Smile Politely

The Market Watch: May 26, 2012

Holy schneikes, it was hot at the Market last weekend, and it will be hot this weekend. However, after last weekend we learned a few things: the Market has a water station under a tent (VERY IMPORTANT) at the north end of the Market, it pays to get there early on hot days, and the Market faithful are huge in number. Warm weather is not much of a deterrent to them. Way to brave it, C-U!

Strawberries and asparagus are definitely on their way out – this weather is way too much for them, especially strawberries. In fact, you may be hard-pressed to find strawberries this weekend, so definitely arrive early if those are on your list.  You’ll see lettuces, chard, arugula, kohlrabi, mixed greens, spinach, green onions, napini, baby carrots, radishes, surprisingly-popular turnips, a few blueberries, hydroponic tomatoes and cucumbers and basil. You’ll also see sugar snap peas and fresh cut herbs, including the likelihood of enough basil to make the first pesto of the season. Oh, and broccoli! After many months eating frozen broccoli and even the fresh stuff from the regular store, there is nothing, NOTHING like fresh, LOCAL broccoli. MW recommends you pick some up this weekend and grill it. Yes, grill it! And when it’s done grilling, have some mustard available as a condiment. MW learned this from a friend, and it is awesome. 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. Flowers and plant starts are still being sold, for you latecomers to garden season. It really is never too late, unless it’s November or something, but if you want tomatoes…

As always, artisans and prepared food vendors will be out in force. MW hears a little pie company specializing in… well, little pies, will be setting up shop in row 2 – that’s something new this week. The MOO MOBILE IS BACK! Cafe Zojo will be doing iced coffee again, thank God. It’s definitely worth traversing all the rows of the Market to see what’s what – it’s never the same Market twice, which is part of what makes it so awesome.

As per usual, 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), will be 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: Sunny, with a 7 AM start temperature in the low 70s and a noon temperature approaching 90+ on that pavement. HOT. It’s going to be HOT. It will also be SUNNY. Bring sunscreen and extra water if you plan on hanging out.* There are a million places on the internet to look at the weather, but you can click here for a forecast.

THIS WEEK’S MARKET TIP: Bring your own shopping bags! Yeah, we mean those canvas bags that we all have a million of and forget to bring with us, but we ALSO mean those plastic bags from the grocery store (that you used because you forgot your canvas bags) – you know, the white “T-shirt” bags you stuff under the sink after unloading the groceries. If they’re clean on the inside, re-use them for produce at the Market. You’re saving the vendor some money and doing your small bit for the planet.  

One last thing – the Market‘s offering up its first Art at the Market workshop along with its first ever Walnut Street Performance (the first in a series), brought to you by the Market and Urbana’s Public Arts Program. The art workshop will be run by local artist Kathryn Fitzgerald, is free, and is open to patrons of all ages. That starts at 9. At 9:30, near the Arts tent, Community Center For the Arts faculty and friends will be performing a wide variety of music on Walnut Street until 11:30 AM. The performances are free and open to the public. More info at the link above, or here, or here.

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 weekend #4 already?! Zoom zoom. See you out there.

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