The local foods movement is alive and well in Champaign County! Here are some updates on other projects while we finalize our virtual market:
Local Producers Map:
Our local producers map is ready for publication and you will soon be able to find it on gochampaign.com. Copies will be distributed around the community, in the local telephone book, and other “hangouts”. The guide lists the location and contact information for nearly 50 local producers within our county. The map was a project of the Local Food Council and printed with the help of some local sponsors including the Monument Square District, Champaign Bank, the Community Improvement Corporation, the Chamber of Commerce, the Farm Bureau and others. It is a great start to finding a local source for Champaign County’s finest!
Let The Games Begin!
You know I am a huge March Madness girl!! You know my team is Kentucky, followed by North Carolina!! I have lived in both states, and both teams are near and dear to my heart. BUT, having gone to college in Kentucky, I always hope that the sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home…
And, also, the games must begin with this market opening for the week!! Get in, look at the market site, make your orders, and watch the games, all at the same time…
Start the madness…throw us some orders!!
Time Keeps On Ticking...
And, the time is totally ticking away as we approach the last half hour of this market for the week!!
Get your orders in before 10pm! You still have time, but don’t wait too long…you don’t want to miss out on all the fun…
Sea Green, See Blue
And you dream, you make movies, you dance
You moved to Montreal, to be closer to France
How’s that working out, how’s the music, how’s the food?
I know you won’t stay there forever, I know you’re gonna move again and again and again…
(Sea green, See Blue-JayMay)
The sweetness of a little song can move me, cheer me up, make me think in all directions, and make me want to do a million things, all at once. And, somehow, I am always able to bring it around to thinking about this little market of love.
Just like the part of the song that I chose for today, I know that there are a million things that you all also could be doing, should be doing, will be doing, and that after it all, you will all land right where you need to be. With us, with the goodness, with the realness, with the friendliness, with the nutrition, with the community spirit.
And here we will be…always with open arms, swaying along, humming our tune, smiling our smile, offering our products.
Yesterday, we said hello to spring. That means that it won’t be long before all of our seasonal vendors begin to groove back to us. It means that everyone comes home to land. And when that happens, we live a nice little harmony from spring until late fall…
Get your orders in, today, because we close for the week, at 10pm, this evening!!
Handle With Care
Everybody’s got somebody to lean on…
(Handle With Care-Traveling Wilburys)
The Traveling Wilburys…what a group of super rock legends, all formed into one group for a very short time in rock history. One of them, Roy Orbison, leaving the group way too soon, followed by George Harrison. But, oh when they were all together, what a sound.
I also super love that this group all came together with the idea of making super music, right in the time frame when Los Angeles was my stomping grounds. I could have been anywhere in Malibu while they were all at Dylan’s house in Malibu, making sweet music. Well, in my rock muse secret life, that’s how I would have it.
Anyway, this lyric, everybody’s got somebody to lean on, makes me happy, makes me hope that this is true, and it makes me hopeful that this is how you view our little market of love.
That we are always somebody you can lean on. We are open, most of the week, day and night, all year. We leave the lovelight on so that you can order at your leisure. We bring our love to this game, so that you KNOW you can lean on us, depend on us, and you even let us educate you.
Just like the Traveling Wilburys, we all formed, years ago, to bring you our own little local super group of love, food, products.
Go ahead, look over your market lists, give us an order, let us be the somebody you need to lean on…
In another world…
In another time…
In another place…
So far away…
(Astral Weeks-Van Morrison)
One of my very favorite Van Morrison songs, and, my favorite of his albums.
There is a history behind the recording of this album, how it came to be, the struggle to over come one big record label, the struggle to reclaim his poetry, his ability to provide his haunting lyrics, the fact that this album put him right up to Bob Dylan as song poet, lyricist, all with an album that once completed, he felt that he could now see the light at the end of the tunnel.
It followed a sort of battle he had with his previous label, was given a chance to shine on a second label, but not before he had been blackballed, shunned, and dropped from every club in NYC, just because he had refused, in part, to be forced into a pop like music genre. He fought hard, and won with his poetic offerings.
So much of this story reminds me of our little market of love. How, everyday, every week, we fight to keep our name out there, we have worked hard, over the years, to where we finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel, to feel we had finally educated on what it means to produce, grow, and sell, locally. We were not the big box stores, we were not your corporate grocery stores, and we were not a run of the mill farm market.
