baskets, and bedding plants are also being sold.

Photography, textiles, stuff for your dog or cat, jewelry, upcycled clothing, derby stuff for your derby girl, photography… the Market will have it on Saturday. There is much to look at – more every weekend, as the spaces fill in.

ONCE AGAIN: The City tent, where you can swipe your credit, debit, or LINK card for tokens to spend in the Market (fear not, everyone still accepts cash), is now located in the intersection of Walnut and High Streets – that’s the corner by Health Alliance, near the northwest entrance to the Market. They sell Market swag, too, like T-shirts and tote bags. As a result of this new location, there’ll no longer be through traffic there during Market hours to keep things safe for folks traveling on foot between the Market and various Lincoln Square businesses. The parking situation remains the same, too, with the same number of free public parking spaces available in Lincoln Square and south of Lincoln Square. Plenty of bike parking, too, for the two-wheel set.

THIS WEEK’S MARKET WEATHER FORECAST: Partly cloudy, with a 7 AM start temperature in the mid-60s and a noon temperature approaching the low 90s. It’s hot on the pavement, y’all. There are a million places on the internet to look at the weather, but you can click here for a forecast.

SPROUTS AT THE MARKET: C-U’s finest food/farm activity series for young kids offers up its second installment this weekend, featuring a farmer trivia scavenger hunt, produce tasting, and some nutrition education for the 3-8 set, and some info for parents/caregivers, too. The event runs continuously from 9-11 AM, and all kids receiving a Certificate of Participation can use that certificate at Art Mart Toys for 25% off on Saturday, so make sure you visit all 4 tables, kids. More info about this monthly series can be found here.

THIS WEEK’S MARKET TIP: Stumped for something to give the Market nerd in your life for Solstice, or their birthday, or just because you like them? T-shirts and tote bags are cool, but the best gift of all is Market Scratch. Use your credit/debit card to buy as many of these $5 tokens as you want, and give them to your Market nerd to spend freely within the Market – each and every vendor accepts them, they’re good week-to-week and season-to-season, and they’re just kind of fun to tote around the Market.

Have questions? Desire more information? Check out the Market’s home on the web. Follow them on Facebook. Follow their Twitter and Pinterest feeds. You can also contact the Market’s director, Lisa Bralts, for more info at or at 217-384-2319.

Market #7 starts at 7 AM on Saturday and runs until noon. It will be warm. Food will be plentiful. People-watching will be stellar. See you there.

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