We have demanded that we stay true to our original vision. Remain steadfast in a market that loves us, hates us, embraces us, shuns us. Depending on the day, the week, or even the year, we either see strong weeks of sales, support, and adulation, OR, we see the masses flocking to the big box retailers for steals, deals, and what they are led to believe is “local”.
And, you know what, that’s okay. We remain, fighting the good fight, out there, ready for the tides that will once again turn, the people will figure out that we are the real deal, the true game in town. We are your Van Morrison, signing your Astral Weeks, looking at the light at the end of the tunnel, knowing that you always come back around for our market, our vendors, our products, our prices, our community, our ease shopping, our low prices, and the education that you get, in all things local…
We are your poets, your lyricists, of your local songs…we sing for you, for us, and for our community…
Get on board…be a part of it all…
The market re-opens, right now, with all of the goodness…let us carry you away…
The market site has had a few issues, tonight, but now things seem fine, and I am giving you until 10:30, to get the last orders in!
Go, take advantage!!
The Grand Illusion
Welcome to the grand illusion
Come on in and see what’s happening
Pay the price, get your tickets for the show
The stage is set, the band starts playing
Suddenly your heart is pounding
You’re wishing secretly you were a star…
(The Grand Illusion-Styx)
Ok…so, first up, hello to winter. We barely saw you during the typical winter months, you teased us with sending us into premature spring, and now look…what am I seeing out my windows? Snow? A winter illusion? Mother Nature has gone off the deep end, and the rest of us are just along for the ride…
Second…Styx…can you dig it? My first “real” vinyl purchase, my first “real” rock concert, and if we are being honest, I was going to marry their lead singer, Tommy Shaw. But, more on that in a later installment, titled, Cosmic Pam Should Have Been A Rock and Roll muse…moving on…
Anyway, today, for some reason, all of my tasks, conversations, a presentation I am getting ready for, and, alas, this weather…all illusions. I went grocery shopping, this afternoon, for things that I continue to put off, and I decided to have a look-see around at certain items being sold. Another illusion…I began playing the mind game, is it real? If it says, local, does that mean local to us, or local, to say, Anaheim, CA?
However they want to spin it, the real answer is that it’s all just an illusion. That big grand illusion.
Why the illusion? Why not just say, hey, I am a produce item, and since so many of you don’t know that you cannot get a strawberry, locally, until like, May, I am going to dance and sing and say…local. Not. But, here I was, totally craving, needing, wanting that strawberry. Instead, I went the organic route until it’s time to travel the local route. It’s okay, with me. I purchase boatloads of local, heck, I even now GROW local with Hippie and the Farmer, and, oh yes, we even grow organically. So, this tiny purchase, out of season, sent me the organic route, and not the unknown, “local”, but not really local to this community item.
See, that is what we avoid at this little market of love.
Yes, we are local. We are seasonal. We don’t pretend or give the illusion that we are local when we are not. Our products come from real growers, growing the goods. We have products being produced from local producers. We are the real deal, the mind blowing, non-illusional grand market of what is local to our little community.
And, while we are still out a bit for produce, we can still offer you a whole lot of groovy local items, that are not designed to allude and confound. We are not your grand illusion. We are your little local market of love vendors…waiting to take your orders.
Why not open the market, early?
I am having dinner, girl talk, and relaxation, so before I have wine, let’s get this party started!
Cheers to the weekend!
Tuesday Night Reminder!
Just a reminder that we close at 10pm, tonight!
The market is rockin! Don’t miss out on the fun!!
Gonna be a long Monday
Sittin’ all alone on a mountain by a river that has no end
Gonna be a long Monday
Stuck like the tick of a clock that’s come unwound again
(Long Monday-John Prine)
This song, all of John Prine, love him…and, who else has found this day to be long, never ending, dreary, and just a no motivation day?
Yes, even your market manager has a bit of the Monday blues. So much so that I have now given up, poured a glass of wine, put dinner in the oven, and put on one of the most comforting voices I know…John Prine.
I’m getting ready to sit and sip and place my market order. Who’s with me?? What else do you have going on, this rainy night?
This little local market of love has so much to offer, and it’s just waiting for you to place your weekly orders.
It’s a long Monday but at least we can all hang out, pass the time, here, at the market.
I’ll be watching for you…